Cinema: The End of a Long Reign

Time has about run out for Anna and her King

Certain properties in popular culture fasten their fangs on our pants leg and never let go, no matter how we kick and yell. The story of Anna Leonowens, British tutor to the numerous progeny of testy King Mongkut, ruler of 19th century Siam, is perhaps the most persistent of these terriers.

It began life as a (possibly fictionalized) diary by its heroine and has since been a novel, a movie, a Broadway musical, a movie version of that musical and an animated feature. It is now back to being a straight movie--without songs, without the Small House of Uncle Thomas ballet...

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