Anna Leonowens
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Quotes for
Anna Leonowens (Character)
from The King and I (1956)

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Anna and the King (1999)
King Mongkut: I never danced with an Englishwoman before, mem.
Anna Leonowens: Nor I with a king.

Anna Leonowens: [to King Mongkut] Life is... precious, especially if you're a Christian and only allowed to have one.

Prince Chulalongkorn: Son of teacher is forgetting I am son of King.
Louis Leonowens: Son of teacher couldn't care less.
Prince Chulalongkorn: You will sit somewhere else!
Louis Leonowens: I will not!
Anna Leonowens: Louis, remember what I told you.
Louis Leonowens: I'm sorry Mother, but he started it.
Prince Chulalongkorn: In my country, man never tell a woman he is sorry about anything... ever! If you had father, you would know that.
Louis Leonowens: You don't have a father! You have a map!
[Louis pushes the prince]
Louis Leonowens: Louis!
Prince Chulalongkorn: It is forbidden to touch royalty!
Louis Leonowens: I didn't touch you!- I shoved you! Why don't you get one of your servants to shove me back?

Tuptim: I remember my first rice festival. People come from everywhere to see king. He bless all crops, and it begin to rain. I think he was a God.
Anna Leonowens: And now?
Tuptim: He is also a man.

Anna Leonowens: I would like to know why... , if science can unravel something as beautiful as music... , why it cannot posit a solution for a schoolteacher and a king.
King Mongkut: The manner in which people might understand such new possibilities is also process of evolution.
Anna Leonowens: Everything in Siam has its own time.

Anna Leonowens: You have the power to lead your people...
King Mongkut: Now is not the time to change the way that things are done!
Anna Leonowens: Well, if not now, then when? How many more people must die so that you might save face?

Interpreter: Sir is married?
Anna Leonowens: A widow. Can you please explain to me why you call me "Sir"?
Interpreter: Women do not stand in the presence of His Excellency.

The Kralahome, Prime Minister: When presented to His Majesty, you and son will remember to touch forehead to floor.
Anna Leonowens: Your Excellency, although we have become better acquainted with your customs, we have certainly not forgotten our own.
The Kralahome, Prime Minister: Then how will you greet him?
Anna Leonowens: With the utmost respect.

King Mongkut: You are teacher?
Anna Leonowens: Yes, Your Majesty, I am.
King Mongkut: You do not look sufficient of age for scientific teaching. How many years have you?
Anna Leonowens: Enough to know that age and wisdom do not necessarily go hand in hand, Your Majesty.

King Mongkut: Presenting original pupil and heir apparent. Prince Chulalongkorn.
[to the Prince]
King Mongkut: This, my son, is your new teacher.
Anna Leonowens: It is a great honor, Your Highness.

The Kralahome, Prime Minister: Heir to throne must never be involved in issue of bond-servent. It will resolve itself in time.
Anna Leonowens: Like my house?
The Kralahome, Prime Minister: You are learning.

Anna Leonowens: In my letter confirming my employment, Your Majesty, you claimed you wanted Siam to take its place among the nations of the modern world. You spoke of building something greater than yourself. A country where no man is above the law. Which is why I chose to come here.

Anna Leonowens: [to King Mongkut] You cannot shut the world out forever. Believe me, I've tried.

Anna Leonowens: [to Lord Bradley] You raised your glass to him. You commended him for his vision. All the while, you were waiting to take his country from him.

King Mongkut: Why did you come back?
Anna Leonowens: Because I could not imagine a Siam without you.

Anna Leonowens: [to King Mongkut] Your Majesty, promise me... Promise me that I will see you again.

Anna Leonowens: [to King Mongkut] Why are you doing this?

Tuptim: How did Mem survive?
Anna Leonowens: The same way you will. One awful day at a time.

Anna Leonowens: Most people do not see the world as it is. They see it as they are.

Anna Leonowens: My mind has taken me down many roads of late. All of which lead absolutely nowhere. What would Buddha say of that?
King Mongkut: That roads are for journeys, ma'am, not destinations.

King Mongkut: Gazing at the moon.
Anna Leonowens: Yes, it is beautiful.
King Mongkut: As the sun rises, she will surrender the night, but she is always with him, even when he cannot see her.
Anna Leonowens: It must be a great comfort to him.
King Mongkut: Yes.

Anna Leonowens: Everyone should have legends, I think. They allow us to dream.

Anna Leonowens: [to King Mongkut] Perhaps you should simply say what it is you're trying so hard not to.

King Mongkut: l have decided to give self anniversary dinner and invite important English nobles and diplomats.
Anna Leonowens: l don't understand.
King Mongkut: French lndochina grows stronger and more aggressive. But if l improve our foreign intercourse with your queen's special envoy, French will think three times before trying to undermine Siam.
Anna Leonowens: That's very clever, Your Majesty.
King Mongkut: As if to sound English bugles in own defense. You shall take charge of all formalities as Mem is obvious choice to make certain guests feel at home.
Anna Leonowens: But... the anniversary is when?
King Mongkut: Three weeks from yesterday.
Anna Leonowens: Three weeks? That's impossible!
King Mongkut: Mem... The egg is in the bottle.

