A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Violent battles, whipping, beheading.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to concubines, adultery.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking, King smokes cigars, child smokes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is some very intense violence, including battle scenes, bloody beatings, and non-graphic but very tense beheadings. Dead bodies hang from a tree and soldiers are poisoned. There is a very sad death of a child. There are references to the king's many wives and concubines and one reluctant concubine is shown being prepared for her first night with him, and being reassured that he is a generous lover. The king smokes cigars and the boys try one. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's best to watch this movie with your eyes more than your ears: It is a visual treat. ANNA AND THE KING is the fourth movie version of the story of Anna Leonowens, brought to Siam in 1864 by King Monghut to teach his children. Anna and the King end up teaching each other a few things, too. Of course, the best-remembered version is the classic with Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, and the unforgettable songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein. This version has spectacle to spare, but no "Getting to Know You," no "Whistle a Happy Tune," no genuine connection between the two leads (though viewers are supposed to believe that they are in love with one another), and a script that teeters between stolid and awful.
Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel (The Black Stallion) creates stunning images of splendor. But the dialogue is dreadful and the plot does not hold together, especially in a bizarre Mulan-style rescue. Worst of all is the all-but-loony way that the two leads, both playing highly principled people deeply aware of their responsibilities, linger over a goodbye when the bad guys are charging, dance romantically in the middle of a state dinner, and generally act like Archie and Veronica at the malt shop.
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Our Editors Recommend
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