Down 163 this week

The King and I (1956)

G  |   |  Biography, Drama, Musical  |  29 June 1956 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 18,295 users  
Reviews: 76 user | 34 critic

A widow accepts a job as a live-in governess to the King of Siam's children.



(screenplay), (book), 1 more credit »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Won 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Oklahoma! (1955)
Musical | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the Oklahoma territory at the turn of the twentieth century, two young cowboys vie with an evil ranch hand and a traveling peddler for the hearts of the women they love.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Gordon MacRae, Gloria Grahame, Gene Nelson
South Pacific (1958)
Musical | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

On a South Pacific island during World War II, love blooms between a young nurse and a secretive Frenchman who's being courted for a dangerous military mission.

Director: Joshua Logan
Stars: Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, John Kerr
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The Egyptian Prince, Moses, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 1850 Oregon, when a backwoodsman brings a wife home to his farm, his six brothers decide that they want to get married too.

Director: Stanley Donen
Stars: Jane Powell, Howard Keel, Jeff Richards
Carousel (1956)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Billy Bigelow has been dead for fifteen years, and now outside the pearly gates, he long waived his right to go back to Earth for a day. But he has heard that there is a problem with his ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Cameron Mitchell
The Music Man (1962)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Harold Hill poses as a boys' band leader to con naive Iowa townsfolk.

Director: Morton DaCosta
Stars: Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of the romance between the King of Siam and widowed British schoolteacher, Anna Leonowens, during the 1860s.

Director: Andy Tennant
Stars: Jodie Foster, Yun-Fat Chow, Bai Ling
Anna and the King (TV Series 1972)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A stern schoolteacher clashes with an aristocratic 19th-century king.

Stars: Yul Brynner, Samantha Eggar, Keye Luke
State Fair (1945)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Farm family Frake, with discontented daughter Margy, head for the Iowa State Fair. On the first day, both Margy and brother Wayne meet attractive new flames; so does father's prize hog, ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Jeanne Crain, Dana Andrews, Dick Haymes
Gigi (1958)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Weary of the conventions of Parisian society, a rich playboy and a youthful courtesan-in-training enjoy a platonic friendship, but it may not stay platonic for long.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan
Crime | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.

Directors: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise
Stars: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A couple falls in love and agrees to meet in six months at the Empire State Building - but will it happen?

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Richard Denning


Complete credited cast:
Martin Benson ...
Terry Saunders ...
Rex Thompson ...
Carlos Rivas ...
Patrick Adiarte ...
Geoffrey Toone ...


Mrs. Anna Leonowens and her son Louis arrive in Bangkok, where she has been contracted to teach English to the children of the royal household. She threatens to leave when the house she had been promised is not available, but falls in love with the children. A new slave, a gift of a vassal king, translates "Uncle Tom's Cabin" into a Siamese ballet. After expressing her unhappiness at being with the King, the slave decides to make an attempt to escape with her lover. Anna and the King start to fall in love, but her headstrong upbringing inhibits her from joining his harem. She is just about to leave Siam but something important she finds out makes her think about changing her mind. Written by Randy Goldberg <goldberg@nymc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


20th Century-Fox's crowning entertainment achievement! See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

29 June 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I  »

Box Office


$4,550,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)| (70 mm re-release)| (1956 roadshow version)


Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The short scene in which Anna is taken through the streets of Bangkok to the King's palace by the royal entourage required 25 sets on a three-acre area on the Fox backlot, not counting the stables for the elephants used in the sequence. See more »


Tuptim's play "Small House of Uncle Thomas" is an inaccurate hodgepodge of characters and scenes from the original book, but this can easily be understood as her best interpretation of the story as a new speaker of English who wants to use the story for her own purposes to change the King's heart. However, few of the references to Buddha or Buddhism within the song are depicted accurately and shows a clear Western interpretation of the religion. Some specific examples are that Buddhists do not view Buddha as God but rather as the founder of their teachings and the first to attain Enlightenment, they do not therefore pray to Buddha for help and guidance, they do not believe in angels, and they do not believe that Buddha calls them to his presence when they die; all of these are strictly Christian beliefs, most likely used in the story for the purpose of relating to a Western audience. See more »


Lady Thiang: They think you dress like that because you shaped like that!
Anna: Well I most certainly am not!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Siam 1862 See more »


Spoofed in Family Guy: The King Is Dead (2000) See more »


Finale Ultimo: Something Wonderful
(1951) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung by Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A magnificent, emotionally packed unusual love story
29 October 2000 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

I originally saw THE KING AND I at the Roxy Theatre in New York when I was ten years old. My grandmother took me after a day trip to the Statue of Liberty, and I was expecting to see one of my favorites, Jan Clayton, the star of LASSIE, in the starring role.

When the movie unfolded I was enraptured by the beautiful redhead playing the lead and realized it wasn't Miss Clayton (whom I later learned had played in the road version of the show, and kids that age don't really know the difference). I went out into the theatre lobby and looked at the ornate program, which listed Mrs. Anna as Deborah Kerr.

What an impression this woman has had on my life over the years from the retelling of the classic tale of the British woman who comes to Siam to teach the king's children. It is superb, not only musically, but from a story standpoint holds up as the best of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals. It is essentially a women's lib story, which makes it as relevant today as it was fifty years ago when it premiered on Broadway.

The fiery, but compassionate Mrs. Anna who is at first turned off by the king and then charmed by him, and who little by little changes him from a near-despot to a man who can grow.

The subplots are fanciful, but lovely and, in the ballet of Uncle Tom, as performed by Tuptim draw a direct analogy to the unpleasant lives endured by Siamese slaves, in particular women. It does so with majesty and intelligence, no less so than Arthur Miller did in "The Crucible," contrasting the Salem Witch Trials with the awful McCarthy political witchhunts on Capitol Hill.

It is an extraordinary achievement, and it is shocking that it did not even make the top 100 AFI films a year ago. It is continually fresh and alive, and every time there is a festival or re-release it does well. Indeed, a few years ago it was shown on a huge screen at The Hollywood Bowl, with orchestral accompaniment, and it was a smash again.

My only regret is that Deborah Kerr (six times nominated for an Oscar) was not gifted with an Academy Award along with her co-star Yul Brynner.

It is a film that should be seen for generations to come.

36 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Two Songs Missing from the Movie betnj
'Thai' language comawhite015
How Did the king get sick??? Chicklet3182
Shall we Dance sequence virginia72585
Deborah Kerr Singing? love_you_hilaryduff
The three deleted numbers from this film. dove100scott
Discuss The King and I (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page