Saturday, January 8, 2011



'Anna And The King'

Yul Brynner

From Wikipedia:
Klao Chao Yu Hua (or Rama IV, known in foreign countries as King Mongkut (18 October 1804 – 1 October 1868), was the fourth monarch of Siam under the House of Chakri, ruling from 1851-1868. He was one of the most revered monarchs of the country.

Outside of Thailand he is best-known as the King in the play and film "The King and I", based on the 1956 film "Anna and the King of Siam" - in turn based on the writing of Anna Leonowens about her six years at his court.

In his reign, the pressure of Western expansionism was felt for the first time in Siam. Mongkut embraced Western innovations and initiated the modernization of Siam, both in technology and culture—earning him the epithet "The Father of Science and Technology" in Siam.

Mongkut was also known for his appointment of his brother, Prince Chutamani, as vice-king. Prince Chutamani was crowned in 1851 as King Pinklao. Mongkut himself assured that Pinklao should be respected with equal honor to himself.

Mongkut's reign was also the time when the power of the House of Bunnak reached the zenith and became the most powerful noble family of Siam. In 1862, on recommendation by Tan Kim Ching in Singapore, an English woman named Anna Leonowens, whose influence was later the subject of great Thai controversy, was hired. It is still debated how much this affected the worldview of one of his sons, Prince Chulalongkorn, who succeeded to the throne. Her story would become the inspiration for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "The King and I", as well as the Hollywood movies of the same title, which, because of their incorrect historical references and supposedly disrespectful treatment of King Mongkut's character, were for some time banned in Thailand as the Thai government and people considered them to be lèse majesté (an illegal insult to the king or monarchy).

As played by Yul Brynner, King Mongkut is a multiversal - he would look like this in the fictional dimensions of theater, movies, and television....

BCnU, et cetera et cetera, et cetera!


Lisa said...

So nice that somebody else remembers this -- clearly it's a lost treasure trove of Yul Brynner performances. Hopefully the whole series is out there someplace for fans. Samantha Eggar is a lovely English actress, too, not as well-known as she should be.

Toby O'B said...

I know her best for a 'Columbo' episode and for the TV remake of 'Double Indemnity' (which I thought was pretty good)......