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The King and I (1956)

Yul Brynner , Deborah Kerr , Walter Lang  |  G |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (445 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, Rita Moreno, Martin Benson, Terry Saunders
  • Directors: Walter Lang
  • Writers: Ernest Lehman, Margaret Landon, Oscar Hammerstein II
  • Producers: Charles Brackett, Darryl F. Zanuck
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: April 27, 1999
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (445 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305280770
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,416 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The King and I" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Movietone News Trailers
  • Sing Along

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The third Rodgers & Hammerstein Broadway hit to go before the cameras, The King and I boasts a career-making performance from Yul Brynner, repeating his stage triumph as the titular monarch and proving to moviegoers that bald can be beautiful. It's Brynner's proud king that provides the fulcrum to the plot, and it's Brynner himself, with his piercing gaze and graceful physicality, that demands our attention.

The story line, adapted from an earlier, nonmusical stage hit, follows widowed English teacher Anna Leonowens (Deborah Kerr) to her new posting as tutor to the Siamese king's formidable mob of children. The collision of East and West affords its winning mixture of drama and humor, and the warm friendship that grows between the king and the patrician teacher provides a poignant, unfulfilled romance between the two wary protagonists. Into this framework, the composers insert a superb score, echoing Asian motifs, as well as a bouquet of lovely songs including "Hello, Young Lovers," "Shall We Dance," and two ensemble pieces for Anna and the royal children ("Getting to Know You" and "I Whistle a Happy Tune") that suggest prototypes for Rodgers & Hammerstein's later hit, The Sound of Music.

For this 1956 production, 20th Century Fox lavished stereophonic sound, widescreen cinematography, intricate production design, and stunning sets. Technically, this newly mastered THX version is the best-looking and -sounding King yet to hit video. But, regardless of format, the glorious music is reason enough to hit "play." --Sam Sutherland

Product Description

Mrs. Anna Leonowens and her son Louis arrive in Bangkok, where she has contracted to teach English to the children of the royal household. She threatens to leave when the house she had been promised is not available, but falls in love with the children. A new slave, a gift of a vassal king, translates "Uncle Tom's Cabin" into a Siamese ballet, expressing her unhappiness at being with the King. She attempts to escape with her lover. Anna and the King fall in love, but her British upbringing inhibits her from joining his harem.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
207 of 212 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh, no! Fox has made another R&H-blunder! October 30, 2006
Format:DVD
It's finally here! The so-called definitive version of this lovely classic has now been restored AGAIN from the surviving 55mm negative, and there is indeed cause for cheers. Yes, it is now finally anamorphic on DVD! And yes, it looks absolutely gorgeous! Better color, sharpness and contrast than the old DVD issued in 1999 - and that one still looks quite impressive thanks to THX, although sadly non-anamorphic. Even so, the new one looks superior and has lots more bonus material!

But now a sad warning: If you own the old DVD and want this beauty of a film in its complete roadshow version - keep it by all means! The new 50th Anniversary Edition lacks the Overture, the Intermission Music and the Exit Music!

Incredible! And all that lush music was available on the 1999 DVD! What goes on in the heads of the people in charge at Fox? After the fiasco with the Todd-AO "Oklahoma!" recently, Fox should very well know by now that fans of these Rodgers & Hammerstein-films are not likely to accept inferior and sloppy product. Here's a loud and clear boo aimed at Fox Home Video top brass from one fan! Get yourselves new jobs outside the entertainment industry and leave the DVD-business to smart film lovers who are also responsible professionals!
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth the wait... August 29, 2006
Format:DVD
This brand-new 50th Anniversary edition of THE KING AND I is a must for all fans of the timeless Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece. Widowed English schoolteacher Anna Leonowens (Deborah Kerr) travels to Siam after she is offered a position to tutor the children of the King (Yul Brynner). Once in Siam, Anna and the King clash on matters of politics, ethics and the heart...two very different individuals who manage to still find the very best in each other. This magical movie has never looked or sounded better, in a new DVD remaster. Audio commentary for the film is provided by Michael Portantiere and Richard Barrios.

