January 9th, 2021


Movie Critique - Anna and the King of Siam

Stars: 4 / 5

Recommendation: A fine adaptation of a classic tale despite the subtle negativities shown, the film is elegantly produced with some superb action, and a very touching plot. 

Anna and the King of Siam is a 1946 drama film directed by John Cromwell and produced by Louis D. Lighton. The lead cast includes Irene Dunne, Sir Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Lee J. Cobb and Gale Sondergaard. The film is an adaptation of the 1944 novel of the same name by Margaret London, screenplay for which was written by Talbot Jennings and Sally Benson.

In 2019 I had the opportunity to watch the Broadway show King and I which is when for the first time I came to know about the film it was based on - Anna and the King Siam - and the oh so many Broadway plays they performed. I was curious to watch the movie that began the play's journey to fame in Broadway world. And as always Turner Classic Movies (TCM) never fails me. So, here is my review.

The plot is set in 1862. Anna Owens (portrayed by Irene Dunne) arrives in Bangkok along with her son Louis (portrayed by Richard Lyon). She becomes the governess and teacher to King of Siam, Mongkut's (portrayed by Sir Rex Harrison) very many wives and his 67 children. Lady Thiang (portrayed by Gale Sondergaard), the head wife, who knows English becomes the mediator between the rest of the wives and kids; and Anna. 

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