Anna and the King

December 17th, 1999


Anna and the King

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Jodie Foster and Andy Tennant in Anna and the KingStill of Jodie Foster and Yun-Fat Chow in Anna and the KingStill of Jodie Foster and Tom Felton in Anna and the KingAnna and the KingStill of Yun-Fat Chow in Anna and the KingBai Ling in Anna and the King

The story of the romance between the King of Siam and the widowed British schoolteacher Anna Leonowens during the 1860's.

Release Year: 1999

Rating: 6.5/10 (18,167 voted)

Critic's Score: 56/100

Director: Andy Tennant

Stars: Jodie Foster, Yun-Fat Chow, Bai Ling

This is the story of Anna Leonowens, the English schoolteacher who came to Siam in the 1860s to teach the children of King Mongkut. She becomes involved in his affairs, from the tragic plight of a young concubine to trying to forge an alliance with Britain to a war with Burma that is orchestrated by Britain. In the meantime, a subtle romance develops between them.

Writers: Anna Leonowens, Steve Meerson

Jodie Foster - Anna Leonowens
Yun-Fat Chow - King Mongkut (as Chow Yun-Fat)
Bai Ling - Tuptim
Tom Felton - Louis Leonowens
Syed Alwi - The Kralahome, Prime Minister
Randall Duk Kim - General Alak
Kay Siu Lim - Prince Chowfa, King Mongkut's Brother
Melissa Campbell - Princess Fa-Ying
Keith Chin - Prince Chulalongkorn
Mano Maniam - Moonshee, Leonowens' Indian Servant
Shanthini Venugopal - Beebe, Leonowens' Indian Servant
Deanna Yusoff - Lady Thiang, Head Wife
Geoffrey Palmer - Lord John Bradley
Ann Firbank - Lady Bradley
Bill Stewart - Mycroft Kincaid, East India Trading Co.


Official Website: Fox Movies |

Release Date: 17 December 1999

Filming Locations: Coloma, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $5,223,416 (USA) (19 December 1999) (2132 Screens)

Gross: $113,996,937 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

3 months into filming an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis hampered the filming. Some sets had to be relocated because they were too close to pig farms (the main source, transmitted by mosquitoes). All the cast and crew were given a vaccine by the set doctor, and some sets were sprayed with insecticide before crew turned up to start filming.

Factual errors: Louis asks Anna, "Doesn't "Chang See Khao" mean White Elephant?" While "Chang See Khao" does literally translate into "white elephant", the correct term is "Chang Peuak."

[first lines]
King Chulalongkorn: She was the first English woman I had ever met. And it seemed to me she knew more about the world than anyone. But it was a world Siam was afraid would consume them. The monsoon winds had whispered her arrival like a coming storm. Some welcomed the rain...

User Review


Rating: 10/10

I saw a trailer for this film a few months before the Australian opening. Originally it was the lush cinematography that caught my eye. I assumed it would be a re-make either of the original 1946 movie or the better known Rodgers and Hammerstein musical of 1956.

In actual fact, the movie is neither a re-make of these previous FOX efforts, but rather an adaption of Anna Leonowens' own memoirs of the time she spent in Siam.

Jodie Foster gave a fascinating, beautiful performance as Anna. I found her portrayal of the character interesting, as it was far different from Deborah Kerr's interpretation. Yul Brynner left his mark on the King in both stage and film versions of "The King and I". However, Chow Yun Fat in a different role is excellent. I feel they are both up with a chance for an oscar nomination.

The film is a fine example of movie making. In addition to the supporting cast, the costumes and art decoration were of an excellent standard. Although the film was shot in Malaysia and not Thailand, I only suspected the film was not shot there because of all versions of the story being banned there. Despite the fact I have been to some of the Malaysian locations, I hardly noticed it.

Skeptical in my viewing of this movie because of my fondness for "The King and I", "Anna and the King" has forever shattered my illusions of the story. No longer can I picture the children swaying to the strains of "Getting to Know You". However, I was greatly surprised by this movie. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Rating: 10/10


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