Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Favorite Movies - The King and I

I come by my love of reading naturally.  Not only do both my parents love to read but so do the grandmothers and one great-grandmother.  When my father retired from the Air Force we moved back to my mother's hometown in Alabama and into her grandparents house.  One small room downstairs was for the farm office and my great-grandmother turned one wall into nothing but bookshelves.  I was bored one summer and needing something to read and no one to take me to town to the library so I started going through the one in our house (it holds mainly Gran's books and a few of ours and the original owners).  I found A small blue book (any surprise it caught my attention).  It was Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon.  I thoroughly enjoyed the book based on the life of Anna Leonowens who was the teacher in the court of King Mongkut of Siam's children.  Anna served as the teacher for 6 years.  Not long after I finished the book Nanny mentioned it was turned into a movie in 1956.  Okay as a teen a movie from the 1950s was not appealing but we found a copy on tape and watched it during one of my sleepovers.  I fell in love with this movie.
Roger & Hammerstein turned the rights to the book into a Broadway play in 1951 and later into the movie starring Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner.  I will totally admit this is the only version I have ever seen.  I have had no desire to see the cartoon one or the one with Jody Foster.

This is one of my favorite clips.  I love watching Deborah's.skirt swirl around.  

I love that King Mongkut wants to send elephants to Abraham Lincoln to help fight the Civil War.

No surprise the movie won the Academy Award for best costumes that year.  The wardrobe is amazing.  
Yul Brynner also won the best actor award for his role.  Not to mention playing the King on stage 4625 times.  

While looking into the movie I looked up a bit of the history surrounding Anna Leonowens who the fictionalized story is based on.  She was estranged from her family but she is the great aunt of Boris Karloff.

If you have never seen the movie or read the book you will not be disappointed.  

** all videos found on YouTube


  1. I haven't seen the movie nor read the book but now since you mentioned it I'm thinking about reading the book. Who doesn't like a good book?

  2. This is one I have never seen! I need to check it out. Thanks! :)

  3. What a wonderful film and Yul Brynner was amazing in this film, he captivated me throughout and left me weeping at the end. Killing me in my heart when his body finally gave out to lung cancer which if I am not careful I am headed down the same path. Perhaps we can discuss it someday wherever we end up, I was always impressed with his performances. In the King and I, he had a special twinkle and a magic that was captured on film and everyone that has watched this film has seen it. I recommend it highly and I would love to see more of his films but it is so hard to get older films. A friend that works at Dish Network with me was talking about Blockbuster and all the changes that are in the works since Dish bought the company. Kiosks, no more late fees or due dates, movies by mail and other stuff like that. I was delighted as I am sure many are, being that some of the older classics are just difficult to obtain. New customers can even get three months free, for me the big plus was having access to all the great films that I thought had passed into legend. http://bit.ly/jP1NIT