Anna Leonowens: [ascending a staircase, arriving late for dinner, a little out of breath] Forgive me, Your Majesty. l believe the sun set a little earlier today.
King Mongkut: [amused] Mem. You arrange all this to influence positive future of Siam. And now you steal attention away from it.
Anna Leonowens: [shyly] Well, that was not my intention, Your Majesty.

King Mongkut: You! Why did you not go to monastery like king order?
Anna Leonowens: Because l lost one man to the jungle, Your Majesty. l was not about to let that happen again.

The King and I (1956)
King: You will order the finest gold chopsticks.
Anna: Your Majesty, chopsticks? Don't you think knives and forks would be more suitable?
King: I make mistake, the British not scientific enough to know how to use chopsticks.

King: ...Pairs of male elephants to be released into the forests of America. There it is hoped that they will grow in number and the people can tame them and use them as beasts of burden.
Anna: But your majesty, I don't think you mean pairs of MALE elephants.

King: [chanting to Buddha before banquet preparations] Help also Mrs. Anna to keep awake for scientific sewing of dresses, even though she be only a woman and a Christian and therefore unworthy of your interest!
Anna: [greatly offended, rising] Your Majesty!
King: A promise is a promise! Head must not be higher than mine! A promise!

Louis: Mother, look! The Prime Minister is naked.
Anna: Oh don't be ridiculous, Louis. He can't be all naked. He's only
[looks through the telescope]
Anna: ... half naked.

Tuptim: Good day, Madam. My name is Tuptim. I already speak English.
Anna: And very nicely, too.

Lady Thiang: They think you dress like that because you shaped like that!
Anna: Well I most certainly am not!

Lady Thiang: [meeting Anna for the first time]
Lady Thiang: There is a happy land, far far away, where saints in glory stand bright, bright as day!
Lady Thiang: [Anna looks confused] Mis-on-ary!
Anna: Oh, a missionary taught you English!

Anna: This girl hurt your vanity... she didn't hurt your heart! You have no heart! You've never loved anyone and you never will.

King: You will say no more!
Anna: I will say no more, because there is no more to say!

King: You are very difficult woman!
Anna: Perhaps so, Your Majesty.

Kralahome: [to Anna] Why are you so blind; have you no eyes to see? King tries impossible task - wishing to be scientific man who know all modern things... He will only tear himself in two, trying to be something he can never be!
Anna: Of course he can never be, if those who are closest to him are unwilling to help him!
Kralahome: You do not know King as well as you think you do. You believe you have great influence over him. You will end up as his slave-like all the others!

Anna: Then how do you explain, your majesty, that many men remain faithful to only one wife?
King: They are sick

King: Now, shall Mr. Lincoln be winning this war he is fighting at present?
Anna: No one knows really.
King: Well, does he have enough guns and elephants for transporting things?
Anna: I don't think they have elephants in America, your majesty.
King: No elephants? No wonder he is not winning war!

King: I do not remember such words.
Anna: I remember them.
King: I will do remembering!

Anna: Oh, but this is a lie!
King: [in agreement] It is a FALSE lie!

King: You think you teach King lesson, but this is one lesson you do not be paid for teaching. In the future, you will stop instructing wives and children in silly English song "Home Sweet House". To remind me of breaking promises I never make, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Anna: Your majesty, I do not intend to have my boy brought up in a harem, and you did promise me a house; "a brick residence adjoining the palace," those were your very words in the letter.
King: [obviously does remember] I do not remember such words.
Anna: I remember them.
King: I will do remembering. Who is king here? I remind you, so you remember that? I do not remember any promises. I do not remember anything, except that you are my servant.
Anna: Oh, no, your majesty.
King: What, what, what? I said you are my servant.
Anna: No, your majesty, that is not true. I am most certainly not your servant, and what is more, if you do not give me the house you promised, I shall be forced to return to England immediately.
[children protest]
Princess Ying Yaawolak: I believe in snow!
Lady Thiang: Do not let her go away.
King: I let her do nothing that is not my pleasure. It is my pleasure that you stay here, in palace, in palace!
Anna: No, your majesty.
King: [heavy sigh] Why do you wish to leave these children, all of whom are loving you so extraordinarily?
Anna: I do not wish to leave them. I love them, too, quite extraordinarily, but I cannot stay in a country where a promise has no meaning.
King: I will hear no more about this promise!
Anna: A land where there is talk of honor and a wish for Siam to take its place among the modern nations of the world, where there is talk of great changes, but where everything still remains according to the wishes of the king.
King: You will say no more! No more!
Anna: I will say no more, because there is no more to say. Come, Louis.
[Anna and Louis leave. Children protest]
King: Out, out, OUT!
[everyone, except the King, leaves]

