Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna, a British schoolteacher whom the ... See full summary »
Ruthie Ann Miles
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 <email@example.com>
During the "Shall We Dance" number, there is a blanket lying on a stool. The King sits on the stool, and when he stands, the blanket is gone. 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 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 »
Wonderful, glorious colour and Brynner in his finest hour.
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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