The King and I (1956)

Genres - Musical, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Romance, Romantic Drama  |   Release Date - Jun 28, 1956 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 133 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - G
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Review by Brendon Hanley

The King and I typifies the elaborate Broadway musical adaptations with which Hollywood studios often tried to fight the advance of television of 1950s. Shot in an extreme widescreen version of CinemaScope to counter the smallness of the TV screen, the film offers equally grand set design, costumes, and cinematography. The songs and performances are equally impressive: Yul Brynner won an Oscar for his career-best performance as the King of Siam; and Deborah Kerr's singing was dubbed by the capable Marni Nixon, who had been responsible for Natalie Wood's singing voice in West Side Story and Audrey Hepburn's in My Fair Lady. Based on the book Anna and the King of Siam, the story has been filmed at least three times: as the 1946 drama Anna and the King of Siam; as an animated musical of the same name, in 1999; and the non-musical Anna and the King, also from that same year.