Flicks in Five: The King and I

by Lynne Warfel
March 18, 2014

Listen Flicks in Five: 'The King and I'
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Yul Brynner and Gertrude Lawrence in the Broadway stage version of The King and I. (Wikimedia Commons)


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It all started with a theatrical attorney looking for a play for one of her clients. The client was Gertrude Lawrence, and the book that her attorney eventually found was called Anna and the King of Siam. Mix liberally with Rodgers and Hammerstein and you get the Tony and Oscar Award-winning musical, The King and I.

The King and I is based on the real life story of Anna Leonowens, and Indian-born British woman who served as royal governess to the court of the King of Siam (modern day Thailand.)

Her incredible story was the basis for Mary Langdon's best-selling novel, Anna and the King of Siam, which was later adapted into the Broadway musical The King and I. In 1956, a movie version of the musical was created.

Both the theatrical and film versions of The King and I starred Yul Brynner as the King of Siam, in a role that would define his career.

Scroll down to view The King and I theatrical trailer from 1956: