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The King and I [VHS]
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Product Description

The third Rodgers & Hammerstein Broadway hit to go before the cameras, The King and I boasts a career-making performance from Yul Brynner, repeating his stage triumph as the titular monarch and proving to moviegoers that bald can be beautiful. It's Brynner's proud king that provides the fulcrum to the plot, and it's Brynner himself, with his piercing gaze and graceful physicality, that demands our attention.

The story line, adapted from an earlier, nonmusical stage hit, follows widowed English teacher Anna Leonowens (Deborah Kerr) to her new posting as tutor to the Siamese king's formidable mob of children. The collision of East and West affords its winning mixture of drama and humor, and the warm friendship that grows between the king and the patrician teacher provides a poignant, unfulfilled romance between the two wary protagonists. Into this framework, the composers insert a superb score, echoing Asian motifs, as well as a bouquet of lovely songs including "Hello, Young Lovers," "Shall We Dance," and two ensemble pieces for Anna and the royal children ("Getting to Know You" and "I Whistle a Happy Tune") that suggest prototypes for Rodgers & Hammerstein's later hit, The Sound of Music.

For this 1956 production, 20th Century Fox lavished stereophonic sound, widescreen cinematography, intricate production design, and stunning sets. Technically, this newly mastered THX version is the best-looking and -sounding King yet to hit video. But, regardless of format, the glorious music is reason enough to hit "play." --Sam Sutherland

The third Rodgers & Hammerstein Broadway hit to go before the cameras, The King and I boasts a career-making performance from Yul Brynner, repeating his stage triumph as the titular monarch and proving to moviegoers that bald can be beautiful. It's Brynner's proud king that provides the fulcrum to the plot, and it's Brynner himself, with his piercing gaze and graceful physicality, that demands our attention.

The story line, adapted from an earlier, nonmusical stage hit, follows widowed English teacher Anna Leonowens (Deborah Kerr) to her new posting as tutor to the Siamese king's formidable mob of children. The collision of East and West affords its winning mixture of drama and humor, and the warm friendship that grows between the king and the patrician teacher provides a poignant, unfulfilled romance between the two wary protagonists. Into this framework, the composers insert a superb score, echoing Asian motifs, as well as a bouquet of lovely songs including "Hello, Young Lovers," "Shall We Dance," and two ensemble pieces for Anna and the royal children ("Getting to Know You" and "I Whistle a Happy Tune") that suggest prototypes for Rodgers & Hammerstein's later hit, The Sound of Music.

For this 1956 production, 20th Century Fox lavished stereophonic sound, widescreen cinematography, intricate production design, and stunning sets. Technically, this newly mastered THX version is the best-looking and -sounding King yet to hit video, but in its full-frame, pan-and- scan version the formatting downsizes far too much of the splendor, losing some sharpness to the imagery. For viewing on all but the smallest screens, the widescreen edition is vastly superior. But, in either version, the glorious music is reason enough to hit "play." --Sam Sutherland

Customer Reviews:

  • Enjoy
    I thoroughly enjoyed this DVD. I am a mature adult who was a child when this movie was made, and I never got to see it. I could see it over and over again now, and enjoy it very much each time. I am very glad that I acquired it to add to my personal collection of DVD's...more info
  • King and I
    This is a classical commedy for the entire family to watch. Very interesting I saw this when i was only 4 years and after 25 years I still wanted to watch it. I never get tired of it.

    Sharon...more info
  • The King and I
    I forgot how exciting this movie was when I originally saw it. It
    brought back wonderful memories. It showed what a showman Yul
    Bynner was and how he made this part his. He was always known for
    his role as the King and seeing this movie again, showed why. If you
    like classic musical movies, I would recommend this movie....more info
  • splendid american opera
    I was a bit uneasy watching this version as the editing for the square screen makes the film oddly unfamiliar. the peculiar view reminds you how much the medium of wide screen filmmaking was intelligently used.
    That quibble aside, this is loaded with pageantry-Aida without the elephants-and some musical turns that have passed into the American repertoire as classics: Shall We Dance, Whistle A Happy Tune and Hello, Young Lovers.
    Yul Brenner will be remembered forever for his physical mastery of the role and for virtually inventing the now universally accepted idea that bald is handsomer than hairy. Deborah Kerr struck the right balance between bereaved and confident.
    Still, it's much better to get the wide-screen version and play it on the biggest monitor you can find....more info
  • Not my favorite
    This is not my favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. Oh, there is a great deal to recommend the movie--Yul Brynner's performance, the lush setting, etc. My quarrel with it is that the songs don't always fit the story and the story behind the songs isn't all that good.

