Yul Brynner stars as King Mongkut of Siam. With his exotic good looks and confidence, he’s the picture of masculinity. He made having a bald head handsome before Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise. Yul Brynner’s chest showed in costumes for two of his 1956 films The King and I and The Ten Commandments.
Deborah Kerr stars as Anna, the teacher who was hired to teach English to the king’s children. She struggles with learning Siamese culture, but falls in love with the children.
Marni Nixon sang Deborah Kerr’s songs in this film. Nixon is famous for dubbing songs in The King and I, An Affair to Remember, West Side Story, and My Fair Lady.
Kerr was introduced to the American public with her starring role in the 1947 film The Hucksters. One of the taglines for that film was “Gable’s New Star is Deborah Kerr (rhymes with star).” She was nominated for six Best Actress Oscars from 1949 to 1960, but never won.
The King and I won five Academy Awards: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Art Direction-Set Direction/Color, Best Costume Design/Color, Best Music – Scoring of a Musical Picture, and Best Sound-Recording. It was nominated for Best Picture, but that was the year Around the World in Eighty Days beat out The King and I, Giant, The Ten Commandments, and a William Wyler film I’ve yet to see called Friendly Persuasion.