The King and I

Director: Walter Lang

Cast: Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Rita Moreno, Martin Benson, Terry Saunders, Rex Thompson, Carlos Rivas, Patrick Adiarte, Alan Mowbray, Geoffrey Toone, Marni Nixon, Jocelyn Lew, Charles Irwin, William Yip, Leonard Strong, Dusty Worrall, Marion Jim, Dennis Bonilla, Thomas Bonilla

Widow Anna Leonowens (Kerr) and her young son Louis (Thompson) arrive in Bangkok, Siam (Thailand), in 1862. She has been hired to tutor the children of King Mongkut (Brynner). Anna soon learns that the king has several wives and many children, that he is exceedingly arrogant, and that the house she had been promised is not available. She has a mind to leave, but is beguiled by the children. She often clashes with the king, who wants her to be at his beck and call, and who belongs to quite a different culture. But the king is in some ways charming, is often funny, and she senses his respect. Anna makes progress teaching English and Western ways to the children and in a subtle way to the king, and increases her knowledge of Siamís culture. As Anna and the king become closer, he increasingly depends on her for advice, particularly when dealing with British officials seeking to expand Englandís sphere of influence. One of the kingís women, Tuptim (Moreno), a gift from another king, stages a play which is a somewhat bizarre Siamese adaptation of the American book Uncle Tomís Cabin. Tuptim is in love with Lun Tha (Rivas) and chafes at her position of servitude in King Mongkutís court. As Anna and the king become closer, she must choose between the opportunity to live with him, coexisting with his wives and lovers, or remain true to her Western upbringing. Sets, costumes and musical numbers are colorful and spectacular. Musical play by Oscar Hammerstein. Includes the songs Shall We Dance, Getting to Know You, and Hello, Young Lovers. Based on Margaret Landonís book Anna and the King of Siam.


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