Anna and the King of Siam - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Anna and the King of Siam Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 11, 2008
nominated for best picture by NBR
May 28, 2008
The original & my fav rendition of the story
March 17, 2008
I am starting to hate these sequels that keep coming out.
March 6, 2008
wow...i felt asleep twice
February 26, 2008
In the first version of this story preceding the more popular Yul Brynner/Deborah Kerr collaboration as well as the Jodie Foster/Chow Yun-Fat version from a couple years ago, Anna and the King of Siam follows the story of an English school teacher sent to Siam to teach English and culture to the King's children. Predictably, she ends up educating the king himself the most. In a series of mishaps, hijinks, and cheap linguistic faux-pas, the king fumbles his way through contemporary American history ("Lincoln doesn't use elephants?!"), table manners (he forgets to give his guests napkins at a fancy dinner or to use his spoon for the soup) and social graces (he calls a particularly ugly woman an "anecdote").

In the ridiculous cinematic tradition of the time of employing white actors as Asians a la Katherine Hepburn in Dragon Seed, Rex Harrison and his black eyeliner-created slanty eyes plays the king and, even more out-of-place, Lee J. Cobb plays his deputy. Irene Dunne saves her character with one of her usual graceful, dependable performance and Gale Sondergaard manages to rise above the inherent stereotyping provided by her makeup and dress to turn in a quietly exceptional, Academy Award-nominated performance as the king's first wife, Lady Thiang. The scene in which she explains the murals is a touching moment in a film largely made up of Dunne's reaction shots to Harrison's buffonery.

Interestingly, Sondergaard, whose visage was apparently the inspiration for the Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, famously rejected the role of the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz upon learning that the witch would be "ugly".

Linda Darnell as one of the king's wives, who is burned at the stake as a cautionary tale to others, is seductively serviceable.
February 13, 2008
This was a good oldie
January 4, 2008
great...but King and I was better
December 28, 2007
This sounds exactly like The King and I. How is it not?
November 19, 2007
the old classic is a good film.
½ October 22, 2007
This movie is pretty cheesy. I love Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison but its so cheesy. Rex Harrison is funny trying to be the King of Siam. Linda Darnell as one of his wives is kinda silly too. Irene Dunne does give a good performance though. Just stick with the musical The King and I.
½ October 21, 2007
Although it won an Oscar for its admittedly lush cinematography, its staginess doesn't showcase Miller's mad skills behind the lens (see: "Razor's Edge"). Steeped in a doe-eyed American pretense, which becomes more "innocently" racist as time grinds on, this account of Anna Owens' tutelage in Siam is a flavourless Hollywood rice cake. However, Rex Harrison's strange child-like enthusiasm is kinda cute.
September 30, 2007
I saw this post war film on TV last year and it's still very watchable and the story doesn't appear very dated at all.
½ September 28, 2007
Rex got criticized for doing this role, but I thought it was great.
½ June 16, 2007
i've only seen the first half of this one - i want to see the rest :(
June 1, 2007
I also need to see the version to see if it's better and more accurate or buy the book and read it...
May 31, 2007
This is the first excellant adaptation of the play later to become the musical The King and I. Rex Harrison is very good an Irene Dunnes perfomance is splendid.
½ May 27, 2007
Good story -- different from the King and I
½ May 21, 2007
The first movie made about the relationship between the King of Siam and the teacher whom he hired to teach his wives and children. A good movie, but the movie The King & I starring Deborah Kerr is the better one. Still this is a movie people should see.
May 21, 2007
never heard of this movie!
May 20, 2007
Rodgers and Hammerstein's most magical film. Captures better than any film I've seen the magic of the exotic, as well as the splendour of another world.
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