Afternoon Classics

The King and I

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The King and I

The King and I, based on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical of the same name, occupies the summit of the lavish Hollywood musical, with all the visually stunning production values and award winning costumes that a Cinemascope musical could possibly display. In her Oscar nominated performance (one of nine Oscar nominations The King and I would garner), Deborah Kerr is Anna, a widowed Welsh woman sent to Siam with her son to tutor the many children of King Mongkut (Yul Brynner). Thought a barbarian by the English, the stubborn king’s desire to learn the ways of the west is challenged by Anna’s strong will and disapproval of his chauvinistic rule and multiple wives – leaving the King at odds between the old ways and a more enlightened future for Siam. Brynner’s iconic Shall We Dance? scene with Deborah Kerr is among the most famous in cinema history, and it’s easy to see how his bold and bald presence won both a Tony Award in 1952 for the stage play, as well as a Best Actor Oscar for his iconic performance as the king.

Walter Lang
Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Rita Moreno, Martin Benson, Rex Thompson
Running Time
132 minutes

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