Anna And The King Of Siam (1946)

JOHN CROMWELL

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1946.  Screenplay by , , based on the biography by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1946.  Cannes Film Festival 1946.  

It was Gertrude Lawrence who first saw this original filmed adaptation of Margaret Langdon’s same-titled novel and approached Rodgers and Hammerstein with the idea to turn it into a Broadway vehicle for her. I’d say the filmed version of the musical, The King And I with Deborah Kerr, is still my favourite, but don’t dismiss this one, it’s an excellent drama with much to recommend it. is marvelous as governess Anna Leonowens, who has come to Siam with her young son to teach all manner of subjects to the many children of the powerful King ().  Once there, she finds herself in a personality power struggle that threatens her sense of self but helps her gain a little confidence in her work. There’s a lot more character detail in this version for those who have only been exposed to the musical, and here the tone is decidedly nastier (witness Tuptim’s fate, much gorier in this version). Beautiful, sumptuous sets and costumes and marvelous performances under steady direction.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s