SIAM: Sanuk Dee

For the first time in Siamese history, evening dress was required in the cinema. It was a premiere to rival any in Hollywood, and the audience of Bangkok's elite, many of whom arrived in shiny new Dodges and Buicks, were full of expectancy as they settled in their seats to watch the movie version of Anna and the King of Siam.

Almost all of them had read and discussed the book. Leading Siamese critics and historians had taken pains to point out that it was more than 75% inaccurate (refined King Mongkut, for example, had certainly never burned a wife)....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!