    For example, the first song appears when Anna, the governess, arrives at the dock in Siam with her son: "Whistle a Happy Tune." It feels completely out of place, even though it reprises in an attempt to show how Anna faces a frightening situation. The same comment applies to "Hello Young Lovers." It's not that the music is bad; it's that it feels as if the songs were written and then the authors looked around for a place to put them.

    The only real love story is between the Burmese girl, a gift to the king, and the young man who brought her to the king. And that forbidden love story is--well--sickly, treacly--one I'll fast forward past if I ever watch this again.

    Perhaps the best part of the movie, for me, was the play within a play, "The Small House of Uncle Thomas." It works well within the plot and is fun to watch.

    There are some nice songs, of course, and there is Yul Brynner. But it's still not "South Pacific" or "Oklahoma." The comparisons just can't be avoided....more info
  • It's good
    It arrived in a timely manner. I like the thin case. If only it matched the other 300 DVDs in my collection or I could change those to thin cases. It would save room. Anyways, this is a childhood favorite. Thanks for that....more info
  • Yul Brenner's Best Role
    In my opinion the role of The King in "The King and I" was best played by Yul Brenner. Debra Kerr was an excellant choice for the counter-part of Anna. Together they gave the movie class and enchantment. I have loved this movie since my childhood days, and had to add the aniversary issue to my collection....more info
  • BLASTFOMY!!!!!
    Mr.Hammerstein and Mr. Rogers must be turning over in their graves! Fred Astaire always demanded that his movies never showed just his feet. He was so dedicated to the art of dance that he wanted the audience to see the ENTIRE STEP with his entire body flowing. Well, this film gave us just the feet. "I have dreamed" is one of my favorite songs. Its a classic Rogers and Hammerstein number. When I got to that part of the movie I told my family to be quiet and turn up the AV system. "Here it comes" i said "This is the most beautiful song in the film"...HA! The joke was on me. It was cut from the DVD along with "Toads" and "should I tell you what i think of you" This is the problem when uninspired corporate jr. executives are in charge of managing priceless works of art. I wonder how many of the people who decided to cut these musical treasures from the DVD have even heard of Yul Brenner or Deborah Kerr. For the sake of the bottom line we got just the feet. Not the whole body. ...more info
  • A Classic Favorite
    This has to be my most favorite musical of all time.

    This movie has everything... etc., etc., etc.!!!...more info
  • GREAT movie
    My family and I LOVE this movie. I personally think this is one of Yule Brenner's best. The kids even get into the singing and dancing....more info
  • insulting to Thai monarchy
    I live in Siam. Have seen this movie in US theatres.


    It is banned in Siam as being insulting to King Mongkut(The king Rama IV). Historically inaccuate, It portrays Anna as having an influence on the king which is simply not true! She was nothing more than a tutor for Mongkut's son(Chulalongkorn Rama V) who succeeded his father as King and is generally regarded here as a combination George Washingon, Abraham Lincoln. Anna upon leaving the Royal Court here exagerated her importance for self agrandizment Also the movies portrayal of the Kings devotions to Lord Buddha is insulting to Buddhism. In Thailand all the kings are highly regarded and can easily earn jail time for Less majesty for anything derogatory about the monarchy or Buddhism. I've ordered it to show my Thai friends for their oppinion. Hopping it will make it through customs.

