Matchmaker Dolly Levi travels to Yonkers to find a partner for "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder, convincing his niece, his niece's intended, and his two clerks to travel to New York City along the way.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Anna is summoned by the king in the middle of the night (at around 1 min), the king's left hand switches between resting on a pillow and pointing in a book between shots. See more »
King Mongkut of Siam:
You think you teach King lesson, but this is one lesson you do not be paid for teaching. In the future, you will stop instructing wives and children in silly English song "Home Sweet House". To remind me of breaking promises I never make, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Your majesty, I do not intend to have my boy brought up in a harem, and you did promise me a house; "a brick residence adjoining the palace," those were your very words in the letter.
King Mongkut of Siam:
[obviously does remember]
I do not remember ...
[...] See more »
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 »
An overture was added to the film (and intermission and exit music as well) for the roadshow version, but were never used on the pre-1998 VHS versions or the 2014 DVD and Blu-ray. See more »
Director Walter Lang does his best to ruin what may be Rodgers & Hammerstein's strongest stage musical, but he's no match for the stellar material.
He directs with a stodgy, anonymous style -- why actually move your camera around a set when you can root it to the floor as if it's a potted plant? With the exception of Yul Bryner and Deborah Kerr, he elicits performances from his cast that would be at home in a cheesy sword-and-sandal Biblical epic. And the film has that overblown, garish visual design too common to big films from this time period, that manages to look both cheap and expensive at the same time, as if all the sets are made out of brightly colored plexiglass.
But, and this is a big "but," this musical tells a beautiful story about cultural tolerance that remains intact in the film, and the movie offers the strong performances of Bryner and Kerr, both perfectly cast in their roles. "Carousel" may have given audiences the most sophisticated R&H score, but for me, the music in "The King and I" remains the most glorious. Too bad the adapted film score severely truncates its stage counterpart: many songs are missing entirely, and almost all of those left are shortened versions.
Happily, the "Small House of Uncle Thomas" ballet sequence remains in the film and retains the original Jerome Robbins choreography as it appeared on stage. It may just be the most memorable musical number ever conceived for stage or screen.
This film isn't the best possible screen adaptation of a nearly perfect stage show, but thanks to Bryner and Kerr, and of course R&H, it'll do.
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