Fri
Jan 27 2012 9:05am

Shall We Dance (Even if We Can’t Express Our Love)?

Chances are you’ve seen The King and I. At the very least, you know the story:

Set in the Victorian era, a British woman is brought to Siam to be a governess to the King of Siam’s children. During the course of her stay there, she brings about modernization to the king’s household and temperament—and she and the king fall in love, although neither can express it.

The sexual tension between the king and the governess is palpable (plus there’s Yul Brynner’s naked chest!), and it is heartbreaking to realize that these two are just too different to wind up together.

Without mentioning the ’feelbad’ endings of Nicholas Sparks’s books-to-films (a post on those to come!), would this plot be allowed to be made for current audiences, and their current expectations?

Do we all need a happy ending now?

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6 comments
Alie V
1. ophelial
I thought they had made this for current audiences - Anna & The King with Jodie Foster? I thought they did a good version of it, but I'm probably biased as I don't watch movies older than 1980 (dodges thrown totatoes).
Rose In RoseBear
2. Rose In RoseBear
Oh, that dress!

And the body language! Starting at 3:05 or so, the hands behind the back, the slow-motion approach ... I'm amazed the film doesn't just burn up right there! And, at the end, when the gong sounds, he braces as if the hounds of hell were attacking --- as, in fact, they are, as this is the beginning of the Tuptim scene and the beginning of the end for them all.

Okay, you've done it ... gotta go back and watch the movie and drool over Yul Brenner!
Rose In RoseBear
3. Rose In RoseBear
@ephramyfam: The movies Anna And The King and The King And I are both based on the same novel, but The King And I is a glorious Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, from which comes the American Songbook standards "Shall We Dance?" "Hello, Young Lovers," "Something Wonderful," and "Getting To Know You." Plus, it has Yul Brynner, with acres of glowing brown chest. Plus, it has ballet, and a socially conscious subplot.

By comparison, Jodie Foster's Anna and the King is just a plain old movie ... though it does have the delicious Chow Yun Fat!
Stephanie Treanor
4. Streanor
Such a guilty pleasure of mine! Used to watch this all the time when I was young.

I think subconciously the dancing equates to sex. It encompasses passion, love and in this case a shirtless Yule Brynner.

I'll take this over looking at dirty magazines any day!
Wendy Lewis
5. wsl0612
The King and I is a great example of a beautiful story that doesn't have the HEA, and it makes perfect sense. But I think for an author to write a story without the HEA there needs to be some feeling that the main characters go on to lead somewhat happy lives. Although I can appreciate the beauty of the soulmate I don't want to think that the H or the H will be sad and lonely until the day he or she dies.
Rose In RoseBear
6. JanetW
Did you know that this movie -- and particularly this dance -- is prominently figured in the new movie The Iron Lady. Music and songs can sum up a lifetime of memories sometimes. Haven't seen this movie forever but I can hear some of the songs in my head, even now.
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