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A PEEK AT FLOWER DRUM SONG

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by haineshisway, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    For all the reasons discussed above - the entire film is cast with Asian people and, in a couple of cases only, other minorities, and you have a problem with that. You know who didn't have a problem with that? David Henry Hwang, that's who - he couldn't believe a mainstream American film musical featured an almost all-Asian cast - he talks about being obsessed with it. But you stay on your moral high horse and BOYCOTT, while others, who understand context, when a film was made and more importantly when it takes place, who appreciate the story, the characters, and the songs, enjoy an excellent film musical. Boycott West Side Story while you're at it, and The King and I while you're at it. I'm sure I could name others, too.
     
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  2. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    It was set in modern times when it was new, but time made it into a period piece. Why not play it as one?
     
  3. noel aguirre

    noel aguirre Second Unit
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    Agreed- it’s a period piece for sure. And I’m not boycotting anything but will only buy a physical HD copy of it as I collect musicals.
    And let’s not equate it with West Side Story or The King and I- that’s an insult to not only both Robert Wise and Walter Lang but everyone else on here as it’s far from a classic piece of cinema. And just for the record Hwang was obsessed with it because the story was so godawful and completely and entirely rewrote it and even dropped a song!
    Chop Suey!
     
  4. KPmusmag

    KPmusmag Screenwriter
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    Bruce, I wanted to say thank you for posting about this. Watched the vudu version on the projector yesterday and I was very impressed. I wouldn't have known about the vudu version, so thanks again.
     
  5. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Sorry, I was around when the revisal was being developed, so I don't need you to tell me what he was obsessed and not obsessed with. He was obsessed with the film because he'd never seen a movie with so many Asians in it who are being treated with RESPECT. If you are now saying you aren't boycotting anything then your post was very confusing to just about everyone, which is why I responded to it in the way I did. Back to Hwang - the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization came to him and asked him to do the revisal because no one was licensing the show at that point - rather silly in my opinion, since it's delightful and quite different than the film - better structured and not cloying - and he did his revisal, which failed and is not done either. He sucked all the fun out of the show. Oh, and its star, Lea Salonga - did you rail on about HER casting? Last I looked she was hardly Chinese, but Hwang had no problem with her doing the show. I equated it with West Side and King and I because you seem so upset by casting that is not accurate. Both of those films are filled with people who are not the exact ethnicity of the people they are playing. You can't go on about Miss Umeki not being Chinese while ignoring the other films mentioned. Then again, to go on about Miss Umeki is, IMO, just silly.

    I hope you're not saying he dropped Chop Suey from the show because he did not. The only song dropped was The Other Generation, simply because it made no sense with his new plot. They added the cut song My Best Love (which I'd recorded on one of the Lost in Boston albums, with its original orchestration), and they interpolated The Next Time It Happens and I'm happy to tell you that it was my complaining about that interpolation that finally got it excised from the show - they took my suggestion about what to replace it with, too.

    Finally, while I do have a soft spot for the film of Flower Drum Song, it's simply not as good as the Broadway version. The performances are delightful, however. And the score shines with its Alfred Newman arrangements.
     
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  6. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    Let’s bring on the Blu-Ray Universal.
     
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  7. Message #107 of 126 Jul 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
    PMF

    PMF Producer

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    I can't wait to see this new transfer and most definitely would purchase a BD, once available.:)

    BTW Bruce, in honor of this special occasion, is there any chance that I could tempt you into changing the name of this thread to "Peking at Flower Drum Song"?;)
     
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  8. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    Newman's arrangement of the overture literally gives me goosebumps! What a thing of beauty!
     
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  9. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    For me, it's Newman's chart for Love, Look Away that puts the film in a whole other class. Robert Russell Bennett's orchestration - and I love Robert Russell Bennett - is ordinary and doesn't find the heartbreak that Newman does. It's fantastic.
     
  10. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    Agreed. I also would have liked the Helen Chou character to have been better used. She is much more important in the original book. The actress in the film is terrific, but the staging and choreography of the number is no match for the scoring. Audiences I was with during original release never got this sequence.

    [I must confess that I often find the "practical" girl in a film to be more to my liking. For example, Midge (Barbara Bel Geddes) in Vertigo.]
     
  11. Jim*Tod

    Jim*Tod Supporting Actor

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    It has been a while since saw the film, so refresh my memory but doesn't the character who sings "Love Look Away" more or less vanish from the film after that point? It seems like her story is a loose end by the finale. I do think "Love Look Away" is truly one of R and H's most beautiful songs.
     
  12. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    That is about right. There is more in the book. I think it is perhaps the only "torch song" R&H wrote.

    I wonder if having 3 girls in love with Ta was too much!
     
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  13. Message #113 of 126 Jul 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
    ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    Well it’s now to the point that I’m pulling the DVD out to watch tonight. Bring on the Blu.
     
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  14. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member

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    Yep. It’ll have to wait till later in the week, but that’s where I am.
     
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  15. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Those who are pulling out the DVD - do yourselves a favor and watch the Vudu version - it's miles and miles better.
     
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  16. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    And the ads aren't THAT disruptive either. Vudu all the way until we get a Blu-ray.
     
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  17. Jim*Tod

    Jim*Tod Supporting Actor

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    Thanks. I know it always seemed odd after the song and that fantasy ballet that there was no resolution to her story.
     
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  18. noel aguirre

    noel aguirre Second Unit
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    Well I had read that Hwang was both obsessed with the film because it treated Asians with respect (why wouldn’t it?) but also because of the embarrassing white man STEREOTYPICAL PORTRAYALS of Asians and which is why he rewrote the entire thing- otherwise why rewrite it? So exactly why did he rewrite and not stage as it was originally written then if there’s nothing wrong with it?
    And no I was not saying he dropped Chop Suey.
    And if you had any sense of history you would know the generation of Chinese following WWII would be specifically incensed for having any Japanese play a Chinese and probably vice versa see Memoirs of a Gheisha and it’s controversy. Salonga is Philipino
     
  19. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Only on HTF would people be arguing about the casting of a soon to be 60 year old film. It's kind of late to correct it now.;)
     
  20. Message #120 of 126 Jul 31, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
    PMF

    PMF Producer

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    That is, unless, someone decides to do a Flower Drum Song remake ala West Side Story;
    with Nancy Kwan as Technical Adviser to the project, as she is fortunately still with us at age 80.:)
    Other than that, Robert Crawford is correct.:thumbs-up-smiley:
     

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