The King and I (1956) Script

Come on, lads, hurry! We haven't got all day.

Is that it, captain? Are we here?

Aye, laddie. That's Bangkok all right.

Louis! Oh, Louis!

Mother! Look, there's Bangkok.

Yes, I know. Isn't it exciting?

Captain, I heard them lowering the anchor. Is anything wrong?

We have to wait for the afternoon tide to carry us over the bar.

Oh, I see.

Will the king of Siam come down to meet us, Mother?

I hardly think so, dear. Kings don't, as a rule.

Come forward, lads. They need help in the bow.

Get along there.

That's the royal barge.

The king is coming out to meet us.

It's not the king, it's the kralahome.

Who is the kralahome?

A sort of a prime minister.

The king's right-hand man, you might say.

May I look? Please, may I see?

Aye, laddie.

Ma'am, if I might be allowed to offer you a word of warning, that man has power, and he can use it for you or against you.

You must stop worrying about me, Captain Orton.

Sometimes I wonder if you know what you're really facing.

An Englishwoman alone in a country like Siam.

It doesn't matter, captain. I shall have work to do, and the king has promised me a house of my own.

I'll have a place to bring up my boy as his father would have wished.

Mother, look. The prime minister is naked!

Oh, don't be ridiculous, Louis. He can't be naked.

He's only... half-naked.

They look so cruel, Mother.

Father wouldn't have liked us to be afraid, would he?

No, Louis. Father would not have liked us to be afraid.

Not ever.

Doesn't anything ever frighten you?

Oh, yes, sometimes.

What do you do? I whistle.

Oh, that's why you whistle.

That's why I whistle.

Whenever I feel afraid I hold my head erect And whistle a happy tune, So no one will suspect I'm afraid While shivering in my shoes I strike a careless pose And whistle a happy tune And no one ever knows I'm afraid The result of this deception is very strange to tell For when I fool the people I fear I fool myself as well!

I whistle a happy tune And ev'ry single time The happiness in the tune Convinces me that I'm not afraid.

Make believe you're brave And the trick will take you far.

You may be as brave As you make believe you are.

You may be as brave As you make believe you are.

I think that's a very good idea, Mother. A very good idea.

Yes, it is a good idea, isn't it?

I don't think I shall ever be afraid again.


The result of this deception ls very strange to tell For when I fool the people I fear I fool myself as well!

This is Anna Leonowens.

Mrs. Leonowens, may I present His Excellency, the kralahome.

Sir, you are lady who will be schoolmistress of the royal children?

Yes. He called you "sir."

Hush, dear, hush.

Have you friends in Bangkok?

I know no one in Bangkok at all.

His Excellency wishes to know, are you married, sir?

I am a widow.

What manner of man, your deceased husband?

My husband was an officer of Her Majesty's Army in...

Tell your master his business with me is as schoolteacher to the royal children.

He has no right to pry into my personal affairs.

He hasn't, Captain Orton.

I don't like that man.

In foreign country is best you like everyone until you leave.

You might at least have told us you speak English, Your Excellency.

It is not necessary for schoolteacher to know everything at once.

You come with me now.

Your baggages shall be carried to palace later.

Just a minute. Not the palace. I am not living in the palace.

Who say? The king say... Says.

In his letter of agreement, he promised me 20£ a month and a house of my own outside the palace walls.

King do not always remember what he promise.

Then you will have to remind him.

If I tell king he break this promise, I will make anger in him.

I think is better if king's anger reserved for more important matters.

Very well, then. If you are afraid to tell him, I will.

I should like to see him at once, while there's time for me to return to England on this boat.

King very busy now. Your Excellency, all I want is a few minutes' audience with him.

I have come here to work and I intend to work, but I shall take nothing less than I have been promised.

You will tell king this?

I will tell king this.

It should be very interesting meeting.

You come now!

If you change your mind...

Goodbye, Captain Orton, and thank you for everything.

Good luck, ma'am.

Goodbye, captain. Goodbye, laddie.

Take good care of your mother, now.

King in bad spirit today.

Suggest schoolteacher wait for better day.

My spirit is just as bad, Your Excellency. I cannot wait.

Man is Lun Tha, emissary from court of Burma.

He bring present to king from prince of Burma.

Her name is Tuptim.

Why, that girl is a present?

For king.

King is pleased with her.

Sorry. King has concluded audience.

Well, you mean I cannot see him?

Not today.

Louis, come with me.

You cannot do this!

Your Majesty. Who, who, who?

Your Majesty, is new English schoolteacher.

Mrs. Anna Leonowens and son.

Louis Leonowens.

You are schoolteacher?

Yes, Your Majesty. But before I start my work here, there is one point...

You are part of general plan I have for bringing to Siam what is good in Western culture.

Already I have bring printing press here for printing.

Yes, I know, Your Majesty. How you know?

Before I signed our agreement, I found out about your ambitions for Siam.

How old shall you be?

You do not look like scientific person for teaching.

How old shall you be?

I am 150 years old, Your Majesty.

In what year were you borned?

In 1712, Your Majesty.

How many years shall you have been married?

Several, Your Majesty.

How many grandchildren shall you have by now?

How many, how many, how many?

You do not answer fast.

I make better question than she make answer.

You are not afraid of king.

Not to be afraid is good thing in scientific mind.

I think maybe you make very good schoolteaching.


A few of my wives.

They have beauty but not gift for knowledge.

I have no time for teaching, being busy with foreign affairs and other situations.

I may present Lady Thiang, head wife.

There is a happy land far, far away Where saints in glory stand Bright, bright as day.

"In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth."


Oh, a missionary taught you English.

Yes, sir. Missionary.

I have boy too.

Crown Prince Chowfa Chulalongkorn, heir to throne.

You help Madam Leonowens with schoolteaching and she in turn shall teach you the better English.

She is very grateful to me for my kindness.

Lady Thiang, have children prepare for presentation to schoolteacher.

Speaking of teaching, Your Majesty, in our agreement...

Lady Son Klin, Lady Talap, Lady Piam.

And this girl is present to me from a Burma prince.

She just arrived.

Good day, madam.

My name is Tuptim. I already speak English.

And very nicely too.

I think I have fine idea.

In addition to children, you will also teach those of my wives as have sense enough for learning.

Siam to be very modern, scientific country.

Everybody speaking the English.

