Anna and the King

Synopsis: 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.
Director(s): Andy Tennant
Production: 20th Century Fox
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 12 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
148 min

She was the firstEnglishwoman

l had evermet.

And itseemed 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 arrivallike a coming storm.

Some welcomed the rain,

but others feareda raging flood.

Still she came, unaware

of the suspicion thatprecededher.

But it wasn't untilyears later thatlbegan

to appreciate howbrave she was

and howalone she musthave felt.

An Englishwoman.

The firstl'd evermet.

Mother! Come look!

l think they've killed someone!

Louis, do take care by the railing.

Beebe, Moonshee, gather your things.

lt's time we went to shore.

l think we should wait

until someone from the palace arrives.

lf they were coming, they would be here

already. Besides, the ship is leaving.

My point exactly.

Goodbye, Mrs Leonowens.



Pardon me.

Louis, come along, darling.

- Mother?

- Yes?

Why does this king need you

if nobody here speaks English?

The ways of England are the ways of

the world. lt's a wise man who knows that.

Memsahib, in less than an hour

the Newcastle sails,

not to return for another month.

Tonight we shall all sleep

in our own home, l promise.

Madam. A carriage... where?

A carriage? Wait, wait.

What is it?

Over there. This way, darling.

What do you suppose he's like,

this King Mongkut?

l heard that people used to be

forbidden to even look at his face

and that they revere him as a god.

- You mean like Jesus?

- No, hardly!

l suppose if he wishes his son

to be tutored in the ways ofthe West,

then l should be quite honored.

But why can't he just send him to London?

Then you wouldn't have

the chance to learn Siamese.

Gracious me!

Are we sure this is the right road?

How would we know?

lf you are not the lead elephant,

the scenery never changes!

Mother, look at those statues!

Mem Leonowens, KawRub.

Mrs Leonowens,

His Excellency, Chao Phya Kralahome,

the prime minister of Siam.

Have you any friends in Bangkok, sir?

No. l know no one here.

Sir is married?

A widow. Can you please explain

to me why you call me sir?

Women do not stand

in the presence of His Excellency.

How long are you in possession

of dead husband?

How did he die?

Please convey to His Excellency that my

purpose here is as tutor to the king's son

and it is not necessary

to ask personal questions.


ln Siam, sir, it is custom

to first ask questions of personal nature

to be polite.

Mr Prime Minister, l meant no disrespect.

However, getting here

was something of a challenge.

Sir will be shown to palace quarters.


l beg your pardon.

The king promised us a home

outside the palace walls.

lt's what was agreed upon.

ln Siam, sir, you will learn

everything has its own time.

Don't bother unpacking, Moonshee.

lt's only for one night.

lt shall be settled to our satisfaction

or we'll be leaving as soon as possible.

We don't have any money.

That is correct, but l do not need

to be reminded ofthat.

lt sounds like we're living in a beehive.

ln the morning l shall go to the king.

A monarch who fails to keep his word

is uncivilized, unenlightened and ungrateful.

There are principles at stake. Having a proper

British household with some privacy is one.

l don't think Siam

agrees with you, memsahib.

Mother, how can it be a proper household?

You haven't lived in England

since you were little

and l've never been there at all.

lndia is British.

That's what being colonized is about.

Father would have put him right in his place.

l'm very sorry l'm not

the man your father was.

l'm sorry, Louis.

But this is a good opportunity for us.

l should just... try to look at the positive side.

Assuming there is one.

Your father would have.

He was a brave man, wasn't he?

Yes, very.

And most considerate.

Which is more than l can say for this king.

Shall we go find your bed? Come on.

People of Bang Pli,

His Majesty's brother, Prince Chowfa,

has heard your cries forjustice.

Cut them down!

You. What happened here?

Burmese soldiers, Your Highness...

They said ifwe cut them down

they would return.


your meeting so delayed, sir.

King's obligation reach

into every corner of Siam.

lt has given me the time

to think of many things,

including why you pretended

not to speak English.

l believe it wise to be cautious.

l will assume that our speaking now

is a great step forward.

Best not to assume too much.

When presented to His Majesty,

you and son will remember

to touch forehead to floor.

Although we have become

better acquainted with your customs,

we have certainly not forgotten our own.

Then how will you greet him?

With the utmost respect.

Mother, are those men speaking French?

Yes. Apparently a warship's

run aground where it shouldn't have.

lt appears sir must wait

to meet His Majesty another day.

No, l do not think so. Come along.

Mem Leonowens!

Mem! Wait!


Your Majesty, l am Anna Leonowens.

l am the school...


Who?! Who?!

Your Majesty,

Mem Anna Leonowens and son Louis.

Your Majesty, we have been

kept waiting for nearly three weeks.

l appreciate that you have

issues of great importance,

but l imagine your son's education...


Has she no understanding of protocol?

She has been advised.

You... are teacher?

Yes, Your Majesty, l am.

You do not look sufficient of age

for scientific teaching.

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Steve Meerson

Steve Meerson is an American screenwriter who contributed to the screenplay for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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