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Anna and the King (1999)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 28,002 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 210 user | 91 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

The story of the romance between the King of Siam and widowed British schoolteacher, Anna Leonowens, during the 1860s.

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(diaries), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
King Mongkut (as Chow Yun-Fat)
...
...
Syed Alwi ...
The Kralahome, Prime Minister
...
Kay Siu Lim ...
Prince Chowfa, King Mongkut's Brother
Melissa Campbell ...
Keith Chin ...
Mano Maniam ...
Moonshee, Leonowens' Indian Servant
Shanthini Venugopal ...
Beebe, Leonowens' Indian Servant
...
Lady Thiang, Head Wife
...
Lord John Bradley
Ann Firbank ...
Lady Bradley
Bill Stewart ...
Mycroft Kincaid, East India Trading Co.
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Storyline

This is the story of Anna Leonowens, the English schoolteacher who came to Siam in the 1860s to teach the children of King Mongkut. She becomes involved in his affairs, from the tragic plight of a young concubine to trying to forge an alliance with Britain to a war with Burma that is orchestrated by Britain. In the meantime, a subtle romance develops between them. Written by Tommy Peter

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense violent sequences | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

17 December 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anna  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£317,621 (UK) (17 December 1999)

Gross:

$39,251,128 (USA) (7 April 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On the French audio track on the DVD, Jodie Foster dubs her own character's voice. See more »

Goofs

The copy of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" that Anna gives to Prince Chulalongkorn has a dark brown cover. The one he is later seen reading, and the one his father, King Mongkut, later holds up, are both blue. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
King Chulalongkorn: She was the first English woman I had ever met. And it seemed to me she knew more about the world than anyone. But it was a world Siam was afraid would consume them. The monsoon winds had whispered her arrival like a coming storm. Some welcomed the rain, but others feared a raging flood. Still she came, unaware of the suspicion that preceded her. But it wasn't until years later, that I began to appreciate how brave she was, and how alone she must have felt. An English woman. The ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Troldspejlet: Episode #24.3 (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Jade Cong
Written by Simon Rowland-Jones
Courtesy of Zomba/Firstcom/Chappell Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

MAGNUM-MAGNIFICENT MONGKUT
9 February 2000 | by (L.A.) – See all my reviews

Lush, epic, sweeping, entrancing. It's all here. If there's any "justice" in Hollywood, this one should be Oscar bait for at least cinematography, costuming, musical score and the magnum-magnificent presence of some dude I never heard of before I saw AATK -- Chow Yun Fat. Now, I have been informed that he is the Coolest Actor in the World (according to L.A. Times). I can see this dark, cool elegance in his breathtaking performance as a real and fascinating historic figure, King Mongkut, who in actuality learned Latin, astronomy and memorized major parts of both Bible and Koran while a Buddhist monk. Contrary to the buffoonery of Yul Brynner's overblown portrayal, Chow opens for us an entirely new cultural door, brushing for the eager audience a portrait of a monarch of absolutely power who wields it so well that he is unafraid of gentleness, hugging his enchanting, on-screen children without reserve and finding himself mystifyingly in love with a foreign woman he cannot tame or bed because of the constraint of the times. The betrayal, revolution and barbarity of l9th century Thailand (Siam) become pale watercolor in comparison to the bold red and orange of unresolved love and religious and cultural interplay represented by Foster and Chow. We fear that more of these mesmerizing moments between the two lie on the editing room floor. However, Chow's sensitive face and body language reflect this inner evolution and bittersweet turmoil far better than does Jodie Foster's rather wooden performance accompanied by a troubling British accent. I respect Foster's talent immensely, though it shone through only intermittently, blossoming only when she softens to the King's patient (sometimes stormy) friendship. The indelible etching of the film comes during a non-speaking sequence involving the disposition of Tuptim and Balat which sub-plot likely was originally meant to be a subtle reflection of the untenable love affair between Anna and Mongkut. This is so well-edited and scored that it's going to be hard to forget. When the King kneels in agonized prayer before his talismanic Emerald Buddha, one is compelled to conclude that he is in anguish -- not only over what's happening to his concubine and his throne -- but the fact that his actions necessitated by politics will also probably forever separate him from his tea-tray-tossing Anna and all she believes in and has worked for in his country. Okay, so I cried in several places (something I nearly never do) -- the mark of a film which has accomplished its goal, i.e., the moving of hearts. I was fascinated with this movie. It made me read and research a part of the world I've generally ignored, and whole new palace gates have opened. Sumptuous and rich it is; and award-winning it should be, but the sun-star opulence of this new guy, Chow, is the stellar pin on that film curtain. Thanks, Mr. Tennant. And thank you, Mr. Chow.


24 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Foster's terrible accent!!! marshabrady3
This movie is horrible! the-moejo
There was no romance ShannonAmidala
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Reasons for Banning of 'Anna and the King' mattyjames1983
Chow Yun Fat speaks Thai? ChanKwokWing
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