In 1862, young English widow Anna Owens accepts the job of teaching the royal children of Siam. On her arrival in Bangkok, culture clash is immediate. The king respects Anna for standing up to him, though this appalls his courtiers. In due course, she becomes the king's confidant and diplomatic advisor; their relationship endures through many trials. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Like the similar film Anna and the King (1999), this film was banned in Thailand because of what the Thai government said were historical inaccuracies about the King of Siam. See more »
As the various Consulates are being established, there are several errors involving the national flags; the British Union Jack is shown upside down, the French flag is replaced by that of The Netherlands, and the US flag is shown with 48 stars (correct for 1946, but in 1870 there were only 37 states). See more »
Very enjoyable tale of Governess teaching Siam Ruler's children, then butting heads with the deified king over issues of culture and custom.
Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison star, and they work well together, from the frosty start, to the begrudging respect into the romantic overtones that develop. Their chemistry is the key to holding the film together - and it works. The sets are marvelous, and the supporting cast (Gale Sondergaard, Lee J. Cobb -I said Lee J. Cobb!] et al) are quite good.
There's been much ado about comparing this movie with THE KING AND I. Margaret Langdon did not write a musical about her experiences there, she wrote a book. Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote the musical, based on the book. The two are certainly two different entities, and should be based on their singular merits and faults. It's about as silly as trying to link REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and GREASE!
Yes, Anna's character is a tad dowdy, if not prudish; yet these are values from the 1860's, not Woodstock in the 1960's. It's really not fair to judge the characters motivations by our present standards or perceptions of morality. True, it would have been better to cast an Asian actor as Mongkut, yet these were not the realities of 1940's Hollywood; and we well know this.
Overall, we watch cinema to be entertained and escape, and ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM provide more than ample reward for the viewer, in that regard.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?