Your Majesty, it is not in our agreement that I teach your wives too.

Also, I will allow you to help me in my foreign correspondence.

I shall be perfectly happy to help you in any way I can provided we can clear up this one little matter of the house.


House? What house?

My house, Your Majesty. The one you promised me, adjoining the palace.

It is a pleasure that you shall live in palace.

You teach in palace, and you shall live in palace.

Will have nice apartment. Can look out, see many things.

Oh, yes, I'm sure we could see many things, such as iron bars, guards at the doors, et cetera, et cetera.

What is this "et cetera"?

Well, it means "and all the rest and so forth," Your Majesty.

You will meet my children.

I'm sorry, Your Majesty, but if there is to be no house, I shall have to get back to the boat.

You will stand here and meet royal children.

Very well, Your Majesty.

But there isn't much time.

The royal princes and princesses.

Well, well, Well?

Schoolteacher has graciously changed her mind and shall live in palace.

For the time being, Your Majesty.

These are the children you shall teach.

Someday shall allow you to meet my others.

More, Your Majesty?

Children of wives not in favor with king.

Sixty-seven, I think.



No! Oh, ladies, please. Don't open that, no.

Oh, my goodness! Oh, won't you all go back to your rooms?

Lady Thiang, will you please ask them to leave?

I must have some privacy.

Good heavens! What are they trying to do to me?

Sir, they think you wear dress like that because you shaped like that.

Well, I most certainly am not.

They wish to know, sir, if they may see the boy?

I'm sorry, Lady Thiang, he is asleep.

Please, do tell me. Why do you keep calling me sir?

Because you scientific, not lowly like woman.

But do you all think that women are more lowly than men?

Well, I certainly do not.

Please, sir, do not tell king. Make king angry.

Perhaps it's time somebody did tell him a thing or two.

Mrs. Anna?

Please, you have some English books I can read?

Yes, of course, my dear, but they're not unpacked yet.

They laugh at her because she is foolish child.

She has come to live in palace of king and yet she is unhappy.

After all, she had no choice in the matter.

Perhaps she is homesick.

Is not homesickness that make me sad, Mrs. Anna.

Is love for one I shall never see again.

Oh, poor child.

He is Lun Tha, who was chosen to bring me here.

We tried so hard not to have love for each other but we could not help ourselves.

We did try, Mrs. Anna.

It isn't easy to stop loving a man if he's the man you want.

Even if you know you will never see him again.

I know.

I was very much in love with my husband.

Please ask them to put that down.

They wish to know, sir, who is man?

That was my husband, Tom.

Tom. Mm-hmm.

He was pretty in face.

Oh, dear, yes, he was. Very pretty in face.

When I think of Tom I think about a night When the earth smelled of summer And the sky was streaked with white And the soft mist of England Was sleeping on a hill, I remember this And I always will.

There are new lovers now On the same silent hill Looking on the same blue sea, And I know Tom and I are a part of them all, And they're all a part of Tom and me.

Hello, young lovers, whoever you are, I hope your troubles are few.

All my good wishes go with you tonight.

I've been in love like you.

Be brave, young lovers, and follow your star, Be brave and faithful and true, Cling very close to each other tonight.

I've been in love like you.

I know how it feels to have wings on your heels And to fly down a street in a trance.

You fly down a street on the chance that you'll meet, And you meet not really by chance.

Don't cry, young lovers whatever you do Don't cry because I'm alone, All of my mem'ries are happy tonight, I've had a love of my own, I've had a love of my own, like yours, I've had a love of my own.

Be it pleasures and palaces, Though we may roam, Be it ever so humble, There's no place like home.

A charm from the skies Seems to hallow us there, Father, I'll be late for school! You wait.

You are pleased to recite proverb you learn yesterday and writing down 12 times in copybook.

"A thought for the day:

East or west, home is best."

"East, west, home, best," means house!

"A man's house is only less dear to him than his honor."

Every day, month after week, something about house.

Are my children to be taught nothing more?

Yesterday we are taught that the world is a round ball which spins on an invisible stick through its middle.

Everyone knows the world rides on the back of a turtle who keeps it from running into the stars.

How can it be that everyone knows one thing if many people believe another thing?

Then which is true?

The world is ball with stick through it.

I believe.

You believe?

Does that mean that you do not know?

But you must know, because you are king.


Someday you too will be king, and you too will know everything.

But how do I learn?

And when do I know that I know everything?

When you are king.

When you are king.

But I do not know.

In my head are many facts, but I am not sure.

What to tell a growing son?

How to bring truth and justice to my people?

When I was a boy, World was better spot, What was so was so, What was not was not.

Now I am a man, World have change a lot Some things nearly so, Others nearly not.

There are times I almost think I am not sure of what I absolutely know;

Very often find confusion In conclusion I concluded long ago.

In my head are many facts that, As a student I have studied to procure In my head are many facts, Of which I wish I was more certain I was sure.

Is a puzzlement.

Shall I join with other nations in alliance?

If allies are weak am I not best alone?

If allies are strong with power to protect me, Might they not protect me out of all I own?

Is a danger to be trusting one another, One will seldom want to do what other wishes;

But unless someday, Somebody trust somebody, There'll be nothing left on earth excepting fishes!

There are times I almost think nobody sure of what he absolutely know, Ev'rybody find confusion In conclusion he concluded long ago.

And it puzzle me to learn that tho' a man may be in doubt of what he know, Very quickly will he fight, He'll fight to prove that what he does not know is so.


Sometimes I think that people going mad!


Sometimes I think that people not so bad.

But no matter what I think, I must go on living life. As leader of my kingdom I must go forth, Be father to my children, And husband to each wife, Et cetera, et cetera, and so forth.

If my Lord in heaven Buddha show the way, Ev'ry day I try to live another day, If my Lord in heaven Buddha show the way, Ev'ry day I do my best for one more day,

But is a puzzlement

Come along now, children. Take your places, please.

Quickly now, and quietly.

Lady Thiang, will you start the lesson, please?

Blue is ocean.



Here is king of Siam.

In right hand is weapon.

Show how he destroy all who fight him.

Green, Burma.

Here is king of Burma.

No clothes mean how poor is king of Burma.

Thank you, Lady Thiang. I'll continue.

The map you have been looking at is 25 years old, and today we have a surprise for you.

A new map just arrived from England.