    I guess historical accuracy is not important as long as it sells tickets!!...more info
  • The King and I
    A classic musical that transported me to a simpler time. Reminds me of my youth and makes me feel young and happy again. No one makes movies like Rodgers and Hammerstien and no one ever will again. They are beautiful, whimsical and meant for family entertainment.

















    ro ...more info
  • a classic
    A true musical theater classic. Wonderful melodies that will last for years to come.
    Other classics not to forget about are:
    Mary Poppins
    My Fair Lady
    The Wizard of Oz
    Chitty Chitty Bang Band
    The first Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    The Sound of Music
    Oliver
    West Side Story
    Fiddler on the Roof
    Singing in the Rain
    The Wiz
    Little Mermaid
    Aladdin
    Beauty and the Beast
    Grease
    The King and I
    Oklahoma
    The Music Man
    South Pacific

    My Voice Students are always asking me for recommendations so I though I'd post it for all! We can't forget about these great musicals!...more info
  • fantastic musical
    The King and I (50th Anniversary Edition)

    One of Yul Brynners best films, and one that I have seen over and over again for several years running. The dancing might keep the attention of the younger children for a minute or two, but essentially it is a movie made for the older viewer....more info
  • This movie on our new tv....WOW!!
    Yes, I'm a romantic and I suppose that's why I love this movie. Deborah Kerr plays the strong, womanly foil to Yul Brynner's masculine, traditional ruler of Siam. Seeing him dancing around on "Shall We Dance" makes me chuckle every time but it's really the climax of the movie as they realize their true feelings for each other, without saying anything. High quality movie. Truly a classic.
    We recently purchased an HDTV and this was one movie I had to watch on it. The color & depth quality of the movie was outstanding. This is a must-have for any classic movie collection....more info
  • Still not received it
    I was to receive the DVD on 16th March 09. I have not yet received it. Today is the 23rd March 09. I have been adviced patience and that I should wait until 31st March 09 before I approach Amazon again.The King and I
    I am suprised that a review for the product is solicited even before I received it. Congratulations Amazon on your efficiency!!!!!...more info
  • The King And I
    Great movie, should have won the Best Picture award in 1956. Great acting by Brynner, Kerr, and Moreno. Yul won the Best Actor award in 1956. Great sets, costumes, et cetera, et cetera. A "Must-See" movie for all....more info
  • Classic musical film
    Film and music buffs will enjoy this classic musical with Brenner. The digital quality of the CD made this sit at home film experience the best....more info
  • The King and I..a classic!
    I have loved "The King and I" ever since I was a young girl and my mother took me to see it in the movies. This DVD is wonderful, although some of the personal details about Yul Brynner seem in error, according to the book his son wrote shortly after his death. He never had a lung removed and he was born in 1920, not 1915, but other than that the commentary is great and the movie itself is timeless.
    I highly recommend this DVD to anyone who loves this musical, all musicals, Yul Brynner or all of the above!
    ...more info
  • Beautiful if nothing else
    If you've never seen this film adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein's broadway hit 'The King & I'...I suggest you do. While it's far from perfect, and it's not even the best musical to grace the big screen, 'The King & I' packs a whallop of a punch and sports some great acting and beautiful sets that will do nothing short of take your breath away. The plot is simple. A widow and her son move to Siam to help teach the Kings children and while there they all take turns learning from one another. The woman, Anna (Deborah Kerr) is a very independant mother who butts heads with the very independant King (Yul Brynner). As she demands the house he promised her as well as continues to teach and fall in love with the children on Siam, Anna slowly begins to understand the way of life she at first refused to understand. The film comes down to dramatic conclusion that tests their friendship and at the same time affirms their silent love for one another. The film soars with it's beautiful story of two unlikly friends who slowly, and subtly fall in love, and soars even higher when you get a glimpse of the fantastic stage sets (which are even richer on the stage which I just had the privilage of seeing last night with Lou Diamond Phillips who was outstanding!). The singing is decent, Kerr proving she has the best chops, but it's the story that steals the show. Yes this is a musical, but strip that away and you still have an engrossing love story that is above average. I'd recommend this to anyone, a great family film that everyone will enjoy. The 'Uncle Toms Cabin' presentation done in Siamese style is the most impressive part of the film and the stage performance and is sure to make this movie a memerable experience....more info
  • The King and I - DVD
    My wife loved it. It was charming, entertaining, etc., etc., etc.
    ...more info
  • The King and I
    One of the most wonderful movies made. Yul Brennen is a dashing actor and Debra Kerr was wonderful. I would recommend this movie to anyone who loves romance....more info
  • A Must Have Classic
    This is a wonderful muscial that everyone should have. The music is lovely and the cast is awesome. ...more info
  • this movie is old.

