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The King and I (1956)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Musical | 29 June 1956 (USA)
A widow accepts a job as a live-in governess to the King of Siam's children.



(screenplay), (book) | 1 more credit »
3,466 ( 253)

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



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


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


In the complete grandeur of CinemaScope 55! Richer - Deeper - Clearer! See more »


Approved | 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?


At one point, Fox executives suggested that the story be changed so that the King would be gored by a white elephant, rather than become ill because of a personal humiliation. Understandably, this made Yul Brynner furious, and he insisted that the story stick to the stage version. See more »


The map displayed in the class room showed a contiguous 48 United States, although many of those states, especially in the west, had not achieved statehood in 1865. See more »


King: You are very difficult woman!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits first say "Twentieth-Century Fox presents a Cinemascope Picture in Cinemascope 55", and then they go on to say "Darryl F. Zanuck presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's 'The King and I'". See more »


Spoofed in The Girl Can't Help It (1956) See more »


Hello, Young Lovers
(1951) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Deborah Kerr (dubbed by Marni Nixon)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera
20 June 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"The King and I" was a personal triumph for Yul Brynner and Gertrude Lawrence when the musical made its debut on Broadway. The king of the story seemed to be tailor-made for Mr. Brynner, who made it his signature role and returned with it to the musical theater, again and again.

As captured in film, directed by Walter Lang, "The King and I" is quite a splendid showcase for Mr. Brynner. Since Ms. Lawrence was not chosen to repeat the role of Anna that she created on the stage, her substitute was Deborah Kerr, an immensely talented actress who was a delight in any of the films she graced with her talent and charm.

As a spectacle, this movie is full of exotic colors of what Hollywood thought Siam would look like in the years where the story takes place. The film works as well because of the charismatic performance of Yul Brynner and the terrific chemistry he and Ms. Kerr projected in the film.

All the elements of a Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical are in place. The music serves the story being told. "The King and I" will charm its viewers because of the amazing impact Yul Brynner made in it.

31 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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