I do not see Siam.

The white is Siam.

Siam not so small.

Well, wait. Let me show you England.

See? It is even smaller than Siam.

Before I came here, Siam was just that little white spot to me.

Now that I've been here many months it has become far more than that because I've met the people of Siam, and I'm learning to understand them.

You like us, Mrs. Anna?

Yes, I like you very much.

Very much, indeed.

It's a very ancient saying, But a true and honest thought, That if you become a teacher, By your pupils you'll be taught, As a teacher I've been learning

And I've now become an expert, On the subject I like most, Getting to know you.

Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you.

Getting to like you, Getting to hope you like me.

Getting to know you, Putting it my way, but nicely, You are precisely My cup of tea!

Getting to know you, Getting to feel free and easy.

When I am with you, Getting to know what to say, Haven't you noticed?

Suddenly I'm bright and breezy Because of all the beautiful and new things I'm learning about you day by day.

Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you.

Getting to like you, Getting to hope you like me.

Getting to know you, Putting it my way, but nicely, You are precisely My cup of tea!

Getting to know you, Getting to feel free and easy.

When I am with you, Getting to know what to say, Haven't you noticed?

Suddenly I'm bright and breezy Because of all the beautiful and new things I'm learning about you day by day.

Getting to know you, Getting to feel free and easy.

When I am with you, Getting to know what to say, Haven't you noticed?

Suddenly I'm bright and breezy Because of all the beautiful and new things I'm learning about you day by day Getting to know you, Getting to feel free and easy.

When I am with you, Getting to know what to say, Haven't you noticed?

Suddenly I'm bright and breezy Because of all the beautiful and new things I'm learning about you day by day.

Goodness, this started out to be a geography lesson.

Quickly, let's get back to work.

Shh! Shh! Shh!

Now... What is that green up there?

That is Norway.

Nor... way.

Nor... way.

Norway is a very cold place.

Sometimes it is so cold, that the lakes and rivers freeze and the water becomes so hard that you can walk on it.

Walk on water?

Yes, walk on water.

How is it possible?

Hard water?

Not only that, but the raindrops change into small white spots that look like lace.

And this is called "snow."


Spots of lace!

Yes, Your Highness. The water freezes on its way down from the sky.

I do not believe such thing as snow.

And I do not believe such thing as snow.

And I do not believe Siam is this big.

And other country so big.

Siam is biggest country in world! Siam!

What, what, what?

How can schoolroom be so unscientific?

Well, Your Majesty, we had a little misunderstanding.

I was trying to describe snow and they refused to believe there is such a thing.



From mountaintop.

From sky, Your Majesty.

From sky to mountaintop.

That's right, Your Majesty.

I remember. I see pictures of Switzerland.

Land all white with snow.

Who does not believe this?

Well, after all, they've never seen it.

Never seen?

If they believe only what they see, why do we have schoolroom? Rise!

Never let me hear of not believing schoolteacher whom I have bring here at high expense.

Twenty pounds each month.

Twenty English pounds.



I command all of you to make most of this opportunity for expensive education.

For sake of selves and country.

Furthermore, it is...

What, what, what? This is not study book I have provide.

No, Your Majesty, it's one of mine.

I gave it to Tuptim. The name! You tell me!

Is called The Small House of Uncle Thomas.

Is by American lady, Harriet Beecher Stowe.

A woman has written a book?

Uncle Tom's Cabin. A wonderful book, Your Majesty.

All about the evils of slavery in America.

President Lincoln of America against slavery, no?

Very definitely, Your Majesty.

Me too.

Slavery very bad thing.

Mr. Lincoln is fighting a war, even now, to set the slaves free.

You admire him for this?

Very much, Your Majesty.

He seems to be a fine man who has studied hard and educated himself.

In that, he is not unlike yourself.

Shall Mr. Lincoln be winning this war he is fighting at present?

No one knows, really.

Does he have enough guns and elephants for transporting same?

I don't think they have elephants in America, Your Majesty.

No elephants? No.

No wonder he's not winning war.

All right, children, you may be seated now.

Mrs. Anna? Yes, Your Highness?

I do not understand how slaves can be set free if their masters wish to keep them.

It's done by the passing of a law and by the enforcing of that law, if necessary.

But my slaves and the slaves of my father...

Suppose there was such a law in Siam and we did not want it so?

Sometimes things can't be just a question of what we want, Highness, but of what is right.


I think perhaps we had better call recess until after luncheon.

You may be excused.

Young prince has healthy respect for ways of his own people.

Sometimes more than king.

Prince Chulalongkorn is a fine boy with a keen and probing mind.

But he still has much to learn, Your Excellency.

What is important for him to learn I do not think he'll find in this classroom.

I'm fully aware that you do not approve of my coming to Siam.

Why are you so blind? Have you no eyes to see?

King tries impossible task wishing to be scientific man who learn all modern things.

I think it a fine ambition.

Inside him is strong king like his father, who cannot change.

He will only tear himself in two, trying to be something he can never be.

Of course he can never be if those closest to him are unwilling to help him.

You do not know king as well as you think you do.

You believe you have great influence over him.

You will end up as his slave like all the others.


Yes, yes. Just a moment.

The king?

At this hour of the night?

Well, I trust His Majesty won't object if I put some clothes on first.

You sent for me, Your Majesty?

Your Majesty.

Oh, Your Majesty is reading the Bible.

Mrs. Anna, I think your Moses shall have been a fool.


Moses, Moses, Moses. I think he shall have been a fool.

Here it stands written by him that the world was created in six days.

Now you know and I know that it took many ages to create world.

I think he shall have been a fool to have written so.

What is your opinion?

Is that why Your Majesty sent for me at this hour of the night?

That is not reason, but first I wish to discuss Moses.

Now, how am I ever to learn truth if different English books state different things?

The Bible was not written by men of science, but by men of faith.

It was their explanation of the miracle of creation, which is the same miracle whether it took six days or many centuries.

I still think your Moses shall have been a fool.

As you wish, Your Majesty.

Now, was there something else?

Take letter.

A letter? Now?

Now. When else? Now is always best time.

Take letter to Mr. Lincoln of America, who is very scientific ruler.

Very well, Your Majesty.

From Phra Mana Mongut, by the blessing of the highest super agency in the world of the whole universe, the king of Siam.

