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The King and I (1956)

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A widow accepts a job as a live-in governess to the King of Siam's children.

Director:

Walter Lang

Writers:

Ernest Lehman (screenplay), Oscar Hammerstein II (book) | 1 more credit »
Won 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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The story of the romance between the King of Siam and widowed British schoolteacher, Anna Leonowens, during the 1860s.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Deborah Kerr ... Anna Leonowens
Yul Brynner ... King Mongkut of Siam
Rita Moreno ... Tuptim
Martin Benson ... Kralahome
Terry Saunders Terry Saunders ... Lady Thiang
Rex Thompson ... Louis Leonowens
Carlos Rivas ... Lun Tha
Patrick Adiarte ... Prince Chulalongkorn
Alan Mowbray ... Sir John Hay
Geoffrey Toone ... Sir Edward Ramsay
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

In the complete grandeur of CinemaScope 55! Richer - Deeper - Clearer! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Thai

Release Date:

29 June 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,550,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$21,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (with Overture, Entr'acte and Exit Music) (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (1956 Reissue) (Westrex Recording System) (Stereo)| Stereo (1956 Reissue) (Stereo)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was announced, early on, that Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II would write a set of new songs for this film adaptation of their 1951 hit Broadway musical, but of course, this didn't come to pass. See more »

Goofs

Tuptim's play "Small House of Uncle Thomas" is an inaccurate hodgepodge of characters and scenes from the original book, but this can easily be understood as her best interpretation of the story as a new speaker of English who wants to use the story for her own purposes to change the King's heart. However, few of the references to Buddha or Buddhism within the song are depicted accurately and shows a clear Western interpretation of the religion. Some specific examples are that Buddhists do not view Buddha as God but rather as the founder of their teachings and the first to attain Enlightenment, they do not therefore pray to Buddha for help and guidance, they do not believe in angels, and they do not believe that Buddha calls them to his presence when they die; all of these are strictly Christian beliefs, most likely used in the story for the purpose of relating to a Western audience. See more »

Quotes

Tuptim: Good day, Madam. My name is Tuptim. I already speak English.
Anna Leonowens: And very nicely, too.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the 1991 VHS release, after the "Feature Presentation" card fades to black, at first a film called A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969) starts playing, and it goes up until the start of its opening credits, then you hear someone saying that they put in the wrong film. The film stops, a quick reel change slide is put up, and then the real movie starts. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the 1961 rerelease (the 70mm blow-up version), right after the 20th Century Fox logo at the beginning, in place of "A Cinemascope Picture in Cinemascope 55," was "In Grandeur 70" (same background, but the text was huge, streamlined and stretched across the screen in a banner-like curve). See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cosby Show: Shall We Dance? (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Rule Britannia
(1740) (uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Briefly in the score when the British visit Siam
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Wonderful, glorious colour and Brynner in his finest hour.
4 October 2002 | by wisewebwomanSee all my reviews

Brynner is so strongly identified with this role that it is difficult to remember him in anything else. He gives his all in this performance, sometimes way over the top, but it fits with this movie which is in itself over the top, offering us the Hollywood version of Siam and introducing 1955 sensibilities to the era of 1862. No matter.

The musical numbers are great and hummable, most done by Marni Nixon, who dubbed for so many in that era of endless musicals and no-voice stars.

People who protest about the insensibility and racial aspect of these musicals (Showboat and South Pacific, etc. also comes to mind)don't get it - that this is a musical, composed about an unenlightened era and is not a documentary and cannot be taken seriously.

The play within the play is truly magical, I could watch it over and over again, it is a perfect little opera.

Deborah Kerr is terrific in this and should have received an Oscar. I felt sorry for the boy who played her son - I think they appeared again together in Tea and Sympathy, but I could be wrong - there was not much to his role, he had to stand around and just be pretty and nod at his mother a lot. Very difficult.

Rita Moreno excelled as usual.

8 out of 10. Not to be missed.


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