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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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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:

20th Century-Fox's crowning entertainment achievement! 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:

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

At least four women were considered for the role of Anna, which ultimately went to actor Deborah Kerr. Potential candidates for the combination singing/acting role, were ruled out for various reasons and included Gertrude Lawrence, Maureen O'Hara, and Dinah Shore. All except Kerr were excellent singers. See more »

Goofs

In "March of the Siamese Children," when the crown prince appears the King greets him with his arms crossed. After the prince is presented to Mrs. Anna and starts backing away, a shot of the King shows him very proudly looking at his son with his hands behind his back. In the next shot, however, the King's arms are crossed again. See more »

Quotes

Anna Leonowens: In your house she's just another woman. Like a bowl of rice is a bowl of rice no different from any other bowl of rice.
King Mongkut of Siam: Now you understand about women! So, many English books talk about love et cetera, et cetera, et cetera! Ha!
Anna Leonowens: You disapprove?
King Mongkut of Siam: It is a silly complication of a general simplicity. A woman is designed for pleasing man that is all. A man is deigned to be pleased by many women
Anna Leonowens: Then how do you explain, your majesty, that many men remain faithful to one wife?
King Mongkut of Siam: They are sick.
Anna Leonowens: Oh, but you...
[...]
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 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

I Whistle A Happy Tune
(1951) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Deborah Kerr (dubbed by Marni Nixon) and Rex Thompson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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