Sovereign of all tributary countries adjacent and in every direction, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Do you not have any respect for me?

Why do you stand over my head?

I cannot stand all the time.

And in this country no one's head shall be higher than king's.

From now on in presence, you shall so conduct like all other subjects.

You mean, on the floor?

All subjects do so.

I'm very sorry.

I shall try my best not to let my head be higher than Your Majesty's, but I simply cannot grovel on the floor.

I couldn't possibly work that way, or think.

You are very difficult woman!

Perhaps so, Your Majesty.

But observe care that head shall not be higher than mine.

When I shall sit, you shall sit! When I shall kneel, you shall kneel.

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!

Very well, Your Majesty.

Is promise?

Is promise. Good.

To His Royal Presidency of the United States in America...

"Abrahom Lingkong"... et cetera. You fix up.

It has occurred to us...

You see, it has occurred to us...

it has occurred to us that if we shall be sending you several pairs of young male elephants to be turned loose in forests of America...


We are of opinion that after a while they shall increase in number.

And inhabitants of America shall... Your Majesty.


I don't think you mean pairs of male elephants.

How can I make letter if you interrupt?

And inhabitants of America shall be able to catch and tame them and use them as beasts of burden.

Only male elephants, Your Majesty?

You put in the details.

Good night.




Groveling on the floor at 2:00 in the morning.

I am Lun Tha.

You are Mrs. Anna, schoolteacher?

Yes, but you shouldn't be...

I must meet with Tuptim again. Please!

You have been seeing her here?

Twice we have spoken.

Each time it becomes more difficult.

She has said you will help us.

Oh, no, I couldn't!

It's much too dangerous.

Not for me, but for Tuptim and you.

You'll be killed if they find you in the City of Women. You must leave!

Death is not worse pain than empty life. Please, Mrs. Anna.

I'm sorry, Lun Tha.

There's nothing I can do.

Wait there.


Oh, Lun Tha.

Seeing you this way is not enough.

There is nothing we can do.

I am watched too closely.

Must we go on forever hiding our love like this?

We kiss in a shadow We hide from the moon, Our meetings are few and over too soon.

We speak in a whisper, Afraid to be heard;

When people are near, We speak not a word.

Alone in our secret, Together we sigh for one smiling day to be free, To kiss in the sunlight, And say to the sky:

Behold and believe what you see!

Behold how my lover loves me!

When will we be together, Tuptim?


It can never be, Lun Tha.

Not ever.

To kiss in the sunlight And say to the sky:

Behold and believe What you see!

Behold how my lover loves me!

You must go now.

I will be missed, and they will start searching for me.

When I return, it will be to take you from here.

There is no way, Lun Tha.

There is a river. There are boats.

I will find a way.

Oh, if it could only be.

It will be. I swear this.

When all is arranged, I will get word to you.

I shall pray, Lun Tha.

If you see a chaba flower in your path, broken like this, it will be the sign that I have come for you. Watch for it.

I will be ready.

Stop, stop, stop!

Your Majesty. What, what, what?


When Siam's richest province was stolen by France, I warned it was only beginning of Western treachery.

If enemies of ours, with lies such as this can convince British that you are unfit to be ruler of Siam, our seas will soon be thick with ships, greedy for conquest.

So it has finally come.

We must act quickly.

But how? Where?

I must think.

Clearly. Scientifically.

I must think.

But how can I think while being driven out of mind!

A charm from the skies Seems to hallow us there Which seek through the world, ls ne'er met with elsewhere.

That was splendid. Very effective.


Good morning. You think you teach king lesson!

This is one lesson you do not be paid for teaching!

You will stop instructing wives and children in "Home Sweet House" in order to remind me of breaking promises I never make, et cetera.

Your Majesty, I do not intend to have my boy brought up in a harem.

You did promise me a house. "A brick residence adjoining the palace."

Those were your very words. I do not remember such words!

I remember them. I will do remembering!

Who is king here?

I remind you so you remember that. I do not remember any promises.

I do not remember anything except that you are my servant.

Oh, no, Your Majesty.

What, what, what?

I said, you are my servant!

No, Your Majesty, that is not true. I am most certainly not your servant!

If you do not give me the house you promised, I shall be forced to return to England.

No! No! Please, Mrs. Anna.

Please. We believe schoolteacher!

I believe in snow!

Do not let her go away.

I let her do nothing that is not my pleasure.

It is my pleasure that you stay here!

In palace! In palace!

No, Your Majesty.

Why do you wish to leave these children, all of whom are loving you so extraordinarily?

I do not wish to leave them. I love them too, quite extraordinarily.

I cannot stay where a promise has no meaning.

I will hear no more!

A land where there is a wish for Siam to take her place in the modern world, but where everything still remains according to the wishes of the king!

You will say no more! No more!

I will say no more, because there is no more to say!

Come, Louis.

Out, out, out!

Who is it?

Mrs. Anna, it is I, Lady Thiang.

Oh, well, come in, Lady Thiang.

Mrs. Anna, you must go to king at once.

Indeed? And why must I?

I plan to leave on the next sailing.

Please, Mrs. Anna.

Did he send you here to ask me?

No. It is I who ask you.

King is in terrible distress, not knowing where to turn.


Agents in Singapore have found copies of letters to British government which describe king as barbarian and suggest necessity of making Siam a protectorate.

Oh, but that is outrageous!

The king is many things I dislike, but he is not a barbarian.

Then you will go to him now?

You mean, to advise him?

It must not sound like advice.

King cannot take advice.

And he will not bring up subject. You must do it for him.

No, Lady Thiang, I can't. It's against all my principles.

He needs help, Mrs. Anna.

Oh, but he has you.

I am not equal to his special needs.

Please, Lady Thiang, I simply cannot go to him, especially without his having asked for me.

What more can I say to you?

This is a man who thinks with his heart, His heart is not always wise.

This is a man who stumbles and falls.

But this is a man who tries.

This is a man you'll forgive and forgive, and help and protect, as long as you live.

He will not always say What you would have him say, But now and then he'll say something wonderful.

The thoughtless things he'll do will hurt and worry you.

Then all at once he'll do something wonderful.

He has a thousand dreams that won't come true, You know that he believes in them, And that's enough for you You'll always go along, Defend him when he's wrong, And tell him when he's strong, He is wonderful.

He'll always need your love, And so he'll get your love.