    I think that I misunderstood this movie.

    but some of the girls don't wear undies, so that's pretty cool.
    i give it five stars....more info
  • defective production
    The movie itself--which I remember from childhood--is a masterpiece. However, sadly it was not viewable on this edition. TWO DVD packets from Amazon (a replacement was sent to me after the first one did not work, but that, too, didn't work), didn't work on multiple DVD players which had no problem playing plenty of other films before or after.
    No explanation for compatibility (or lack thereof) was found.
    In the first packet, niether DVD worked (the feature film, and the extras). In the second packet, the feature film still did not work (it wasn't even recognized by the DVD player) but the extras did. Not that it helped much.
    I would beware of this particular edition and stick with older ones, if you can find them. At least they work.
    ...more info
  • Much loved -and deservedly so -musical
    Yul Brynner stars -in a role he was born to play and that he made his own on stage and screen -as the King of Siam(now Thailand)who engages Anna Leonowens (Deborah Kerr)a young English woman to teach his children ,oF which there are several ,the ways of the West.She arrives in Thailand with her own son Louis(Rex Thompson)ans proceeds to discharge her duties with style and grace.Unfortunately there are clashes between her and the King.He is an autocratic monarch who brooks no opposition and a chauvinist of the first magnitude unused to assertive women.she is no timid shrinking violet being a strong determined woman .with her own road to hoe .A widow with a young child in a foreign nation she does not merely kowtow but stands her ground .
    We see her at work ,becoming a tutor and counsellor -solving the problems of the household including an especially knotty one involving Tuptim(Rita Morenmo) a "gift" to the King from another monarch. She loves another man and is desperate to leave
    As the governess and the monarch clash the verbal sparring transforms into something else -a deep affection and mutual admiration ,even love.
    The movie is one of the few musicals that would work without the music -the theme itself is so strong and and the script, by Ernest Lehmann is outstanding and for my money improves on the original stage version.However we do have music and glorious music it is too.-Rodgers and Hammerstein at their best with wonderful standards like Getting To Know You ,amd Hello Young Lovers to the fore .
    Brynner is exceptional and Kerr radiant.Her singing voice was dubbed by Marni Nixon -who deserves kudos-but even allowing for this she is touching and displays star quality in abundance

    It is an immensely enjoyable movie -nothing more needs to be said

    I am dockimng it a star for the slighly muddy colour -Fox used their own DeLuxe process and Technicolor would have been richer ,warmer and more suited to the subject

    ...more info
  • well worth the wait...
    This brand-new 50th Anniversary edition of THE KING AND I is a must for all fans of the timeless Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece. Widowed English schoolteacher Anna Leonowens (Deborah Kerr) travels to Siam after she is offered a position to tutor the children of the King (Yul Brynner). Once in Siam, Anna and the King clash on matters of politics, ethics and the heart...two very different individuals who manage to still find the very best in each other. This magical movie has never looked or sounded better, in a new DVD remaster. Audio commentary for the film is provided by Michael Portantiere and Richard Barrios.

