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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In a scene early in the film, Anna is seen walking through an open-air market. While this scene was being filmed, an airplane passed over the set, creating a low hum on the soundtrack. Composer Bernard Herrmann was instructed to compose an accompanying score that would obscure the airplane motor. He used low gongs. See more »
The banquet scene includes a performance of Siamese theatrical dance. However, the music which accompanies this performance is unmistakably Balinese gamelan, not Siamese. Furthermore, it's "gong kebyar" style, which hadn't been invented yet in the 1860s. See more »
[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...
Be quiet, sir.
...that I'm a British subject.
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]
Sir, did you enjoy your triumph about your house? Because you shall now ...
[...] See more »
Like other reviewers on here, I knew the musical The King and I, which I have always enjoyed, before I finally saw this movie. And, as others have said, they are two different things, each with their own merits.
What I enjoyed most about this very fine movie was the particularly fine performance of Irene Dunne. I've seen her in other movies where she delivers a nuanced and understated performance, which is true of this movie as well, and in spades. There are times when just watching how she plays various emotions across her face is fascinating by itself. Other times she lets us see hints of emotions that her character then suppresses. Harrison is good as the King, though he plays him with broader strokes, as the script calls him to do. Anna is a complex individual, however, and Dunne does full justice to all its complexity.
I just watched this movie again tonight, and I was struck, again, by Dunne's fine, understated performance, but also by the intelligence of the script and the pacing. The main characters are all three-dimensional, in an era when it would have been easy to do caricatures of the Siamese characters. Things move along at an unhurried pace, but it is never too slow.
It's really one very fine movie.
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