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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.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (book) | 1 more credit »
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4,239 ( 556)
Won 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Anna Leonowens
... King Mongkut of Siam
... Tuptim
... Kralahome
Terry Saunders ... Lady Thiang
... Louis Leonowens
... Lun Tha
... Prince Chulalongkorn
... Sir John Hay
... 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:

The Fabulous Broadway Stage Success Comes to the Screen! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 June 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,550,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$21,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(1956 Reissue) (Westrex Recording System) (Stereo)| (1956 Reissue) (Stereo)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The cost of the film was ten times more than that of the original lavish Broadway production. 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

Anna: All properly dressed English ladies always wear undergarments.
King: I have opinion that, in this regard, England is very backward nation.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Featured in The Sound of Music: From Fact to Phenomenon (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Shall We Dance
(1951) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Sung by Deborah Kerr (dubbed by Marni Nixon) and Yul Brynner
Danced by Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Hollywood fairy tale
25 June 2001 | by See all my reviews

Having read most of the comments on this picture, I was astonished to see how little understood this classic musical is. Yes, it takes place in 19th century Siam, but it is a fairy tale Siam in the same sense as the fairy tale Paris in An American in Paris. It is not supposed to be a true representation of Asian life. Wake up, Folks! Its a Hollywood adaptation of a Broadway musical! Let's leave the realism to Phat and Foster.

This picture, with its infectious score and dynamic performances, is one of the best of its genre. Who can fail to see the sexual tension between the two leads? Who can not marvel at the entrance of the royal children (check out Brynner's different reaction to each child). How can one not applaud the fantastic House of Uncle Thomas performance at the diplomatic dinner. How can your heart not reel to Shall We Dance?

This is old-line Hollywood at its very best, and may be the last truly great musical. Check your historical, racial, and PC hats at the door and don't miss it!


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