    This DVD has been available for a while in the UK and Australia, and will finally get a US release this November. Extra features will include the pilot episode of the "Anna and the King" TV series starring Samantha Eggar and Brynner (with optional commentary by Eggar); vintage performances from the "General Foods" Rodgers & Hammerstein TV tribute (Patricia Morison and Brynner). Several new featurettes and rare MovieTone news segments....more info
  • Oh, no! Fox has made another R&H-blunder!
    It's finally here! The so-called definitive version of this lovely classic has now been restored AGAIN from the surviving 55mm negative, and there is indeed cause for cheers. Yes, it is now finally anamorphic on DVD! And yes, it looks absolutely gorgeous! Better color, sharpness and contrast than the old DVD issued in 1999 - and that one still looks quite impressive thanks to THX, although sadly non-anamorphic. Even so, the new one looks superior and has lots more bonus material!
    But now a sad warning: If you own the old DVD and want this beauty of a film in its complete roadshow version - keep it by all means! The new 50th Anniversary Edition lacks the Overture, the Intermission Music and the Exit Music!
    Incredible! And all that lush music was available on the 1999 DVD! What goes on in the heads of the people in charge at Fox? After the fiasco with the Todd-AO "Oklahoma!" recently, Fox should very well know by now that fans of these Rodgers & Hammerstein-films are not likely to accept inferior and sloppy product. Here's a loud and clear boo aimed at Fox Home Video top brass from one fan! Get yourselves new jobs outside the entertainment industry and leave the DVD-business to smart film lovers who are also responsible professionals!...more info
  • Seeing it again for the first time
    What a treat!! After watching the VHS for so many years, I finally broke down and bought the DVD. WOW!! Just the opening shot of the boat at anchor made my eyes go wide. I actually saw the whole port and not just the ship! It's so nice to see the whole scene and not just the "center."
    I don't really go crazy about all the extras. I just love seeing the movie as I probably saw it in the movie theater as a child and forgot how wide a wide screen is. It was great!!...more info
  • One Of The Greatest Movie Ever
    A favorite of mine. The detailing of the time period is everything I thought it would be. I love Yule Brenner & Deborah Kerr. I love the music the costumes are unbelieveable. I find myself wanting to get up and dance. If I could rate it more then 5 stars I would. ...more info
  • "Shall We Dance?"
    This movie's set is stunning and magnificent! Deborah Kerr is perfect as Anna Leonowens, an English schoolteacher, who comes to Siam with her son, Louis, to be the schoolteacher to the royal princes and princessess. Her dresses are extremely lavish! I don't know how she gets around with those huge hoop skirts! Yul Brynner is also perfect as the King of Siam who wants to be "scientifically modern" "Etc.,etc.,etc..." Anna and the King have two totally different points of view and he has a hard time understanding her wish to have the small brick residence outside of the palace that she was promised.
    Like most Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers musicals it deals with two stories in one: Anna and the King; and a servant Tuptim and the man she loves.
    The absolutely best scene in the whole movie is the incredible "Shall We Dance?" number Anna does with the King in his gold ballroom! It also has some world-famous songs "Getting To Know You" and "I Whistle a Happy Tune."
    This is a great family movie!...more info
  • Anniversery Edition
    I Just adore this beatiful R&H production of The King And I.This was released in 1999 on Dvd.Has anyone heard about the upcomming Anniversary Edition of this Great Film? Release Date?
    Thank You and Aloha, Craig...more info
  • The King and I
    This I have loved forever. The colors and costumes and the music are wonderful!...more info
  • The King and I
    I have always loved this movie and movies that are similar. I was very pleased that you offered it to be purchased. Deborah Kerr and Yul Brunner cannot be outdone in this. Henry Winkler: we knew him as "The Fonz." Kids today know him as the creator of the delightful and dyslexic Hank Zipzer.(pop quiz)(Interview): An article from: Instructor (1990)...more info
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein at their best!
    one of my favorite movies and musicals of all time - and props to Marni Nixon, who i'm pretty sure is the woman dubbing Deborah Kerr's songs.

    The music is wonderful, sure to stick in your head for hours afterwards, and the story is even more fantastic because based on real events!...more info
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein Anniversary Editions
    Lovers of "the King and I" and also "South Pacific", "Carousel" will like to know that the anniversary editions of these movies (as in the earlier released "Oklahoma" and "State Fair") are already available in Australia.For some reason we have managed to see them here before their USA release and what an improvement on the current versions each of them are. "The King and I" offers the film in the anamorphic 16:9 ratio , or anamorphic widescreen version and the other two movies (which have been badly adapted to DVD) are also in anamorphic widescreen. Each set has two discs, "King and I" has 6 featurettes, a black and white stills recreation of "Shall I tell You What I Think of You"(it seems the actal footage of this number is lost forever)-excellent narration and the pilot episode of "Anna and the King" the unsuccessful Tv series, it is narrated by Samantha Eggar. "King and I" and "South Pacific" are the best, "Carousel" has less features on its second disc, but all three feature performances from the 1954 Ford Anniversary TV show with many of the original stars ,I know this footage has been seen before in other specials, but it is nice to have it uncut and on the same discs associated with the movies. These anniversary editions have outstanding prints (King and I is infinetely superior to the current edition available) only disappointment is that it leaves out the intermission medley. The highlight of the new set is "South Pacific:" which features the complete uncut 171 minute version of the film with all the deleted scenes returned in order....A shame these editions are taking so long to be released in the States, but for once, Australia gets them first, which is nice for us....highly recommended and worth pestering Amazon and Fox to find out how long before they are available stateside....more info
  • loved it
    50'th anniversary DVD of The King and I
    Wonderful-- they don't make like this anymore, too bad...more info