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Anna and the King (1999)

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

Director:

Andy Tennant

Writers:

Anna Leonowens (diaries), Steve Meerson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jodie Foster ... Anna
Yun-Fat Chow ... King Mongkut (as Chow Yun-Fat)
Bai Ling ... Tuptim
Tom Felton ... Louis
Syed Alwi Syed Alwi ... The Kralahome
Randall Duk Kim ... General Alak
Kay Siu Lim Kay Siu Lim ... Prince Chowfa (as Lim Kay Siu)
Melissa Campbell Melissa Campbell ... Princess Fa-Ying
Keith Chin Keith Chin ... Prince Chulalongkorn
Mano Maniam Mano Maniam ... Moonshee
Shanthini Venugopal Shanthini Venugopal ... Beebe
Deanna Yusoff Deanna Yusoff ... Lady Thiang
Geoffrey Palmer ... Lord John Bradley
Ann Firbank ... Lady Bradley
Bill Stewart Bill Stewart ... Mycroft Kincaid
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Storyline

This is the story of Anna Leonowens, the English schoolteacher who came to Siam in the 1860s to teach the children of King Mongkut. She becomes involved in his affairs, from the tragic plight of a young concubine to trying to forge an alliance with Britain to a war with Burma that is orchestrated by Britain. In the meantime, a subtle romance develops between them. Written by Tommy Peter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense violent sequences | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Thai | French

Release Date:

17 December 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Anna See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$92,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,223,416, 19 December 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$39,263,420

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$74,733,517
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name given to the wealthy father of Tuptim is actually the name of a famous Thai political scientist. Thak Chaloemtiarana currently directs the Southeast Asia Studies Program at Cornell University. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Anna first meets the King, the French ambassadors are delivering "a present from the King of France" (in French in the dialogue). In the 1860's France did not have a king any longer: its leader Napoleon III had the title of "Emperor". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
King Chulalongkorn: She was the first English woman I had ever met. And it seemed to me she knew more about the world than anyone. But it was a world Siam was afraid would consume them. The monsoon winds had whispered her arrival like a coming storm. Some welcomed the rain, but others feared a raging flood. Still she came, unaware of the suspicion that preceded her. But it wasn't until years later, that I began to appreciate how brave she was, and how alone she must have felt. An English woman. The ...
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Connections

Featured in Troldspejlet: Episode #24.3 (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Daisy, Daisy
Words and Music by Harry Dacre
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
pretty good
16 January 2000 | by Rhino RoverSee all my reviews

This is the second film of the year (the other being "The Green Mile") that I have seen that I believe will recieve Oscar nominations in several categories, of which, best film, best male and femal actor and best cinematography will be definitely considered.

"Anna and the King" is an epic film about a British woman who accepts an offer to go to Siam (Thailand) to teach western education to the King of Siam's 58 children. Upon reaching Siam, Ms. Leonowens (Jodie Foster) is made to find her way to the King's palace by herself and subsequently made to wait weeks before she is allowed to meet him. Coming from a British background she is appalled by this treatment and decides to take matters into her own hands by bursting into the King's court, breaking every protocol on the way, and boldly confronting King Mongkut (Chow Yun-Fat) about her situation. This obviously does not sit well with the King but at the same time he is intrigued by this woman's boldness and so the story begins about cultural education (both British and Siamese) and a blossoming romance that has you yearning for a happy ending.

Foster plays Anna Leonowens very well and at times makes you hate her for her narrow minded view of the world as she portrays a woman who truely believes that "British teachings are the ways of the world." Her comments about British rule and colonization makes you cringe at times as she comes across as this arrogant, cold woman who believes that she is in Siam to bring culture and wisdom to a backwards country. Foster manages to portray every aspect of this character flawlessly and takes the audience for an emotional rollercoaster from, hate to love to compassion and every emotion in between.

The most notable difference in character development is the portrayal of King Mongkut. Chow Yun-Fat brings a quiet strength and sophistication that was never present in Yul Brynner's portrayal of the King. In this film we are shown a very intelligent man that understands more than he lets on. In fact, he seems to lead Ms. Leonowens around without her really knowing it and in some cases teaches her lessons about the world and how it really is. As the saying goes, "actions speak louder than words" and this is definitely the case for King Mongkut. Fat does not have as many lines as Foster does but he is in as many scenes and in most cases commands more of a presence.

The rest of the cast was excellent as well and there were very few slow points in the film. The colors used were very vibrant and creates a feel of exoticness. As well, the cinematography was incredible. Sweeping shots of the landscape showing the green carpets of the land and the incredible shots of the elaborate palace create an atmosphere of an epic film. Subtitles are used quite a bit but it only adds to the authenticity of the film.

The one thing that I was disappointed in was the fact this movie was based on Ms. Leonowens' diary which may be subject to biased occurances of certain situations or historical inaccuracies.

Overall though, I was thoroughly impressed and entertained with this film. Although Jodie Foster is the top billing name, this film definitely belongs to Chow Yun-Fat and it would be ashame not to see him get an oscar consideration for his performance. He is an accomplished international actor and it seems that Hollywood has finally discovered that. My recommendation, go see this film. You will not be disappointed.

A


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