Anna and the King of Siam

Synopsis: In 1862, young English widow Anna Owens accepts the job of teaching the royal children of Siam. On her arrival in Bangkok, culture clash is immediate. The king respects Anna for standing up to him, though this appalls his courtiers. In due course, she becomes the king's confidant and diplomatic advisor; their relationship endures through many trials.
Director(s): John Cromwell
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
128 min

- I'll get someone for the luggage.

- Thank you, Captain.

Mother, these people are so funny.

Everybody goes barefoot.

Stay where I can see you, Louis.

Watch him, Beebe.

- Don't let him get all untidy.

- Yes, memsahib.


Who is here to receive us?

Someone will meet us, Moonshee.

Do try and watch the luggage.

No sign of anyone to meet you.

- You sure they knew you were coming?

- Oh, yes.

I suppose all this

seems strange to you?

Not entirely. I feel as though

I already knew Siam.

- Oh?

- I read a very interesting

book about it on the boat...

by a man who visited it once.

Don't smile.

It's really quite good.

For instance, I knew

that was the royal palace.

- Right.

- You see?

- Have you ever been inside it?

- Yes, almost all of it...

except, of course, the nang hahn.

Oh, the harem, you mean.

Yes. It's, uh, quite a place.

I've heard it called a universe...

with a single sun

and a thousand moons...

- the king being the sun, naturally.

- Good gracious.

They run a bit of language out here.

They say, too, that he's the disc of light

they all revolve around.

How many women revolve

around this disc of light?

- Oh, 1,000 or more.

- Really?

The book didn't mention that.

I haven't anything against that

book of yours, Mrs. Owens, but look here.

This is Siam.

There isn't even a consulate here.

You see...

- Hello.

- Someone to meet me, I suppose.

Mrs. Owens, may I present

His Excellency the Kralahome...

Prime Minister of Siam.

Chow Koon, Mem Anna Owens.

Are you lady who is to teach

children of royal family?

- Yes.

- Have you friends in Bangkok?

No, I know no one in Bangkok at all.

Are you married?

I was married.

My husband is dead.

- How long your husband been dead?

- About a year.

What manner of man, uh,

your husband?

He was an officer

in Her Majesty's Army, serving in...

Ask His Excellency why

it is necessary to know these things?

My master says, if he ask...

it should be enough

for mem to answer.

Tell your master that his business with me

is in my capacity as governess.

It is not necessary for him

to pry into my personal affairs.

My master graciously says

mem need not talk at all.

His slaves will take her to palace.

- Tell him to wait.

- Uh, Chow Koon!

I was promised that a house of my own

would be provided for me on my arrival.

I wish to be taken there.

My master says if mem

does not wish to go to palace...

she can go wherever she pleases.

Why, that's the rudest man

I ever met in my life.

If that book of yours

had been any good at all...

you'd know they ask personal questions

here just to be polite.

He wasn't being rude.

He came out to meet you in person.

And you're a woman, and women do not

exist in Siam. They simply do not exist.

I hope I'll have nothing more

to do with him.

My dear young woman, you'd better realize

you can't do anything here without him.

And if I were you, I'd see him first thing in the

morning and tell him you didn't understand...

that you're sorry,

or as near it as you can manage.

Well, looks like you sleep

onboard tonight.

Means I can't go with you in the morning,

get down the river early.

Oh, well, I'll find someone.

- Thank you, Captain Orton.

- Not at all, ma'am.

And don't worry, ma'am.

The king has invested money

in your passage...

and he's, uh... he's very canny

about money.

He'll see that you have a chance

to do your work.


He's not gonna wait for us.


Good morning.

I wish to see your master.

Mm. I will see. You will wait.

They write in such a funny way here.

Don't be rude, darling.

Come here and wait quietly.

- You will come this way.

- Thank you.

You will wait.

What shall I draw now?

- Well, let's see. Draw an elephant.

- I just did.

I wish we could go.

We're going to wait.

My master wishes to know why

you come here, what you want.

Tell His Excellency

I did not understand...

the honor he paid me

in coming to meet me.

I'm sorry I behaved ungraciously

and I came here to tell him so.

My master wishes to know if mem truly

regrets sin of having bad temper...

or if she only says so

in order to ask favor of him?


Tell him it's both.

I am sorry and I would like his help

in getting started with my work.

Why doesn't he have a coat on?

You make me wear one.

- Quiet, dear.

- Let's go. I don't think I like him.

- What is your name, boy?

- Louis Owens, sir.

- Are you afraid of me?

- I don't think so.

That is good. I like you.

- Take seat. Sit down.

- Thank you.

Your Excellency speaks English.

I didn't know.

Not necessary to know everything

in first minutes.

What for you object to live in palace?

Your Excellency,

I must have a place of my own...

where I can go when my duties

are over for the day.

What you wish to do evenings

that cannot be done in palace?

You don't understand,

Your Excellency.

It isn't for some foolish reason.

I came here to teach because I must work

to support myself and my son.

- Why you not marry again?

- Oh, no. Not ever.

The only thing I want now

is to bring up my son.

He's very like his father,

and I want him to grow up that way.

That's difficult to do

in a strange country.

That's why we must

have a home of our own.

This is very important to me,

Your Excellency.

- Please believe that.

- You say king promise you this house?

- Yes. I have the letter.

- You do not show me. I do not think you lie.

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Talbot Jennings

Talbot Jennings (August 24, 1894 – May 30, 1985) was an American playwright and screenwriter. He was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Writing and Screenplay, for Mutiny on the Bounty in 1935 and Anna and the King of Siam in 1946. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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