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The King and I

My disdain for musicals is well-documented, and I would count Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals particularly high on the list of my most objectionable experiences in that arena. Still, even I can’t deny that The King and I (1956) is a classic. Sure, the score is overblown, Ernest Lehman’s script doesn’t measure up to his work on films like Sweet Smell of Success or North by Northwest, and it outstays its welcome significantly with a two-plus-hour running time. But Yul Brenner and Deborah Kerr are eminently watchable, and for those who go in for such things, it’s an effective — if excessively exaggerated — piece of Cinemascope spectacle from journeyman director Walter Lang.  

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