Anna and the King

( 12 )

Overview

The true story of Anna Leonowens' experiences as a governess to the children of an eccentric Asian king has been adapted into a book of memoirs, a biography, a stage play called Anna and the King of Siam -- which was adapted into a 1946 film, a stage musical called The King and I -- made into both the live-action The King and I 1956 and the animated The King and I 1999 feature films, and a short-lived 1972 TV series. Now the story is brought to the screen yet again, as Jodie Foster stars as Leonowens, hired by ...
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Overview

The true story of Anna Leonowens' experiences as a governess to the children of an eccentric Asian king has been adapted into a book of memoirs, a biography, a stage play called Anna and the King of Siam -- which was adapted into a 1946 film, a stage musical called The King and I -- made into both the live-action The King and I 1956 and the animated The King and I 1999 feature films, and a short-lived 1972 TV series. Now the story is brought to the screen yet again, as Jodie Foster stars as Leonowens, hired by the king of Thailand Chow Yun-Fat in the 19th century to help care for his children. The king wants the best for his children, but Anna soon discovers that he is a strong-willed but quixotic leader, and her stay in Thailand becomes a struggle for power with romantic overtones, as they decide who will have authority over the royal youngsters. Anna and the King was directed by Andy Tennant, best known for his 1998 variation on the Cinderella story, Ever After.
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Special Features

Commentary by Andy Tennant; Six Deleted Scenes; Five Featurettes; Television Special; Music Video "How Can I Not Love You" by Joy Enriquez; Theatrical Trailer
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Anna and the King is the third film to chronicle the adventures of British governess Anna Leonowens in 19th-century Siam, and it is far and away the most picturesque. Gorgeous location photography lends verisimilitude to the dreamily exotic setting and by-now-familiar story. Jodie Foster makes a placidly beautiful yet passionate Anna, who accepts the job of teaching the 58 children sired by Siam's King Mongkut Hong Kong action star Chow Yun-Fat and immediately finds herself locked in a battle of wills with the potentate. Director Andy Tennant draws repeated comparisons between Eastern and Western philosophies, and he sharply delineates Mongkut's dilemma: The king knows times are changing and wants his children to be equipped to cope with those changes, yet he remains strangely unwilling to jettison beliefs and traditions that have governed his people's behavior for countless centuries. Neither Anna and the King of Siam 1948 nor The King and I 1956 deal with political intrigue and physical danger as specifically as this adaptation of the tale. But it is those elements, along with the fine performances of Foster and Chow, that make Anna and the King such a rousing success and, in many ways, the best of the three versions.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
Nominated for Oscars for its costume design and art direction, this non-musical adaptation of the life of Anna Leonowens is a lavish, solid mix of romance and drama that never quite inflames itself to the level of passion for which it strives. Always accomplished in the role of a stoic, Jodie Foster does a typically proficient job with her role of a stiff-upper-lipped widow whose reserve melts only slightly. Although he'll probably suffer by comparison to the magnetic Yul Brynner, actor Chow Yun-Fat is fine as King Mongkut, playing the royal head of a country with square-shouldered sobriety. But in their scenes together, Foster, Yun-Fat, and director Andy Tennant strive for a kind of standoffish quality meant to imply the characters' mutual mix of antagonism and passion, but which comes off at times like a lack of onscreen chemistry. The story's muddled historical perspective is also something of a burden, but it's doubtful that fans of sweeping romantic melodramas will be much interested in the mishmash that the film makes of real-life events. Regarded as nothing more than a well-mounted movie version of a paperback romance novel, Anna and the King is mostly satisfying within such a realm.
Boston Globe
Anna and the King is nothing but old-fashioned but it's old-fashioned in a glorious way. Jay Carr

Anna and the King is nothing but old-fashioned but it's old-fashioned in a glorious way. Jay Carr
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/21/2002
  • UPC: 024543037552
  • Original Release: 1999
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
  • Presentation: Special Edition \ Full Frame
  • Time: 2:27:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 1,832