This DVD has been available for a while in the UK and Australia, and will finally get a US release this November. Extra features will include the pilot episode of the "Anna and the King" TV series starring Samantha Eggar and Brynner (with optional commentary by Eggar); vintage performances from the "General Foods" Rodgers & Hammerstein TV tribute (Patricia Morison and Brynner). Several new featurettes and rare MovieTone news segments.
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98 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Musicals of All Time! June 12, 2004
Format:DVD
Rodgers and Hammerstein's THE KING AND I (1956) is a wonderous movie musical, an incredible adaption of the Broadway musical that premiered on stage in 1951 (and has been performed tens of thousands of times since). It tells a timeless story about tradition vs. modernity, Eastern vs. Western culture and men vs. women. This story was first written as the first-hand account of Anna Leonowens' experiences in Siam in the mid-19th Century, where she had been hired by King Mongkut to teach his many children, in his hopes to push Siam into the modern age. This account was first adapted for the big screen as ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM (1946); unseen by me, it has been highly regarded in its own right, and starred Irene Dunne and Rex Harrison. THE KING AND I stars Deborah Kerr (last name pronounced "Carr") and Yul Brynner. Deborah Kerr completely embodies the strong-willed but emotionally fragile young widow Anna Leonowens; she makes Anna into a character with whom we identify and sympathize. We side with her in all disputes, from demanding that she be given her own house in which to stay as part of the original deal, to calling King Mongkut to task for enforcing double-standard sexual laws that were outdated and demeaning to women even at that time. As the equally strong-willed King Mongkut, Yul Brynner commands the screen in every scene he's in. You simply cannot look away. His King Mongkut is someone who wants to change Siam for the better, yet struggles to cling to many of the same traditions that he slowly begins to realize is partly responsible *for* holding Siam back. His heartbreak by film's end is emotionally gut-wrenching, and never fails to bring me to tears. Read more ›
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's only flaw is that it isn't complete... November 3, 2000
Format:DVD
A long-awaited arrival on DVD, THE KING AND I is one of the best examples of stage-to-screen adaptation, except for one glaring fault - the trimming of the score! 20th Century-Fox spent lots of effort and money to bring this Rodgers and Hammerstein hit to the very wide CinemaScope 55 screen, and the various artists who worked on the project certainly put a stunning vision of the show up on that wide screen. Production and costume design are dazzling, the orchestrations are expansive in magnetic stereo (re-engineered for Dolby 5.1), the cast is simply perfect; overall a first rate presentation of the material. But at the last minute, the studio scrapped their original idea to roadshow the picture in 55mm, and some filmed numbers were dropped to shorten the overall length. This is always detrimental, not matter what the excuses for cutting, because it means that the show becomes less than complete. But even if we could overlook the cutting of the second half of "I Whistle a Happy Tune", "Western People Funny", and maybe "My Lord and Master", the deletion of Anna's biting "Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?" is inexcusable, and the cutting of the score's most beautiful ballad, "I Have Dreamed", is a genuine crime. One might have been hopeful that Fox would have restored, or at least included as outtakes, the missing numbers for DVD, but no such luck! The same fate has also befallen their recent release of the 1967 DOCTOR DOLITTLE.
All of that said, this is a gorgeous transfer of a beautiful film, both visually and sonically. The deluxe laserdisc set was very pretty, but the DVD image is much sharper and clearer.
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Blu Ray "The King and I"?????
This is an utterly beguiling musical and dates very well from 1956 which was when I first saw it. What wonderful melodies and brilliant performances from the cast, even from supporting players. As I recall The Cinemascope 55 process was the earliest attempt at widescreen HD which was very good... Read More
Apr 29, 2012 by Neville Beddoe |  See all 15 posts
Help please
"Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?" was never in the final film, nor any video release. It only appears on the original soundtrack album, along with other deleted songs that were never in the final film. Your DVD is not defective; the song was never there to begin with.
Dec 31, 2008 by Gerry |  See all 11 posts
How does 50th anniversay ed. differ?
Recent reviews: the older version contains the overture and intermission embodying the entire theater aura with its visual and musical ferocity. The newer version is visually technically improved.
May 10, 2011 by Sakuteiki |  See all 2 posts
Please do not post here . ..
Agreed! As an Amazon vendor myself, it is certain that the ratings for shipment belong in the seller feedback section, not the ratings for the product itself. I just wasted a while looking at the 1-star and 2-star reviews and most of them were complaining about shipping issues.
Apr 28, 2010 by Ms Nouveau |  See all 2 posts
The King And I TV series
Hi,
Amazon in Germany sells the TV-series, maybe you could get it there. But it seems, that it is in german only.
best regards
U
May 7, 2013 by U |  See all 4 posts
liar Anna Leonowens, King and I still bannned in Thailand Be the first to reply
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