Adiarte). Historically, Anna's on, Louis Leonowens eventually returned to Siam to become a Captain in the Royal Cavalry (commissioned by his schoolfellow, the royal prince Chulalongkorn. married twice and had two children. He lived to age 63 (he and his wife died in the 1919 flu pandemic).
Unfortunately, we were not to see his illustrious co-star Gertrude Lawrence in the film. Though Ms. Lawrence had first refusal on any film version of the play, she died of cancer in 1954 (3 weeks after her final appearance as Anna). Supportive of her co-star, one of her last acts before her death was to arrange that Mr. Brynner's name appear on the theatre marquee (her name had been the only one listed). With the exception of the vocal issues, however, Ms. Kerr is a worthy successor, an actress who can do more with a raised eyebrow than most can do with their whole body. And with a wardrobe of enormous period dresses, Ms. Kerr WEARS them - they never overwhelm her or her character.
A few days after we saw this film, we were at a Disney concert (the Wolf Trap orchestra performing to clips of Disney films), and my husband was struck by the similarities between the ballroom scene in Beauty and the Beast and the Shall We Dance number in The King and I. Below are two screen shots. Note the dresses - the same wide skirt, the same off the shoulder top, and both are shades of gold. Even the rooms bear a resemblance to one another. Coincidence? I bet not!