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The King and I (1956)

G  |   |  Biography, Drama, Musical  |  29 June 1956 (USA)
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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 »
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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 ...
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


More Than You've Ever Seen On The Screen! See more »


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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 original Broadway production of "The King and I" opened at the St. James Theater on March 29, 1951, ran for 1246 performances and won the 1952 Tony Award (New York City) for the Best Musical. See more »


When the children are being presented to Anna, one of them turns and walks away instead of backing away as would be expected and the King reacts with surprise. The child recognizes the mistake but then continues to back away; however, in the next shot as the next child approaches Anna the first child is seen to be in front of Anna again, this time backing away properly. See more »


King: When I sit, you sit. When I kneel, you kneel. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Siam 1862 See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror VII (1996) See more »


Getting To Know You
(1951) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung by Deborah Kerr (singing dubbed by Marni Nixon) and Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Hollywood fairy tale
25 June 2001 | by (Philadelphia, PA) – See all my reviews

Having read most of the comments on this picture, I was astonished to see how little understood this classic musical is. Yes, it takes place in 19th century Siam, but it is a fairy tale Siam in the same sense as the fairy tale Paris in An American in Paris. It is not supposed to be a true representation of Asian life. Wake up, Folks! Its a Hollywood adaptation of a Broadway musical! Let's leave the realism to Phat and Foster.

This picture, with its infectious score and dynamic performances, is one of the best of its genre. Who can fail to see the sexual tension between the two leads? Who can not marvel at the entrance of the royal children (check out Brynner's different reaction to each child). How can one not applaud the fantastic House of Uncle Thomas performance at the diplomatic dinner. How can your heart not reel to Shall We Dance?

This is old-line Hollywood at its very best, and may be the last truly great musical. Check your historical, racial, and PC hats at the door and don't miss it!

48 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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