- SKU: 16068808
- Release Date: 01/22/2008
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The King and I, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's 1951 Broadway musical hit, was based on Margaret Landon's book Anna and the King of Siam. Since 20th-Century-Fox had made a film version of the Landon book in 1946, that studio had first dibs on the movie adaptation of The King and I. Deborah Kerr plays English widow Anna Leonowens, who comes to Siam in the 1860s to tutor the many wives and children of the country's progressive King (Yul Brynner, recreating his Broadway role-and winning an Oscar in the process). The culture clash between Anna and the King is but one aspect of their multilayered relationship. Through Anna, the King learns the refineries and responsibilities of "modern" western civilization; Anna meanwhile comes to realize how important it is for an Oriental ruler to maintain his pride and to uphold the customs of his people. After a successful evening entertaining foreign dignitaries, Anna and the King celebrate with an energetic dance, but this is cut short by a bitter quarrel over the cruel punishment of the King's new Burmese wife Tuptim (Rita Moreno), who has dared to fall in love with someone else. Despite the many rifts between them, Anna and the monarch come to respect and (to a degree) love one another. When the King dies, Anna agrees to stay on to offer help and advice to the new ruler of Siam, young Prince Chulalongkhorn (Patrick Adiarte). In general, The King and I tends to be somewhat stagey, with the notable exception of the matchless "Small House of Uncle Thomas" ballet, which utilizes the Cinemascope 55 format to best advantage (the process also does a nice job of "handling" Deborah Kerr's voluminous hoopskirts). Most of the Broadway version's best songs ("Getting to Know You", "Whistle a Happy Tune", "A Puzzlement", "Shall We Dance" etc.) are retained. None of the omissions are particularly regrettable, save for Anna's solo "Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?" This feisty attack on the King's chauvinism was specially written to suit the talents of Gertrude Lawrence, who played Anna in the original production; the song was cut from the film because it made Deborah Kerr seem "too bitchy" (Kerr's singing, incidentally, is dubbed for the most part by the ubiquitous Marni Nixon). When all is said and done, the principal attraction of The King and I is Yul Brynner, in the role that made him a star and with which he will forever be identified. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
"Greed is Good." This is the credo of the aptly named Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), the antihero of Oliver Stone's Wall Street. Gekko, a high-rolling corporate raider, is idolized by young-and-hungry broker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen). Inveigling himself into Gekko's inner circle, Fox quickly learns to rape, murder and bury his sense of ethics. Only when Gekko's wheeling and dealing causes a near-tragedy on a personal level does Fox "reform"-though his means of destroying Gekko are every bit as underhanded as his previous activities on the trading floor. Director Stone, who cowrote Wall Street with Stanley Weiser, has claimed that the film was prompted by the callous treatment afforded his stockbroker father after 50 years in the business; this may be why the film's most compelling scenes are those between Bud Fox and his airline mechanic father (played by Charlie Sheen's real-life dad Martin). Ironically, Wall Street was released just before the October, 1987 stock market crash. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
In Old Arizona
Warner Baxter, sporting a black mustache and a musical-comedy Mexican accent, stars as the Cisco Kid, the "Robin Hood of the Old West" created by O. Henry. Edmund Lowe co-stars as Cisco's "friendly enemy" Sgt. Mickey Dunne, the role that was originally to have gone to Raoul Walsh. Both men are madly in love with dusky beauty Tonia Maria (Dorothy Burgess), and in fact Cisco is so "far gone" that he composes a song in the girl's honor (actually, "My Tonia", first heard during the opening credits, was written by Fox studio tunesmiths Lew Brown, B.G. DeSylva and Ray Henderson). Alas, Tonia ends up betraying Cisco to Sgt. Burke. But the crafty, cold-blooded Cisco arranges for Tonia to be killed in the trap set for him (this plot resolution is faithful to O. Henry's original conception of the Cisco Kid, who wasn't really meant to be a "good guy"). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Now, the 7-time Academy-award-winning epic drama about legendary general George S. Patton is available in an exclusive Metalpak case. In this stirring portrait of an American original, the polarizing and uncompromising Patton (George C. Scott) rouses the troops to combat the advancing Nazi front in the Mediterranean and European theaters, paving the way for Allied victory in World War II. ~ Violet LeVoit, Rovi
Harry and Tonto
In Paul Mazursky's rueful character drama, 57-year-old Art Carney plays Harry, a 70-plus Manhattan widower who loses his tiny apartment to the wrecking ball. Accompanied by his pet, an aged cat named Tonto, Harry sets out on an odyssey to Los Angeles. During his journey, he finds a kindred spirit in a youthful hitchhiker (Melanie Mayron), who eventually finds happiness with Harry's grandson (Joshua Mostel). Harry makes stops at the homes of his grown children (Philip Bruns, Ellen Burstyn, and Larry Hagman), but each visit is more disappointing than the last; he also touches base with an old flame (Geraldine Fitzgerald), who has slipped into senility. By the time he arrives in L.A., Harry has become dispirited by his desultory visits with friends and family, but he eventually realizes that each new day can be a beginning rather than an end. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Deborah Kerr - Anna Leonowens
- Yul Brynner - The King of Siam
- Rita Moreno - Tuptim
- Martin Benson - Kralahome
- Terry Saunders - Lady Thiang