This movie shows the idealized career of the singer Al Jolson, a little Jewish boy who goes against the will of his father in order to be in showbiz. He becomes a star, falls in love with a... See full summary »
Alfred E. Green
A homely maid and a scarred ex-GI meet at the cottage where she works and where he was to spend his honeymoon prior to his accident. The two develop a bond and agree to marry, more out of ... See full summary »
London based American nurse, Lady Susan Ashwood, is at the hospital awaiting the imminent arrival of injured soldiers. She is hoping that her enlisted son, Sir John Ashwood II, who ... See full summary »
Ann Williams, secretary to eccentric drama critic Frederick Skeates, is persuaded to alter a ruinous review of Shakespearean actor Edmund Davey by Davey's wife Barbara. Davey's 'Othello' ... See full summary »
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>
While most of the Caucasian actors playing Asians in this film wore dark make-up, Gale Sondergaard was allergic to the make-up being used. Instead, through several weeks of cautious sunbathing, she acquired a deep enough tan to compensate. See more »
In order to remind the King about his promise to give Anna a house of her own (to which the King continually refuses to honour) she leaves many reminders about his broken promise around the palace, in particular an English china cottage which has "made in England" on the underside and the inscription over the door of the cottage "Honor Thy Promise". In 1868 England (as today), 'honour' was not spelt "honor". Minor error, but a spelling mistake non-the-less. See more »
[the Kralahome has just arrived to tell King Mongkut of the loss of Cambodia. Anna, meanwhile, continues to press the King about the issue of a private residence, to the point where even the King's staff members are singing "Home, Sweet Home"]
Your Majesty! It has begun, Toongramon. We've lost Cambodia. Our governor of Cambodia has made a treaty with the French government. They have recognized Cambodia as independent of Siam, placed it under their "protection," and this governor of ours still ...
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Interesting, surprisingly lavish black-and-white filming of the same story which later became of the basis for the musical "The King and I".
Irene Dunne is, as always, warm and intelligent, and she looks charming in ruffled hoopskirts. Rex Harrison was an off-beat choice for the King, but with his lean, upright bearing, he perhaps more strongly suggests an Asian monarch than does Yul Brenner's swaggering, bare-chested bully in "The King and I". The secondary casting is strong, also, with Gale Sonnergard particularly touching in the reserved role of the King's neglected # 1 wife. And lavishly costumed Linda Darnell gets most of the plot's histrionics to play out. (She also has to tangle with a scene-stealing monkey.)
This is the rare film that actually looks better "live" than it does in still photographs, in which things appear rather stilted. The developing interplay between Dunne and Harrison is intriguing, with its hint of romantic tension, but the film really does not hang together as a drama very well, and toward the end it falls into the conventions of the "school-teacher-struggles-through-the-years" genre which Golden Age Hollywood often tackled (eg., "Cheers for Miss Bishop", "Good Morning Miss Dove", et al).
It will be interesting to compare this version with Jodie Foster's upcoming remake. Recent scholarship has revealed the real-life Anna to have been something of an adventuress who fudged her credentials and overstated her impact on the King. (The best selling book upon which this film is based reads like juvenile fiction, by the way.) Likewise, the real-life Thai Monarch was a much more refined, intelligent and forward-thinking leader than either of the film versions thus far would lead a viewer to believe.
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