A man who needs your love can be wonderful.

Your Majesty.

You have come to apologize.

I am sorry, Your Majesty, but... Good! You apologize.

I didn't say... I accept.

Thank you, Your Majesty.


Do you not see I am occupied?

My mind on very important matters.

Anything you wish to discuss with me?

Why should I discuss important matter with woman?

Very well, Your Majesty. In that case I shall say good night.

Good night!

Your Majesty...

What, what, what? I wonder...

When the boat came from Singapore... Singapore!

Was there any news from abroad? News!

There were news!

They call me barbarian. Who?

Parties who would use this as excuse to steal my country.

Now suppose you are Queen Victoria, and someone say to you king of Siam is barbarian. Do you believe?

Well, Your Majesty... You will!

You will believe I am because there is no one to speak otherwise.

Oh, but this is a lie!

It is a false lie!

What have you decided to do about it?

You guess.

Well, if someone were sending a lie about me to England, I would do my best to send the truth to England.

Is that what you have decided to do, Your Majesty?

Yes, that is what I have decided to do. But how?

Guess how I shall do this.

Well, my guess would be that you would seek some kind of personal contact with the British.

Personal contact! When British ambassador and party arrive in Siam...

The ambassador, here?

On quick tour of Orient. Friendship tour, they say.

I receive letters from his aide, Sir Edward Ramsay, who accompanies him.

Edward, coming here?


You call him this?

We are old friends. I knew him in London before I was married.

When they're here, I'll take opportunity of expressing my opinion of thieves who would try to steal my country.

I will show them who is barbarian!

Well, what is this face you put on?

My guess is that you will not fight with your distinguished visitors.

I will not? No, Your Majesty.

You will give a banquet in their honor.

You will entertain them in a particularly grand manner.

You will make them all witnesses in your favor.

They will return to England and report to the queen that you are most certainly not a barbarian.


Naturally! This is what I shall have intended to do.

That's it, Your Majesty. Stand up to them.

Put your best foot forward.

It's an expression, Your Majesty.

It means put on your best clothes, show them your most intelligent men and most beautiful women.

Shall it be proper for the British to see my women without shoes?

Shall it be proper for my women to put their best bare feet fonuard?

No, we shall make them look like ladies of Europe:

Shoes on feet, dresses on bodies.

You will tell me which ladies are most like Europeans and educate them in European customs and manner for presentation.

Also, sew dresses. Sew dresses?

All women shall help.

Don't you think it would make a better impression in their own manner and dress?

You are not being scientific. The ambassador knows we are Siamese.

I wish him to know we are also Europeans.

Wake up! Everybody to the temple!

Wake up, wake up, wives, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

We will entertain them with acrobats.

We could give them a theatrical performance.

Tuptim has written a play, her own version of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

We shall give them theatricals. We'll show them who is barbarian.

We could make European dishes for dinner.

You teach. To be served on high table. Long white tablecloth...

And napkins. Of finest silk.

Using best gold chopsticks. Chopsticks?

Don't you think knives and forks would be more suitable?

British not scientific enough for the use of chopsticks.

You are to order finest gold knives and forks.

Also spoons. Why do you not think of spoons?

An inspired idea, Your Majesty.

We mustn't forget cigars. Englishmen are fond of them.

You are to make list of all eminent Europeans residing in Bangkok for sending of invitations. Very well.

You will instruct court musicians their learning music of Europe for dancing, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Excellent, Your Majesty.

How much time do I have for all this?

British gunboat last reported off Singkla. This give you one week.

One week? Your Majesty, one week!

In this same time, whole world was created, Moses say.

First, we ask help from Buddha.

Bow to him. Bow, bow, bow.


Oh, Buddha, give us the aid of your strength and your wisdom.

Oh, Buddha give us the aid of your strength and your wisdom.

And help us to prove to the visiting English that we are extraordinary and remarkable people.

And help us to prove to the visiting English that we are extraordinary and remarkable people.

Help also Mrs. Anna to keep awake for scientific sewing of dresses even though she be only a woman and a Christian, and therefore unworthy of your interest.

Help also Mrs. Anna...

Your Majesty, this is really... A promise is a promise.

Head must not be higher than mine.

A promise! and therefore unworthy of your interest.

And, Buddha, I promise you that I shall give this unworthy woman a house.

We will build her a house of her own:

A brick residence adjoining royal palace according to agreement, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Your Majesty... Oh! this unworthy woman a house.

We will build her a house of her own.

A brick residence adjoining royal palace... according to agreement... et cetera... et cetera... et cetera.

The napkins finally arrived. Would you place them on the table please?

Thank you. No, thank you.

Are we ready? The guests are arriving.

Please, do not let Englishmen come here.

We are afraid.

They cast terrible spell on us with evil eye.

Oh, nonsense. Nonsense!

Step back. Let me see how you look.

Stand apart.

Very nice. Now, turn round.

Oh, my goodness gracious!

What is trouble now?

Oh, I forgot! They have practically no undergarments.

Undergarments! Of what importance are undergarments at this time?

Of great importance.

Are you wearing undergarments?

All properly dressed English ladies always wear undergarments.

I have opinion that, in this regard, England is very backward nation.

Is this what you shall be wearing?

Why, yes. Do you like it?


Are you certain this is customary, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?

What is so extraordinary about bare shoulders?

Your own ladies... Yes.

But is different because of not wearing covering-ups on other parts of body, and therefore...

Therefore what?

Is different.

I'm sorry you do not approve.

I have not said I do not approve.

The ambassador and his party must be arriving.

Mrs. Anna, Mrs. Anna. They are cannibals.

They will eat us!

They will do nothing of the kind.

Remember, when you are presented to the ambassador, for heaven's sake, keep your backs to the wall.


Your Majesty, this shall be His Excellency, Sir John Hay, most honorable representative of United Kingdom in Great Britain.

Your Majesty.

I am pleased.


Thank you, Your Majesty.

May I introduce my aide, Sir Edward Ramsay.

Your Majesty.

I am pleased. Cigar.

Thank you.

And this is Madame Leonowens, teacher of English language, customs, et cetera, in royal household.

We've heard of your splendid work here.

Thank you, Your Excellency.

Edward, it's so good to see you.

How are you, Anna?

Come with me. Meet royal wives.

Royal wives.

He has the head of a goat!

Evil eye!

