The King and I

The King and I is the fifth musical by the team of composer Richard Rodgers and dramatist Oscar Hammerstein II. It is based on Margaret Landon's novel, Anna and the King of Siam (1944), which is in turn derived from the memoirs of Anna Leonowens, governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s. The musical's plot relates the experiences of Anna, a British schoolteacher hired as part of the King's drive to modernize his country. The relationship between the King and Anna is marked by conflict through much of the piece, as well as by a love to which neither can admit. The musical premiered on March 29, 1951, at Broadway's St. James Theatre. It ran for nearly three years, making it the fourth longest-running Broadway musical in history at the time, and has had many tours and revivals. In 1950, theatrical attorney Fanny Holtzmann was looking for a part for her client, veteran leading lady Gertrude Lawrence. Holtzmann realized that Landon's book would provide an ideal vehicle and contacted Rodgers and Hammerstein, who were initially reluctant but agreed to write the musical. The pair initially sought Rex Harrison to play the supporting part of the King, a role he had played in the 1946 film made from Landon's book, but he was unavailable. They settled on the young actor and television director Yul Brynner. The musical was an immediate hit, winning Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Actress (for Lawrence) and Best Featured Actor (for Brynner). Lawrence died unexpectedly of cancer a year and a half after the opening, and the role of Anna was played by several actresses during the remainder of the Broadway run of 1,246 performances. A hit London run and U.S. national tour followed, together with a 1956 film for which Brynner won an Academy Award, and the musical was recorded several times. In later revivals, Brynner came to dominate his role and the musical, starring in a four-year national tour culminating in a 1985 Broadway run shortly before his death. Christopher Renshaw directed major revivals on Broadway (1996), winning the Tony Award for Best Revival, and in the West End (2000). A 2015 Broadway revival won another Tony for Best Revival. Both professional and amateur revivals of The King and I continue to be staged regularly throughout the English-speaking world.

Production: 20th Century Fox
  Won 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.5
Rotten Tomatoes:
96%
G
Year:
1956
133
813 Views

King:
You think you teach King lesson, but this is one lesson you do not get paid for teaching! In the future, you will stop instructing wives and children in silly English song "Home Sweet House" to remind me of breaking promises I never make, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!

Anna:
Your majesty, I do not intend to have my boy brought up in a harem, and you did promise me a house; "a brick residence adjoining the palace," those were your very words in the letter.

King:
[obviously does remember] I do not remember such words.

Anna:
I remember them.

King:
I will do remembering! Who is king here? I remind you, so you remember that! I do not remember any promises! I do not remember anything except that you are my servant!

Anna:
Oh, no, your majesty.

King:
What, what, what? I said you are my servant!

Anna:
No, your majesty, that is not true. I am most certainly not your servant, and what is more, if you do not give me the house you promised, I shall be forced to return to England immediately. [children protest]

Princess Ying Yaawolak:
I believe in snow!

Lady Thiang:
Do not let her go away.

King:
I let her do nothing that is not my pleasure! It is my pleasure that you stay here, in palace, in palace!

Anna:
No, your majesty.

King:
[heavy sigh] Why do you wish to leave these children, all of whom are loving you so extraordinarily?

Anna:
I do not wish to leave them. I love them, too, quite extraordinarily, but I cannot stay in a country where a promise has no meaning.

King:
I will hear no more about this promise!

Anna:
A land where there is talk of honor and a wish for Siam to take its place among the modern nations of the world, where there is talk of great changes, but where everything still remains according to the wishes of the king.

King:
You will say no more! No more!

Anna:
I will say no more, because there is no more to say. Come, Louis. [Anna and Louis leave. Children protest]

King:
Out, out, OUT! [everyone, except the King, leaves]

Anna:
In your house she's just another woman. Like a bowl of rice is a bowl of rice no different from any other bowl of rice.

King:
Now you understand about women! So, many English books talk about love etc etc etc ha!

Anna:
You disapprove?

King:
It is a silly complication of a general simplicity. A woman is designed for pleasing man that is all. A man is deigned to be pleased by many women

Anna:
Then how do you explain, your majesty, that many men remain faithful to one wife

King:
They are sick.

Anna:
Oh, but you do expect women to be faithful?

King:
Naturally!

Anna:
Well why naturally?

King:
Because it is natural. It is like old Siamese saying. A girl is like a blossom, with honey for just one man. A man is like a honey bee and gather all he can. To fly from blossom to blossom a honey must be free. But blossom must not ever fly from bee to bee to bee.

Anna:
Hee hee. Oh your majesty in England we have a far different attitude. We believe for a man to be truly happy he must love one woman and one woman only.

King:
This idea was invented by woman.

Anna:
Oh but it's a great idea your majesty and in England we're brought up with it. When your young and at your first dance.

King:
Young girl? They dance also. Like I see you in arms of stranger tonight not a husband.

Anna:
Why of course!

King:
I would not permit it.

Anna:
Ha when your young and at your first dance, and your sitting on a small guilt chair with your eyes lowered, terrified that you'll be a wall flower. Suddenly, you see two black shoes, a white waist coat, a face, it speaks.

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