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No consensus yet.
All Critics (25)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (24)
| Rotten (1)
| DVD (1)
All the ingredients that made Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I a memorable stage experience have been faithfully transferred to the screen.
Over-long but visually spectacular.
If you don't...see [The King and I], believe us, you'll be missing a grand and moving thing.
Starring Yul Brynner in the part he seemed born to play, this is a fine if slightly stage-bound example of the 1950s Hollywood musical spectacular.
A beautiful film with a score I didn't much care for.
A boisterous, big-costumed classic musical.
Walter Lang's screen version is too theatrical but the score by Rodgers and Hammerstein is glorious and the acting by Yul Brynner in his most iconic role and Deborah Kerr is superb, overcoming Marnie Nixon's colorless voice.
A chronicle of colonialism that poses itself as an easy-to-dismiss artifact, yet reveals itself to be an enduring statement about why people can't get along.
The popular pick for the best Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is probably The Sound of Music, but I'm throwing in for The King and I.
The King and I (1956) is the popular and elaborate musical and story of the tutoring of the stubborn, King of Siam's wives and children by widowed English school teacher Anna Leonowens in 1862.
Tuneful, mesmerizing (Brynner) R&H musical
An English teacher takes up residence in the King of Siam's palace.
There are some films that succumb to what I call the "D.W. Griffiths Effect." Lawrence of Arabia is the first one that pops into my mind. The film is racist in our time but isn't in its own. So the film becomes stuck in its own era, unable to transcend to the timeless. Few films are so well-made and of themselves delightful that a conscientious critic can both enjoy and abhor it at the same time. The King and I is one of the latter. Certainly subject to the D.W. Griffiths Effect, with Yul Brynner speaking in a mockery of an Asian accent and little Asian kids short-stepping about in the kind of cuteness that Westerners endow the East, The King and I is nevertheless charming, and Brynner is as charismatic and wildly sexy as ever. It's a likeable film, harmless in its simplicity and eminently hummable.
The best that can be said of Deborah Kerr is that she is able to move in a massive dress.
Overall, there are some people who argue that the D.W. Griffiths Effect is bullshit, that we should judge a film based on its own time, and they must love this film.
Great musical if not somewhat racist with Yul Brynner playing an Asian king.
Sumptuous as this is undoubtedly, it's the battle between Kerr and Brynner that's most memorable. Brynner won Best Oscar for his performance ... see if you agree that he doesn't indeed deserve it.
The Remake was better just like the Original one.
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