In 1875 London, young Wheeler (who lives by scavenging) finds a cameo of Queen Victoria, which he thinks so beautiful, he risks his life to save it. Possessed of a desire to see the Queen, ... See full summary »
In 1862, young English widow Anna Owens (Irene Dunne) accepts the job of teaching the royal children of Siam. On her arrival in Bangkok, culture clash is immediate. King Mongkut (Sir Rex Harrison) respects Anna for standing up to him, though this appalls his courtiers. In due course, she becomes the King's confidant and diplomatic advisor. Their relationship endures through many trials.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
As the various Consulates are being established, there are several errors involving the national flags; the British Union Jack is shown upside down, the French flag is replaced by that of The Netherlands, and the US flag is shown with 48 stars (correct for 1946, but in 1870 there were only 37 states). See more »
[Anna, thinking the king is a barbarian, is about to leave. The Kralahome has had her brought to his office at night to reason with her. She is outraged]
How dare you treat me in this manner. I demand an explanation, and I warn you...
Be quiet, sir.
...that I'm a British subject.
That is nor reason you are safe. I could have you killed if that would serve my purpose. Such things are simple here.
[Walks across room]
Sir, did you enjoy your triumph about your house? Because you shall now ...
[...] See more »
The 2006 UK DVD was cut by 2 secs by the BBFC to remove a horse-trip. See more »
Like other reviewers on here, I knew the musical The King and I, which I have always enjoyed, before I finally saw this movie. And, as others have said, they are two different things, each with their own merits.
What I enjoyed most about this very fine movie was the particularly fine performance of Irene Dunne. I've seen her in other movies where she delivers a nuanced and understated performance, which is true of this movie as well, and in spades. There are times when just watching how she plays various emotions across her face is fascinating by itself. Other times she lets us see hints of emotions that her character then suppresses. Harrison is good as the King, though he plays him with broader strokes, as the script calls him to do. Anna is a complex individual, however, and Dunne does full justice to all its complexity.
I just watched this movie again tonight, and I was struck, again, by Dunne's fine, understated performance, but also by the intelligence of the script and the pacing. The main characters are all three-dimensional, in an era when it would have been easy to do caricatures of the Siamese characters. Things move along at an unhurried pace, but it is never too slow.
It's really one very fine movie.
And now I've watched it yet again on TCM, and my admiration for this movie only grows. I still stick by everything I've written in the past. Another thing that struck me on this latest watching was the very intelligent discussion of the importance of the rule of law. I have no idea if that exists in the book on which this movie was based. But this movie makes repeated and intelligent argument emphasizing that arbitrary rule by personal whim is not acceptable in the modern world. It must have struck particular chords in the immediate post-World War II world into which it was released.
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