THE KING AND I (Theatrical Release USA 1956)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.1|5.0 Stars ìììì

The King and I is good, a worthy watch despite its age. While it’s not the best of Rodger and Hammerstein musicals, it holds its own with Yul Brenner and Deborah Kerr perfectly cast to meet each other on equal footing. The script is very well written. The movie kindly looks at the difficulty of moving from old traditions into new modes of thinking and solving problems. The film skillfully weaves in several back stories that increase the depth of the primary story. There is a charming rendition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin as interpreted by Siamese dancers that is absolutely worth seeing. The movie has an unexpected resolution that highlights the fact that sometimes it takes generations of time to make necessary changes, but that education and good teachers are the key to making that happen.

Storyline

King Mongkut of Siam hires Anna Leonowens to educate royal children.

Additional Thanks

Great work for Director Walter Lang. Thank you to Executive Producer Darryl F. Zanuck for making the film possible. Wonderful music by Richard Rodgers. Terrific writing by screenplay writer Ernest Lehman based on the book by Oscar Hammerstein II/musical play by Margaret Landon. Additional characters/cast include: Tuptim (Rita Moreno), Kralahome (Martin Benson), Lady Thiang (Terry Saunders) Louis Leonowens (Rex Thompson), Lun Tha (Carlos Rivas), and Prince Chylalongkorn (Patrick Adiarte).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe? 

Yes. Excellent discussion material for after-viewing mark this timeless movie as a great re-watch and perfect addition to the family home video library.

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Ben Meyers

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