The King and I is a 1956 musical film made by 20th Century Fox, directed by Walter Lang and produced by Charles Brackett and Darryl F. Zanuck. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is based on the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical The King and I, based in turn on the book Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon. The plot comes from the story written by Anna Leonowens, who became school teacher to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s. Leonowens' story was autobiographical, although a recent biographer has uncovered substantial inaccuracies and fabrications. An animated adaptation/remake was made in 1999.
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The King and I is a 1956 musical film made by 20th Century Fox, directed by Walter Lang and produced by Charles Brackett and Darryl F. Zanuck. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is based on the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical The King and I, based in turn on the book Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon. The plot comes from the story written by Anna Leonowens, who became school teacher to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s. Leonowens' story was autobiographical, although a recent biographer has uncovered substantial inaccuracies and fabrications. An animated adaptation/remake was made in 1999
The King and I (1956)
G | 2h 13min | Biography, Drama, Musical | 29 June 1956 (USA)
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 »
Stars: Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, Rita Moreno
The King and I (1956)
Directed by Walter Lang
Genres - Musical, Romance | Sub-Genres - Musical Romance, Romantic Drama | Run Time - 133 min. | Countries - USA | MPAA Rating - G
Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The King and I, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's 1951 Broadway musical hit, was based on Margaret Landon's book Anna and the King of Siam. Since 20th-Century-Fox had made a film version of the Landon book in 1946, that studio had first dibs on the movie adaptation of The King and I. Deborah Kerr plays English widow Anna Leonowens, who comes to Siam in the 1860s to tutor the many wives and children of the country's progressive King (Yul Brynner, recreating his Broadway role-and winning an Oscar in the process). The culture clash between Anna and the King is but one aspect of their multilayered relationship. Through Anna, the King learns the refineries and responsibilities of "modern" western civilization; Anna meanwhile comes to realize how important it is for an Oriental ruler to maintain his pride and to uphold the customs of his people. After a successful evening entertaining foreign dignitaries, Anna and the King celebrate with an energetic dance, but this is cut short by a bitter quarrel over the cruel punishment of the King's new Burmese wife Tuptim (Rita Moreno), who has dared to fall in love with someone else. Despite the many rifts between them, Anna and the monarch come to respect and (to a degree) love one another. When the King dies, Anna agrees to stay on to offer help and advice to the new ruler of Siam, young Prince Chulalongkhorn (Patrick Adiarte). In general, The King and I tends to be somewhat stagey, with the notable exception of the matchless "Small House of Uncle Thomas" ballet, which utilizes the Cinemascope 55 format to best advantage (the process also does a nice job of "handling" Deborah Kerr's voluminous hoopskirts). Most of the Broadway version's best songs ("Getting to Know You", "Whistle a Happy Tune", "A Puzzlement", "Shall We Dance" etc.) are retained. None of the omissions are particularly regrettable, save for Anna's solo "Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?" This feisty attack on the King's chauvinism was specially written to suit the talents of Gertrude Lawrence, who played Anna in the original production; the song was cut from the film because it made Deborah Kerr seem "too bitchy" (Kerr's singing, incidentally, is dubbed for the most part by the ubiquitous Marni Nixon). When all is said and done, the principal attraction of The King and I is Yul Brynner, in the role that made him a star and with which he will forever be identified.
Songwriter, Wealth, Widow/widower, High Artistic Quality, High Production Values, Cross-Cultural-Relations, Dance [art], Forbidden-Love, Friendship, Love, Polygamy, Romance, Royalty, Attract, Nannies and Caregivers, Aristocracy, Battle-Of-The-Sexes, Child, Conflict, In the Mood for Love, Pick-Me-Ups, Interracial/Cross-Cultural Romance, Colonialism, Opposites
Couple Profile Source
1860s, Remake, Chakri Dynasty, Androgyny, Dowry, Father Son Relationship, Based On Play, Based On True Story, Based On Book, Based On Novel, Character Name In Title, Telescope, Ship, Ring, Prime Minister, Play, Palace, Map, Letter, Elephant, ?boat, Monarchy, Mother Son Relationship, Forbidden Love, Whistling, Chopsticks, Lifting Someone Into The Air, Tutor, Single Mother, Malaria, Blockbuster, Epic, Tony Award Source, Misunderstanding, Dancing, School Teacher, Royal Court, Consort, Burma, Inter Cultural, Culture Clash, Temple, Pagoda, Barge, Bangkok Thailand, Sailing Ship, Based On Film, Based On Stage Musical, Siam, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Royal Tutor, Four Word Title, 19th century, Female Protagonist, Buddha
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