Evil eye! Evil eye!

Evil eye! Ladies!

Ladies, come back! Come back. Oh, dear.

Oh, this is dreadful.

Why have you not educated them in the British custom of spying glass?

Oh, is that what started the panic?

I regret, sir, my ladies have not given good impression.

On the contrary.

We have rarely received so good an impression in so short a time.

You have attractive pupils.

I wish you could see His Majesty's children.

Unfortunately, they're asleep.

How many children do you have?

Oh, I have only 106. I am not married very long.

Well, next month, expecting five more.

Anna, my dear.

You're looking lovelier than ever.

I was hoping to find you wasted away with homesickness.

For England? I have no one there, Edward.

Not anymore.

No one, Anna?

Hear that?

We danced to that once.

Richmond. Remember? Mm-hmm.

Still dance?

Not very often.

You should.

Do you remember I asked you to marry me?

Of course. I never allowed Tom to forget it.

I never learned to take defeat like a gentleman.

Dear Edward.

I didn't come to Bangkok just because I enjoy sleeping on a gunboat or watching Sir John comb his beard.

Anna, Anna, you're much too young to bury your heart in a grave.

Oh, but it's not buried. It's very much alive.

Here? Yes.

Among people who need me.

People I can help.

You could help me very much, Anna.

I see another 10 years of waiting in those eyes.

Dancing, after dinner!

I'm afraid I couldn't resist talking over old times.

I had impression that Mrs. Anna would help for seating guests at dinner table, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Now it is too late. They all stand up, waiting.

In that case, we'd better be going in, Anna.

Yes. We better be going in...


I forget.

If you'll excuse me, Your Majesty.


Now, herewith, shall be list of subjects you try to bring up for talk.

On such subjects I am very brilliant and will make great impression.

You begin with Moses.


Eat, eat, eat!

His Majesty made a rather interesting point about Moses when he was reading the Bible.

Oh, yes. Now, Moses is very fine illustration of little-known fact that men of faith and men of science, by contradicting each other, always manage to arrive at same conclusion.

I shall explain...

I should like to propose a toast.

His Gracious Majesty, the king of Siam:

May the rest of the world regard him with the same high esteem as does the government of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria.

Hear! Hear!

Your Majesty.

More toast.

To Her Gracious Majesty, Victoria, Queen of United Kingdom and Ireland, powerful sovereign of British colonies around globe of human world.

I wish to say, warm affection.

To the queen.

Enough toast for queen. Sit.

Now, theatricals for entertainment.


Play written by member of royal palace as surprise for king.

Siamese version of famous American book.

Your Majesty and honorable guests,

I beg to put before you:

Small House of Uncle Thomas.

We beg to put before you

"Small House of Uncle Thomas"

Small house of Uncle Thomas, Small house of Uncle Thomas, Written by a woman, Harriet Beecher Stowe.

House is in Kingdom of Kentucky, ruled by most wicked king in all America:

Simon of Legree.

Your Majesty.

I beg to put before you, loving friends.

Uncle Thomas.

Dear old Uncle Thomas.

Little Eva.

Blessed little Eva.

Little Topsy.

Mischief maker, Topsy.

Happy people.

Very happy people.

Happy, happy, happy people.

Your Majesty...

I beg to put before you one who is not happy:

The slave Eliza.

Poor Eliza, Poor Eliza.

Poor unfortunate slave.

King Simon of Legree.

She hates her lord and master... and fears him.

This king has sold her lover... to far away province of Ohio.

Lover's name is George.

George Baby in her arms also called George.

George Eliza say she run away and look for lover, George.

George So she bid goodbye to friends... and start on her escape.

The escape.

Run, Eliza,

Run from Simon Poor Eliza running and run into a rainstorm.

Comes a mountain.

WOMEN I Climb, Eliza,

Eliza lose her way in forest.

Hide in forest Poor Eliza.

Poor Eliza Poor Eliza Poor Eliza Poor Eliza.

Poor Eliza

Eliza very tired.

Your Majesty...

I regret to put before you:

King Simon of Legree.

Because one slave has run away, Simon beating ev'ry slave.

Simon clever man.

He decide to hunt Eliza... not only with soldiers... but with scientific dogs... who sniff and smell... and thereby discover all who run from king.

Run, Eliza, run, Run, Eliza, run.

Run from Simon, run,

Run Eliza Run, Run Run from Simon Run, run Run Eliza Run from Simon

Eliza Run Run Eliza run from Simon Run

Run Eliza Run From Simon Run Eliza Run from Simon Run Eliza, run, run Run Eliza come to river Eliza come to river Poor Eliza.

Who can save her?

Only Buddha Save her, Buddha, save her.

What will Buddha do?

Buddha make a miracle.

Buddha send an angel down.

Angel make the wind blow cold.

Make the river water hard.

Hard enough to walk upon.

Buddha make a miracle.

Praise to Buddha

Angel show her how to walk on frozen water.

Now as token of his love...

Buddha send a new miracle.

Praise to Buddha Send from heaven, stars... and blossoms.

Look like lace upon the sky.

Praise to Buddha Praise to Buddha So Eliza cross the river... hidden by this veil of lace.

Forgot to tell you name of miracle.


Of a sudden, she can see Wicked Simon of Legree... sliding cross the river fast with his bloodhounds and his slaves.

What has happened to the river?

Buddha has called out the sun!

Buddha has called out the sun!

Sun has made the water soft.

Wicked Simon and his slaves Fall in river and are drowned.

Everybody celebrate death of Simon.

And Eliza make happy reunion with dear old Uncle Thomas... blessed little Eva... mischief maker, Topsy... and faithful lover George... who is looking like Angel to Eliza.

Topsy glad that Simon die Topsy dance for joy.

I tell you what Harriet Beecher Stowe say that Topsy say:

"I specks I'se de wickedest critter in de world."


I do not believe Topsy is wicked critter... because I, too, am glad for death of king... of any king who pursue a slave who is unhappy and who tried to escape.

And Your Majesty, I wish to say to you:

I beg of you!

Your Majesty... and honorable guests...

I will tell you end of story.

Is very sad ending, with sacrifice.

Poor little Eva Poor little Eva Poor unfortunate one Is Buddha's wish that Eva come to him... and thank him personally... for saving of Eliza and baby.

And so she die... and go to arms of Buddha.

