7.4/10
22,474
94 user 40 critic

The King and I (1956)

Trailer
1:34 | Trailer
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 & 12 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:

In the complete grandeur of CinemaScope 55! Richer - Deeper - Clearer! 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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (with Overture, Entr'acte and Exit Music) (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first of three films released in successive years in which Deborah Kerr was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. This film was followed by Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957) and Separate Tables (1958). See more »

Goofs

The map of the world shows a separate Norway. It was not until 1905 that Norway separated from Sweden and became an independent kingdom. Nonetheless a distinct country called Norway did exist, even if it wasn't independent, and it is highlighted in a different color on the map because it leads Anna to teach the children about Norway. See more »

Quotes

Lun Tha: Death is not worse pain than an empty life.
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 »

Alternate Versions

Home video releases have been very inconsistent with whether or not they have the A Boy Named Charlie Brown mock opening to the movie. It was not included on the 1990 VHS release, was reinstated for the 1991 VHS, but removed again for the 1994 VHS release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Venture Bros.: The Devil's Grip (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Prayer To Buddha
(uncredited)
Written by Richard Rodgers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Worthy If Not Ideal Screen Adaptation
14 August 2006 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

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.

Grade: B+


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