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To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen's Journey

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: KA SHEN'S JOURNEY is the definitive and true life story of NANCY KWAN, who as a young Eurasian girl from Hong Kong captured the hearts and minds of cinemagoers around the world in her stunning motion picture debut role in THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG (1960), then in her unforgettable follow up role as "Linda Lo" in the all Asian, Rodgers & Hammerstein Hollywood hit musical FLOWER DRUM SONG (1961). With just two pictures in two years, the Eurasian girl from Hong Kong would become one of the most sought after young stars in Hollywood. But, the motion pictures that would follow would never again mirror, that initial success.

About the Actor

Nancy Kwan was catapulted from her native Hong Kong at 18 to become an international star in such famed American Films as The World of Suzie Wong and Flower Drum Song. Kwan, the daughter of a prominent architect, was born in Hong Kong and educated in England, where she also studied dancing at the Royal Ballet School. By chance, while on vacation from school in Hong Kong, she was spotted by famed American producer Ray Stark, who was searching for an Oriental beauty to star in the film version of The World of Suzie Wong. After a number of screen tests in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and London, Kwan finally got the part, starring opposite William Holden. For this role, she was nominated for Best Actress and International Star of Tomorrow by the Hollywood Foreign Press.
Kwan's second starring role, which allowed her to display her dancing talents, was in Flower Drum Song, based on the acclaimed Rogers and Hammerstein Broadway Musical. Following completion of The Main Attraction, Kwan married. After her son, Bernie, was born, Kwan divided her time between Europe and the United States, starring in such films as Honeymoon Hotel, opposite Robert Goulet and Robert Morse; Tamahine; Fate is the Hunter, opposite Glenn Ford; Lt. Robinson Crusoe, with Dick Van Dyke; The Wrecking Crew, opposite Dean Martin; Arrivederci Baby, opposite Tony Curtis; Nobody's Perfect, with Doug McClure; and The McMasters, with David Carradine, Brock Peters, and Jack Palance.
Since returning to the United States in 1980, Kwan has appeared in such series as Fantasy Island, Trapper John, Knots Landing, Partners In Crime, and in such movies as Chicago Story, The Last Ninja, Blade in Hong Kong, James Clavell s Noble House, Miracle Landing for CBS and Babies for NBC.
As a writer, Kwan has collaborated on a number of screenplays. Murder Within, Journey to the West Gate of Heaven, Jade: Investigator. She developed the concept for T'ai Chi Ch'uan - (Touching the Clouds), her instructional videotape on this ancient Chinese exercise.
Ms. Kwan produced the feature film, The Biker Poet, and played the role of Kwan Yin in the television pilot The Zee Team. She recently guest starred in the television series ER.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Nancy Kwan, Joan Chen, France Nuyen, Sandra Lee Allen, Vivian Wu
  • Directors: Brian Jamieson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Virgil Films and Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008B49F2Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,708 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Some documentary features have a universal appeal and some are a bit more specific in scope. "To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen's Journey" is one of those movies that feels very specific to me. While I like actress Nancy Kwan, who is the subject of the film, she hasn't exactly been a Hollywood powerhouse since her dazzling debut in 1960. Her early success, though, was a significant step in breaking cultural boundaries within the entertainment field. Just having an actress of Asian descent portraying leading roles was a surprisingly huge milestone that has had long range repercussions for the next several generations of Asian actors. "To Whom It May Concern" is a film divided into distinct sections. From biographical information, to a life in TV and film, to the concluding section of personal loss--the experience sometimes feels like different movies grafted together. But Kwan is always an engaging presence. And while the documentary may not be for everyone, it is an easy recommendation for fans of Kwan and those interested in Asian film history.

In the early sequences, we learn a bit about Kwan's upbringing and family. It's an interesting story, to be sure, but the film doesn't really come alive until her breakthrough with "The World of Suzie Wong" and "Flower Drum Song." These are the only two movies that we spend any time on and, indeed, are the roles that seemed to have defined Kwan's career. This is perhaps why the movie felt so specific to me. To appreciate Kwan's journey, one must hold these films in a place of historical significance. A knowledge of the era in general and these films in detail will give you a greater appreciation of Kwan's impact. If you're looking for comment or insight on anything else she did, other projects get a glowing one sentence blurb with little detail.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jacques on January 7, 2014
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A very interesting and movig film about the life of the actress who played Suzie Wong. A film which concerns all those who love Suzie Wong, the world of American cinema, and all those who are interestec in the life of a very attractive and intelligent woman, Nancy Kwan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Hull on July 8, 2014
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This bittersweet story tells so well the experiences and heartbreak of Asians in film. Nancy Kwan so correctly states that this situation is not much better in this century. For her stand-out talent and personality, she deserved better than she got out of Hollywood. Still, viewing her performances in this film is pure joy.
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This was a wonderful film biography of an actress I’ve long admired. It details her sudden skyrocket rise to fame after The World of Susie Wong, then the delightful musical, Flower Drum Song. Unfortunately after those two great films her contract continued with poor films that never reached those levels again. Still, people remembered her early portrayals and never lost their admiration for this lovely girl from Hong Kong. Although I was not familiar with her life off-stage, she had many struggles in her life – the death of her father, and absence of her mother, and finally the death of her only son. This film captures all of it, and is highly recommended for her many fans.
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By Linette C. Young on May 17, 2014
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Great story, Nancy Kwan has had a inspired yet sad life. This wasn't publicized much and just stumbled upon it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Milton A. Dugger Jr. on April 17, 2013
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Racism killed or dis-allowed so many careers in music and film. This lady should have been a BIG star for Hollywood, but sadly opportunities for her were limited by fools and foolishness!!!
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