The King and I
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The King and I can be found here.

Yes, albeit indirectly. The screenplay for The King and I is based on the 1951 Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical The King and I, which was based on Anna and the King of Siam, a 1944 semi-fictional novel by American writer Margaret Landon. In turn, Landon's novel is based on the memoir, The English Governess at the Siamese Court (1870) by Anna Leonowens, the British educator who was hired in 1862 to teach the wives and children of Mongkut, king of Siam. The musical was adapted for the movie by American screenwriter Ernest Lehman. Landon's novel has been made into two other films about Anna and the king of Siam, Anna and the King of Siam (1946) and Anna and the King (1999).

Yes. Project Gutenberg has placed the noncopyrighted story online. It can be viewed here.

What is this movie about?

The movie details the story of Anna Leonowens (Deborah Kerr), a widowed teacher from England accompanied by her young son Louis (Rex Thompson), who comes to Siam to teach the children of the Siamese King Mongkut (Yul Brynner).

Where is Siam?

The former kingdom of Siam, now known as Thailand, is situated in Southeast Asia, bordered on the north by Laos and Myanmar (formerly Burma), to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Siam and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and Myanmar. The capital city is Bangkok. A map of Thailand can be seen here.

In the film, the King claims to have 106 children with five more due to be born next month. The real King Mongkut [1804-1868] is said to have had 82 children by 39 wives.

Yul Brynner sings his one song, "A Puzzlement". Deborah Kerr's songs were dubbed by Marni Nixon.

How does the movie end?

The King goes into seclusion and Anna prepares to return to England. Just as Anna and Louis are about to leave for the boat, Lady Thiang (Terry Saunders) informs Anna that the King is dying. Anna visits him at his deathbed. The King gives her back the ring he gave her following the dinner for the English ambassador. Princess Ying Yaowalak (Joycelyne Lew) convinces Anna to stay in Siam and continue her role as teacher. Crown Prince Chulalongkorn (Patrick Adiarte) assumes the throne and makes proclamations that there will be (1) fireworks and boat races at the New Year celebration, and (2) no more lowly toad groveling by his subjects, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The King then expires, and Anna caresses his hand.

Yes. Prince Chulalongkorn [1853-1910] assumed the throne upon his father's death in 1868. His reign is considered to be one of the greatest in Siam/Thailand's history.

In the film, the King dies from some unnamed reason, seemingly related to his heart. Viewers have variously interpreted the reason as 1) a "broken heart" due to his love for Anna, 2) his rejection of food during his seclusion, and 3) a heart attack, evidenced by the way he was clutching his chest when he threw down the whip and ran. The real King of Siam, who was a world renown astronomer, died of malaria following an expedition to watch a solar eclipse south of Bangkok.

Anna was hired in 1862 and left the position in 1867, a period of almost six years.

The hit Fox film, The King and I, had its exclusive Midwest showing in Chicago beginning on Friday, June 29, 1956, at the Oriental theatre, Randolph near State. The film played several weeks.

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 1 year ago
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