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jodie Foster Anna Leonowens
Chow Yun-Fat King Mongkut
Bai Ling Tuptim
Tom Felton Louis
Syed Alwi The Kralahome
Keith Chin Prince Chulalongkorn
Randall Duk Kim General Alak
Lim Kay-siu Prince Chowfa
Melissa Campbell Princess Fa-Ying
Deanna Yusoff Lady Thiang
Technical Credits
Andy Tennant Director
Eric Angelson Associate Producer
Luciana Arrighi Production Designer
Jenny Beavan Costumes/Costume Designer
Lawrence Bender Producer
Roger Bondelli Editor
G. Mac Brown Co-producer
Rona Brown Consultant/advisor
Terence Chang Executive Producer
Chaiyan (Lek) Chunsuttiwat Art Director
Caleb Deschanel Cinematographer
Ed Elbert Producer
George Fenton Score Composer
Paul Ghiradani Art Director
Jon Jashni Co-producer
Priscilla John Casting
Julie Kirkham Co-producer
Peter Krikes Screenwriter
John A. Larsen Sound Editor
Steve Meerson Screenwriter
Wink Mordaunt Co-producer
Scott Printz Asst. Director
Brian Simmons Sound/Sound Designer
Ian Whittaker Set Decoration/Design
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles (The Englishwoman)
2. The Palace
3. Meeting the King
4. The Royal Family
5. The Royal School
6. Slavery
7. The King's Approval
8. The Rice Festival
9. Burmese Death Squads
10. A Royal Party
11. The Marketplace
12. A Small Gift
13. Fever
14. A Letter
15. An Attack
16. Tuptim
17. Kincaid's Information
18. Nong Khai
19. The White Elephant
20. End Titles
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Scene Selection
   Extra Features
      Director's Commentary by Andy Tennant
      Theatrical Trailer
      Behind the Scenes
         TV Special
         Advanced Combo
         Production Design
         Featurette
         Costumes
         Elephants
      Deleted and Extended Scenes
         Prologue 4x3
         Epilogue 4x3
         Noviciation Ceremony 16x9
         Croquet Game 16x9
         See the White Elephant 16x9
         Anna Leaving House 16x9
         Rice Fields (Extended) 16x9
         Optional Commentary by Andy Tennant
      Music Video: "How Can I Not Love You"
   Language Selection
      English 5.1 Dolby Surround
      Spanish Dolby Surround
      French Dolby Surround
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Play
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Great movie

    Very well done, excellent performances, beautiful cinematography. The story is informative, moving and thought provoking, with some memorable quotes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent movie

    The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful and in itself enough to merit watching the movie. However, it is more than the scenery. I thought that Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat both put in a wonderful performance working off each other. The story is very entertaining and contains all of the characteristics of a movie that will keep your attention: romance, action, humor, and in this movie, the differences in culture.

    Worth the watch.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Modern Epic

    Anna and the King is what I like to think of as a modern adaptation of The King and I, the Rogers & Hammerstein musical, but with a more relatable story. Jodie Foster plays a strong and yet elegant British schoolteacher to the King's (played by Chow Yun-Fat) many children. This film has a lot to offer its audience from the exotic culture of Siam, to the grand landscapes. This film touches on the worldview of the time (1860s) when England was colonizing countries all throughout Asia. It also explores the issues of slavery, arranged marriages, and forbidden love. This is family friendly film that brings the epic film genre into the twentieth century.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I love this film and have for many years!!!

    I bought this to replace my VHS copy and consider it one of my top 5 favorite movies. It's a breath taking movie and story line.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A real 'WOW!'

    Wonderful performances from both Chow Yun Fat and Jodie Foster. Great movie!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    WOW!!!

    Oh My God! I absolutely loved this movie. Chow Yun-Fat is the best actor of all time. I thought that the setting was gorgeous and exotic and it should be a classic movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    wonderful story brought to life

    This movie has wonderful scenes to make you cry, make you angry, make you smile, and the locale where the movie is shot is beautiful and lush. It really brings the story of Anna and the King to life. A wonderful movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews