|Index||4 reviews in total|
Buried on Disc 2 on the King and I DVD is the pilot episode for Anna
and the King.
The fact that it made me want to see all 13 episodes must be saying that the pilot did its job. Yul was of course, outstanding as a small screen king. Samantha Eggars was a great choice for Anna. The writing was very thoughtful and the sets were very pretty for a 30 minute sitcom.
Actually, I didn't think it was a sitcom per se until the laugh track jarred me out of the show. This was the quiet muffled version of the laugh track that we grew up hearing in shows like Andy Griffith, Green Acres, Doris Day and MASH. It was really out of place in Siam. Nothing would have been so much better. But really, this is a very minor point.
As family sitcoms go, this one is charming and delightful and actually has aged better than many shows from that same era.
This TV series was theoretically based on "Anna and the King of Siam" rather than the musical "The King and I." Very little music, and the already-ill Yul Brynner trying to limit his screen time as much as possible. Actually, in the tone and attitude, it could have been a remake of "Family Affair," with its slowness, its deliberate moralizing, and Keye Luke playing a prime minister the way Sebastian Cabot played Mr. French. At a time when "M*A*S*H" was redefining TV comedy and drama, and showing Asians as fully-rounded individuals of all types, this show seemed to have fallen through a time warp from the late 50's.
This television series marked the surrender of Yul Brynner to the role
that made him. Even though the television show was not a success it
marked for Brynner the fact he would never escape being King Mongkut of
Siam. For the rest of his life Brynner would be the King of Siam be it
here or in various revivals of The King And I.
Watching the pilot I noted that no real mention of The King And I was made. That the title was Anna And The King is noteworthy as the fact that not a note of Rodgers&Hammerstein's music is heard.
The King And I is a favorite Broadway show of mine and this TV series was a let down. I suspect for Yul Brynner as well, he was probably just as happy it went for 13 episodes and he could get back to the big screen and for stock company revivals of The King And I. I have to say it was jarring to hear a laugh track on this show. Not unusual for a television comedy, but almost sacrilegious for one of Broadway's most prestigious shows.
I would also love to know whose idea it was to make the Anna Leonowens character an American. And then hire Samantha Eggar an English actress to play her. That truly does not compute.
Poor Keye Luke who played the Kralahome must have also been grateful the series was canceled. In The King And I and in Anna And The King Of Siam which was a dramatic version of the Margaret Landon book that starred Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison. The Kralahome is a fierce character and an antagonist of the schoolteacher. Here Keye Luke looks and sounds like a blithering idiot.
This might have made an interesting series, but it certainly was done all wrong here.
while a bit dated, this film is more watchable than the extravagant
musical with Deborah Kerr. This film is a pleasant history lesson for
children who need to learn and respect other cultures.
If you saw the Broadway show, the elaborate costumes and customs of the culture at the time were unique and intriguing.
This film was made into a TV series for younger audiences in the mid 1970's. It was thought-provoking and different, and would be worth finding, if there are any tapes available.
Perhaps someone has recorded this, if they have, please post where a copy could be obtained.
|External reviews||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|