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
The close relationship between a woman and her two male childhood friends is tested when she accepts a marriage proposal from one of them, while the burgeoning First World War threatens to change their lives forever.
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>
Rex Harrison was appalled at the studio's lack of interest in the film and how unhelpful 'Darryl F. Zanuck was to him. He recalled - "This lackadaisical attitude was not at all what I'd expected and I began feeling pretty desperate. Everything was so slow; I wasn't geared to relaxing around pools and drinking all day. I'd been used all my life to working hard, and now suddenly I was in a hot bath, growing weaker and weaker. The sets were only just being constructed, so there was no hope of beginning for weeks, and in the meantime there was nobody I could talk to constructively about how I was to tackle this frightfully difficult role, for which I was far too young and two feet too tall." 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 »
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.
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