Anna and the King of Siam (1946) Poster

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  • The movie details the story of Anna Owens (Irene Dunne), a widowed teacher from Britain, who comes to Siam accompanied by her young son Louis (Richard Lyon) to teach the children of the Siamese King Mongkut (Rex Harrison) aka Rama IV.

  • Anna and the King of Siam is based on a 1944 semi-fictional novel of the same name by American writer Margaret Landon. In turn, Landon's novel is based on the memoir, The English Governess at the Siamese Court (1870) by Anna Leonowens, the British educator who was hired in 1862 to teach English to the wives and children of Mongkut, king of Siam. The story of Tuptim and her lover is taken from Leonowens' second memoir, The Romance of the Harem (1873). The story of Anna Leonowens and the King of Siam was also adapted by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for a 1951 stage musical, which was subsequently was made into the film musical The King and I (1956) (1956). A remake of Anna and the King of Siam, Anna and the King (1999), was released in 1999.

  • Yes. Project Gutenberg has placed the non-copyrighted story online. It can be viewed here.

  • The former kingdom of Siam, now known as Thailand, is situated in Southeast Asia, bordered on the north by Laos and Myanmar (formerly Burma), to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Siam and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and Myanmar. The capital city is Bangkok.

  • Following the deaths of Tuptim (Linda Darnell) and Phra Palat (Neyle Morrow), Anna prepares to leave Siam. When Anna's son Louis is killed in a riding accident, the King declares the 12th of September to be a day of mourning throughout the kingdom, and Anna is persuaded by the Lady Thiang (Gale Sondergaard), Prince Chulalongkorn (Mickey Roth), and the King's other wives and children to remain in Siam and to continue teaching. Several years pass, and many changes are seen throughout the kingdom. In 1865, the British open a consulate, followed by the French in 1867 and the USA in 1879. Prince Chulalongkorn is an adult (Tito Renaldo), when Anna is suddenly summoned to the King's bedside. The King is dying, but he wishes to thank Anna for always telling him the truth and for teaching the children well. After the King passes, Chulalongkorn assumes the throne. His first proclamation is to abolish the custom of kowtowing. In the final scene, Lady Thiang bows her head to Anna while King Chulalongkorn tells of the changes that will be coming to Siam so that all people can work together for the good of the country.

  • King Mongkut died in 1868, when Chulalongkorn was 15 years old.

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