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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Rita Moreno said that the heavy Siamese headdresses she and the ballet dancers wore in "The Small House of Uncle Thomas" ballet sequence gave all of them headaches, which lasted for days. 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 »
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 »
"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.
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