Praise to Buddha Praise to Buddha

Very clever. Very clever, Your Majesty.

Author! Author!


Is there anything else before I say good night?

Sit, sit, sit.

Plenty for two. Eat.

Oh, no, thank you.

Fork is a foolhardy instrument.

You pick up food, and it leaks.

Oh, your conversation at dinner was most amusing, Your Majesty.

I was forced to laugh myself. I was so funny.

Before leaving, Edward confided that the ambassador was quite impressed.


And he will most certainly send a glowing report to Queen Victoria.

I am so pleased, Your Majesty.

I am aware of your interest.

I wish to say... you have been of great help to me in this endeavor.

I wish to make gift.

I have hope you accept.

Put it on.

Put it on finger.

Oh, put it on, put it on, put it on.

Your Majesty, I don't know what to say.

When one does not know what to say... it is a time to be silent.

It is late, Your Majesty. If there's nothing else...

There is, there is, there is else.

Have good news to tell.

Yesterday, a white elephant has been discovered in forest of Ayutthaya.

And you regard this as a good omen?

Yes. Very good omen.

Everything going well with us?

Yes, everything going well with us.

Tuptim, your pupil.

Her play tonight.

Oh, but, Your Majesty, everyone enjoyed it immensely.

It is immoral for king to drown when pursuing slave who deceive him.

Immoral. Immoral!

Tuptim shall hear of my displeasure when she is found.


It is believed she hides somewhere in palace... to escape king's anger and...

You know something of this?

Only that she has been unhappy. Why unhappy?

She is in palace of king!

What is greater honor for girl than to be in palace of king?

Oh, but, Your Majesty, of what interest to you is one girl like Tuptim?

In your house, she's just another woman.

As a bowl of rice is just another bowl of rice, no different from any other.

Now you understand about women.

So many English books I read introduce strange idea... of love, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

You disapprove?

But it is a silly complication of a pleasant simplicity.

A woman is designed for pleasing man. That is all.

A man is designed to be pleased by many women.

How do you explain the fact, Your Majesty... that many men remain faithful to one wife?

They are sick.

But you do expect women to be faithful.

Naturally. Well, why naturally?

Because it is natural.

It is like old Siamese rhyme:

A girl must be like a blossom with honey for just one man.

A man must live like honeybee and gather all he can.

To fly from blossom to blossom, A honeybee must be free, But blossom must not ever fly from bee, to bee, to bee.

Oh, Your Majesty, in my country we have a far different attitude.

We believe that for a man to be truly happy... he must love one woman and one woman only.

This idea was invented by woman.

But it's a beautiful idea, Your Majesty.

In England, we're brought up with it.

And by the time a young girl goes to her first dance...

Young girl?

They dance also?

Like tonight? In arms of man not her husband?

Why, of course.

I would not permit.

Oh, but it's very exciting.

When you're young... at your first dance... and you're sitting on a small gilt chair... with your eyes lowered... terrified that you'll be a Wallflower.

And suddenly you see two black shoes... a white waistcoat... a face. It speaks.

We've just been introduced, I do not know you well.

But when the music started, something drew me to your side.

So many men and girls Are in each other's arms, It made me think we might be similarly occupied.

Shall we dance?

On a bright cloud of music shall we fly?

Shall we dance?

Shall we then say "goodnight" and mean "goodbye?"

Oh, perchance when the last little star has left the sky.

Shall we still be together with our arms around each other, And shall you be my new romance?

On the clear understanding that this kind of thing can happen, Shall we dance?

Shall we dance?

Shall we dance?

Why do you stop? You dance pretty. Go on.

Your Majesty, I didn't realize. After all, I'm not a dancing girl.

In England, no woman dances alone while a man looks on.

But she dances with stranger, holding hands?

Yes, but not always a stranger.

Usually a very good friend. Then we'll dance together.

You show me. Teach, teach, teach.

It's quite simple, the polka.

You count, "One, two, three, and one, two, three... and one, two, three, and..."

Shall we dance?

One, two, three, and.

On a bright cloud of music shall we fly?

One, two, three, and.

Shall we dance?

One, two, three, and.

Shall we then say "goodnight" and mean "goodbye?"

One, two, three, and.

Oh, perchance when the last little star has left the sky.

Shall we still be together with our arms around each other, And shall you be my new romance?

On the clear understanding that this kind of thing can happen, Shall we dance?

Shall we dance?

Shall we dance?

And one, two, three... One, two, three, one, two, three...

Something wrong.

I know, I forgot "and." Next time I remember.

One, two, three, and one, two, three...

That's splendid, Your Majesty.

Splendid, splendid!

You throw me off count!

And, one, two, three, and one, two, three, and...

That is not right.

You were doing beautifully, Your Majesty.

No, no. Not the way I see Europeans dancing tonight.

Yes, it was. It was just like that.

Were not holding two hands like this.

No... as a matter of fact.


like this?





We do it again.

Your Majesty... Why do you burst in here?

We have found Tuptim.

Where is she? Secret police are questioning her.

Her lover has not been caught. Not yet.


It is believed she was running away with Lun Tha... man who bring her here from Burma.


Dishonor. Dishonor!

Bring her in. Your Majesty, what will you do?

I shall do what is usually done in such event.

No. No!

No! Mrs. Anna, do not let them beat me.

Do not let them!

Where is this man? I do not know.

It is known you were lovers with him.

I was not lovers with this man!


We will have truth of you. Stop that! Do you hear? Stop it!

It is better if you understand at once... that this does not concern you.

Oh, but it does, Your Majesty. It does, dreadfully.

Because of her, and even more because of you.

She's a child, running away because she was unhappy.

Can't you understand that?

You waste my time!

I beg of you not to take revenge on this girl.

You'll throw away everything you've accomplished for yourself and country.

The girl hurt your vanity, that's all. She didn't hurt your heart.

You have no heart!

You've never loved anyone and you never will.

I will show you. Give me.

I can't believe you will do this dreadful thing!

You don't? Believe when you hear her screams as you run from here.

I am not going to run. I am going to stand here and watch you.

Hold this girl. I do this myself!

You are a barbarian.

Down, down, down!

Am I king or am I not king?

Am I to be cuckold in my own palace, to take orders from English teacher?

No, no. Not orders. Silence!

I am king as I was born to be... and Siam to be governed in my way!

