The King And I (1956)
A widowed British schoolteacher is hired to tutor the children of the King of Siam. Despite cultural differences and the monarch’s stubborn self-importance, affection and respect develop.
Yul Brynner won an Academy Award for his performance in this film. No wonder. Brynner does an amazing job as the King of Siam, playing a grand range as a superior male dictator, to discovering, with Anna’s help, that his heart his bigger than he first realized. Deborah Kerr is also excellent in her role as Anna, the schoolteacher, who is not afraid to speak the truth to the king.
This is grand filmmaking, with elaborate sets, enthralling music, and superior acting. The story holds up well as does the film, and perhaps this is the ultimate compliment, considering it is now fifty years old. In the content area, there is a scene in which the king has the people pray to Buddha, and he mentions the “Christian” woman (Anna) as being unworthy of Buddha, but it is one scene and is done somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Also, an “inside” joke is the king speaking ill of Moses, calling him a “fool,” since Brynner played the Pharaoh who Moses stood up to in “The Ten Commandments.” He also compliments Moses later at a dinner with the British. Because of the few areas of content we mentioned, we approve this film for ages twelve and above.