Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The King and I (1951)

“The King and I,” a popular movie and Broadway musical, was based on Margot Landon’s book “Anna and the King of Siam.” In the musical version of “The King and I,” Anna Leonowens is both a governess and a tutor to King Monkut’s children in Siam. Although Anna originally dislikes the powerful King, she grows to love and appreciate him throughout the course of the play. With musical numbers such as “I Whistle A Happy Tune,” “Getting to Know You,” and “Shall of We Dance,” this Rodgers and Hammerstein production conveys an emotional message regarding love, loss, and adventure that provides it’s audience with an allusion of happiness. After opening on March 29, 1951, “The King and I” was a great success even though it possessed historical inaccuracies regarding the plot and characters. Although they disrupt the validity of the simplistic story, these inaccuracies help to display that, during a period of war and chaos, entertainment provided the American people with a sense of safety, security, and hope for a brighter future.

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