Not English way, not French way, not Chinese way!

My Way!

Barbarian, you say.

There is no barbarian worse than a weak king.

And I am strong, do you hear?



The man, the lover has been found in river. He is dead.


Oh, no!

Oh, no!

Oh, no!

I don't understand you, not you or your king.

I'll never understand him.


When I warn you of this many months ago, you do not listen.

You have destroyed him.

He can never be the king he was before.

You have taken all that away from him.

You have destroyed king!

The next boat that comes, no matter where it goes, I shall be on it.

Give this back to His Majesty.

I wish you have never come to Siam.

So do I.

Oh, so do I!


Mother, our luggage is all loaded.

We'll be late for the boat.

Yes, Louis.

I'm coming.

Mrs. Anna.

Lady Thiang. Your Highness.

How nice of you to come to say goodbye.

Mrs. Anna, I do not come for myself.

I come for one who must see you quickly.

You may tell His Majesty I am no longer subject to him.

You do not understand.

Mrs. Anna... he is dying!


The king?

Oh, no, Lady Thiang. What happened?

Who can say what it is that makes a man die?

A sad heart that no longer wishes to go on beating?

Ever since night of great banquet, he has shut himself away in palace... turning from all who would speak to him... unwilling to sleep or to nourish himself... searching through many books, only to push them aside in despair.

Doctors warned him he must change his ways quickly... but he would not listen, Mrs. Anna.

He would not listen.

I had no idea.

Everyone who knew was forbidden to speak of it.

And now, doctors have no hope for him.

Mrs. Anna.

Your Highness.

I am frightened, Mrs. Anna.

I am frightened because I love my father... and also because if he dies, I shall be king.

And I do not know how to be.

Many men learn this after they become kings, Your Highness.

It will be good to think back... on all that Mrs. Anna has taught you.

When king heard you were sailing tonight, he started to write letter.

It was difficult for him, Mrs. Anna.

Very difficult.

He has commanded that I give it to you.

Please, may I hear what my father has said, Mrs. Anna?

"While I am lying here...

I think perhaps I die.

This heart which you say I have not got... is matter of concern.

"It occurs to me that there shall be nothing wrong that men shall die.

"For all that matters about man... is that he shall have tried his utmost best.

In looking back, I discover that you think much on those people who require that you live up to best of self.

You have spoken truth to me always... and for this I have often lost my temper on you.

But now I do not wish to die... without saying this gratitude... and large respect, et cetera, et cetera.

"I think it very strange... that a woman shall have been most earnest help of all.

But, Mrs. Anna, you must remember... that you have been a very difficult woman... and much more difficult than generality."

We must hurry back now.

You will come?

Mother... now that the king is dying... does that make you friends again?

I suppose so, Louis.

We can't hurt each other anymore.

He always frightened me.

I wish you had known him better.

You two could have been such good friends.

In many ways he was just as young as you.

Was he as good a king as he could have been?

I don't think any man has ever been as good a king as he could have been.

But this one tried.

He tried very hard.

You really like him, don't you, Mother?

Yes, Louis.

I like him very much.

Very much indeed.

Several weeks...

I do not see you, Mrs. Anna.

And now I die.

Oh, no, Your Majesty.

This is not scientific.

I know... if I die or do not die.

You shouldn't be here. Can't we move you to your room?


I wish to remain here in room with knowledge.

You are leaving Siam?


Very soon, Your Majesty.

In fact, I can stay only a few more minutes.

And you are glad of this?

People of Siam... royal children, et cetera... are not glad.

And all are in great affliction... of your departure.

I shall miss them.

You shall miss them... but you shall be leaving.

I, too... am leaving.

Only I'm not walking onto a boat... with my own feet... of my own free will.

I am just leaving.

Why is your head higher than mine?


Here is something belonging to you.

Put it on.

Put it on, put it on.

Please... wear it.

The children.

Let my children come in.

Good evening, children.

Good evening, my father.

Please, do not go. We'll miss you! Children!

Stop this noise.

Did you come to see your father or Mrs. Anna?

It is all right, Lady Thiang.

It is suitable.

My father.

Princess Ying Yaowalak.

I have wish to...

She has memorized message for Mrs. Anna.

Speak message now.

Say it, say it, say it.

Dear friend and teacher... my goodness gracious... do not go away.

We are in great need of you.

We are like one blind.

Do not let us fall down in darkness.

Continue good and sincere... concern for us... and lead us in right road.

Your loving pupil...

Princess Ying Yaowalak.

Mother... it's the boat. It's time to go.

Do not go, Mrs. Anna. Please do not go.

No, no, Mrs. Anna!

Run down to the boat and ask Captain Orton to take our things off.

Yes, Mother.


There's no reason for doing of demonstration... for schoolteacher realizing her duty... for which I pay her exorbitant monthly fee... of... twenty-five pounds.

Furthermore... this is disorganized behavior... in presence of dying king.



Mrs. Anna...

you... take notes.

You take notes...

from next king.


Suppose you are king.

Is there nothing you would do?

I... would make proclamations.

Yes. Yes?

First, I would proclaim for coming New Year... fireworks.

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Also boat races.

Boat races?

Why boat races with New Year's celebration?

I like boat races.

And, Father, I would make second proclamation.

Yes, what is second proclamation? Make it, make it.

Regarding custom of bowing to king... in fashion of lowly toad.

I do not believe this is good thing.

Causing embarrassing fatigue of body... degrading experience for soul... et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

This is bad thing.

I believe.

You are angry with me, my father?

Oh, why do you ask question?

If you are king... you are king!

Don't ask question of sick man.

Nor... of woman.

This proclamation... against bowing to king...

I believe to be your fault.

Oh, I hope so, Your Majesty.

I do hope so.

Up! Rise up!


Up, up. up!

Like soldiers in lines.

It has been said.

There shall be no more bowing... for showing... respect... for king.

It has been said by one...

who has been trained... for royal... government.

There shall be no bowing like toad.

No crouching.

No crawling.

This does not mean, however, that you do not show respect for king.

You will stand with shoulders back... and chin high, like this.

You will face king with proud expression... showing pride in self as well as in king.

This is proper way for men to show esteem for one another... by looking upon each other's faces with calmness of spirit... eyes meeting eyes in equal gaze... bodies upright, standing as men were meant to stand... with dignity and awareness of self.