Anna: In your house she's just another woman. Like a bowl of rice is a bowl of rice no different from any other bowl of rice.
King: Now you understand about women! So, many English books talk about love etc etc etc ha!
Anna: You disapprove?
King: It is a silly complication of a general simplicity. A woman is designed for pleasing man that is all. A man is deigned to be pleased by many women
Anna: Then how do you explain, your majesty, that many men remain faithful to one wife
King: They are sick.
Anna: Oh, but you do expect women to be faithful?
King: Naturally!
Anna: Well why naturally?
King: Because it is natural. It is like old Siamese saying. A girl is like a blossom, with honey for just one man. A man is like a honey bee and gather all he can. To fly from blossom to blossom a honey must be free. But blossom must not ever fly from bee to bee to bee.
Anna: Hee hee. Oh your majesty in England we have a far different attitude. We believe for a man to be truly happy he must love one woman and one woman only.
King: This idea was invented by woman.
Anna: Oh but it's a great idea your majesty and in England we're brought up with it. When your young and at your first dance.
King: Young girl? They dance also. Like I see you in arms of stranger tonight not a husband.
Anna: Why of course!
King: I would not permit it.
Anna: Ha when your young and at your first dance, and your sitting on a small guilt chair with your eyes lowered, terrified that you'll be a wall flower. Suddenly, you see two black shoes, a white waist coat, a face, it speaks.

Anna: All properly dressed English ladies always wear undergarments.
King: I have opinion that, in this regard, England is very backward nation.

The King and I (1999)
Tuptim: [holding a vase of flowers] For your room, Mrs. Anna.
Anna Leonowens: Oh, how lovely!
[Tuptim looks at poetry book]
Anna Leonowens: Oh, you must have something in return.
Tuptim: Oh no, Mrs. Anna, you will be punished for giving book to servant!
Anna Leonowens: [giving Tuptim the poetry book] Oh, nonsense, I'm a teacher.

[after Anna has just received a house outside the palace]
Anna Leonowens: I'm speechless.
The King of Siam: For once!

Anna Leonowens: [teaching King's children] I have a surprise. A new, modern, British map.
[Anna unrolls map out on wall]
Prince Chululongkorn: Siam is not so *small!*
Anna Leonowens: Oh but look, England's even smaller.
King's other children: [all at once] Ah!
Prince Chululongkorn: But royal palace is centre of whole universe.
Anna Leonowens: Well, I suppose we think that of all our homes really - whether you live in a palace or not.

Anna and the King of Siam (1946)
Anna Owens: [Anna, thinking the king is a barbarian, is about to leave. The Kralahome has had her brought to his office at night to reason with her. She is outraged] How dare you treat me in this manner. I demand an explanation, and I warn you...
Kralahome: [Calmly] Be quiet, sir.
Anna Owens: ...that I'm a British subject.
Kralahome: That is nor reason you are safe. I could have you killed if that would serve my purpose. Such things are simple here.
[Walks across room]
Kralahome: Sir, did you enjoy your triumph about your house? Because you shall now enjoy greater triumph. I have something to ask of you. Not demand, but ask. It is that you shall Stay in Siam. You may enjoy yourself if you like, sir
Anna Owens: No matter what you ask, I wouldn't do it.
Kralahome: If you do not stay in Siam, where will you go?
Anna Owens: I don't know.
Kralahome: Have you other place to put your life?
Anna Owens: What has that to do with you?
Kralahome: Have you, sir?
Anna Owens: Please stop calling me "sir"!
Kralahome: [emphatically] I call you sir so you will not be lowly like a woman, but you continue to talk like a woman, I no longer call you sir. You think now you are nothing here, but that could be different.
Anna Owens: How could it be, so long as the king can change his mind from one day to another?
Kralahome: The king is not ordinary man.
Anna Owens: Indeed he isn't.
Kralahome: He is lonely man.
Anna Owens: Lonely!
Kralahome: Mem, I have watched you. I think there is need here for you. I think you know what is truth about many things, and I know you have the courage to speak it. The king has no one near him like you. He has many wives, but they cannot help him. You can speak with him as a woman where they cannot. And he will listen to you, because he will know you do not seek something for yourself.
Anna Owens: Indeed, I wouldn't. Least of all the chance to revolve around him. He doesn't need help.
Kralahome: Mem, why you not see? Why? He is two men! One part of him is king, like his father was. Other part tries to be man of new world, scientific man who desires to learn all modern things to save his country. But greedy men of Europe are at our door. They say Siam is barbaric land, and so must be ruled by them. So king must learn all modern things now. He tries work too big for any man, with no one to help. His own people are his enemies. They do not want change.
Kralahome: And sometimes inside himself is enemy that cannot change. Oh, mem, are you blind? Have you no eyes to see? He does not live coldly with mind as I do. But with heart. With heart, mem, as king must, and so is torn in two within himself. And to whom can he turn? Whom can he trust? He is very lonely man, and very strange man. Yet, for him, I would die.
Anna Owens: [after a long pause] I'm... I'm afraid I haven't been very understanding.
Kralahome: Mem, I cannot promise that it will ever be easy for you. We have proverb here: "Go up by land, and you meet tiger. Go down by water, and you meet crocodile." But for you, it will be place to put your life.