Did F.X. Feeney write his Revival Pick review of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song [January 25–31] in a fit of nose-tweaking sarcasm? For starters, Flower Drum Song’s “wholly Asian cast” included the African-American actress Juanita Hall as Madame Liang, a role that she originated in the musical’s 1958 Broadway production. Also, not only are the songs “Limehouse Blues” and “Chinatown, My Chinatown” not in the film, they weren’t even written by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Nancy Kwan plays the role of a Chinese-American nightclub star; the part of the mail-order bride is played by Miyoshi Umeki, and the character comes from Hong Kong, not Formosa. James Shigeta plays a Chinese-American law student, not a “two-bit thug.” Finally, since Flower Drum Song was made by Universal and recently marketed on video by MCA, I’d be interested to know how MGM acquired the distribution rights.
Why do I get the idea that Feeney made all of these mistakes intentionally, just to see how many hairsplitters would write in correcting him?
Imagine my surprise to open the Weekly and read in the Slush column [January 25–31] that making the rounds on the current social circuit was none other than actor Dack Rambo. You must admit, this is some feat for a man who died in 1994.