The lavish Broadway musical – based on Margaret Landon’s book Anna and the King of Siam and featuring songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein – was translated into a colourful and even more spectacular screen version that won Yul Brynner an Oscar for his performance as the King. He’s the gruff ruler of Siam with a large brood of cute children, while the ‘I’ of the title is, of course, governess Anna (Kerr), who not only takes care of them all, but also warms the king’s heart when not clashing with his Eastern ways.
Younger viewers will love the spirited songs – ‘I Whistle a Happy Tune’, ‘Getting to Know You’, ‘Shall We Dance’ – and little girls especially will delight in the story and the gorgeous costumes (some of Kerr’s were so heavy she lost weight wearing them). Just yummy.
Is The King And I suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Very little ones may find the stern king a bit scary.