The King And I (1956) Blind Spot Review

The King And I (1956)

Directed by Walter Lang

Based on The King and I by Oscar Hammerstein II

Starring: Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Rita Moreno, Maureen Hingert, Martin Benson, Rex Thompson

Music by Richard Rodgers

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The King and I is a 1956 American musical film based on the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical The King and I, based in turn on the novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon. That novel in turn was based on memoirs written by Anna Leonowens, who became school teacher to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s.

My Opinion:

Well, it looks like we’re halfway through the year & I’ve managed to watch 8 of my 12 2017 Blind Spot movies. Not too bad! So, I might as well have a look at where I think I’d rank each of them so far. From least favorite to favorite:

8. The Last Temptation Of Christ
7. The Raid
6. The King & I
5. The Hustler
4. Ghost In The Shell
3. Jackie Brown
2. Watership Down
1. Rocky

I’ve really liked all my movie choices so far other than The Last Temptation Of Christ (which was a bit of a snoozefest). So I have to say this Blind Spot thing is something I really do enjoy & the one thing I’d like to continue while I don’t really have time for much else on this blog at the moment.

There are still quite a few classic musicals that I’ve never seen so I’ll probably try to do one each year as a Blind Spot choice (next year’s will probably be Fiddler On The Roof). I do love a few of them but, overall, musicals aren’t exactly a favorite genre of mine. I’ve now updated My Top Ten Movie Musicals post and The King & I just makes it in at number ten. It’s certainly not up there with the likes of The Sound Of Music or The Wizard Of Oz but it’s a lovely film definitely worth watching and one that I’m happy to have shared with my eight-year-old. I’m also happy to say that it met with her approval as well! She especially liked all the kids that are in the film and still often quotes Yul Brynner’s “Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!”, which I find adorable. I’m loving sharing classic films with my kid & often feel like we don’t get enough of these types of movies nowadays. What are future generations going to share with their kids when it comes to movies? Baywatch???

I know this is one of quite a few films for which Marni Nixon provided the singing voice. I’ll never quite understand when they have a different person provide the singing voice. Surely you can find someone who can act and sing??? Anyway – Kerr was good in this (and I didn’t find her lip syncing obvious) but it was Brynner’s King who really made the film for me. Well, okay – it’s the two characters together which really makes the film work because of their completely different lifestyles & values. Who doesn’t enjoy the whole “opposites attract” thing?? That’s why it’s used so often in stories! But Brynner was especially fun to watch in this and I’d have to say I enjoyed the film more than I expected to after it got off to a fairly slow start.

I think The King & I has probably not aged quite as well as some films due to feeling out of date and due to, in my opinion, not having as many memorable songs as a lot of other famous musicals. The only one I already knew beforehand was Getting To Know You (which I’ve shared at the end of this post). I expected there to be more “Hey, I know this song” moments as I watched this. It’s not a huge complaint, though. I really enjoyed this movie & would happily watch it again. I liked the story, the characters, the costumes, the song & dance numbers, and the fact that The King & I just feels like an all-time classic musical in a way that La La Land just doesn’t feel like something that will be held in quite such high regard 60 years from now.

My Rating: 7.5/10

**This was meant to be my Blind Spot Movie for June but I’ve not had much time to write reviews. So I’ve quickly done two in one go! I’ll be posting the review for my July Blind Spot Movie, Rocky, tomorrow. 🙂

18 thoughts on “The King And I (1956) Blind Spot Review

  1. Pingback: Rocky (1976) Blind Spot Review | Cinema Parrot Disco

  2. I watched this as a child on Saturday afternoon movies on the t.v. What I remember most about it is that it made me so sad that I was very upset about it and never wanted to watch it as an adult.

    • Hmm. That’s interesting! Now I want to know your thoughts as an adult. 😉 How old were you? My 8-year-old enjoyed it but I know she was upset at how he treated people (which is the point as Anna shows him what it’s like in her culture). I did like the way they grew fond of each other despite very different backgrounds. You should give it another try, of course bearing in mind that it’s from a very different time. : )

  3. I did the same thing with my June Blindspot, just tuck it in at the start of July and no one will mind. It’s been a long time since I first saw The King and I, but I recall enjoying this as a kid. I’ll have to rewatch at some point. Gotta disagree about La La Land; I thought it did capture some of that classic movie magic that will stand out over most of its contemporaries. There’s still no matching the Rodgers and Hammerstein hits, though.

    • The King & I is worth a re-watch. It won’t become an all-time favorite film of mine but it’s one I’ll happily re-visit from time to time. : ) I don’t feel like I’ll ever re-watch La La Land, though. I think it had some really good moments but, overall, tried to be too many things that didn’t match up (such as the opening dance number, which felt like it was from a completely different film). And I didn’t think the songs were very good. And I think I MAY be getting a bit bored with Emma Stone (blasphemy, I know! Lol). : )

      • You’re breaking my heart. I loved La La Land! Listen to the songs more and you may like them more, as I did. There’s a movie musical called The Greatest Showman coming out later in Oscar season that will have songs from the same songwriter. As for Emma Stone, I hadn’t really seen any of her movies before La La Land so I’m far from bored with her. You’ve just seen too much. 😉

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