An ex-husband and wife team star in a musical version of 'The Taming of the Shrew'; off-stage, the production is troublesome with ex-lovers' quarrels and a gangster looking for some money owed to them.
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 <email@example.com>
Although Walter Lang is given sole directorial credit on the film, Yul Brynner repeatedly clashed with him and made many of the directorial suggestions which found their way into the finished film. See more »
In the "Shall We Dance" sequence, Anna lays her shawl on the bench before the dance and the King sits on it. When the camera is on the king again, the shawl is no longer on the bench or on the floor. See more »
This girl hurt your vanity... she didn't hurt your heart! You have no heart! You've never loved anyone and you never will.
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Wonderful, glorious colour and Brynner in his finest hour.
Brynner is so strongly identified with this role that it is difficult to remember him in anything else. He gives his all in this performance, sometimes way over the top, but it fits with this movie which is in itself over the top, offering us the Hollywood version of Siam and introducing 1955 sensibilities to the era of 1862. No matter.
The musical numbers are great and hummable, most done by Marni Nixon, who dubbed for so many in that era of endless musicals and no-voice stars.
People who protest about the insensibility and racial aspect of these musicals (Showboat and South Pacific, etc. also comes to mind)don't get it - that this is a musical, composed about an unenlightened era and is not a documentary and cannot be taken seriously.
The play within the play is truly magical, I could watch it over and over again, it is a perfect little opera.
Deborah Kerr is terrific in this and should have received an Oscar. I felt sorry for the boy who played her son - I think they appeared again together in Tea and Sympathy, but I could be wrong - there was not much to his role, he had to stand around and just be pretty and nod at his mother a lot. Very difficult.
Rita Moreno excelled as usual.
8 out of 10. Not to be missed.
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