The King and I was re-issued by Fox in a reduction from the original 55mm negative to a 70mm release print and shown as a reserved seat attraction. This presentation most likely had an overture and an intermission.
The film was rereleased but blown up to 70mm. the Overture and Intermission were never a part of the original film. This music waas cut and pasted together from parts of the background score for the reissue only.
I scanned through the disc and there definitely isn't an overture or en'tracte. The picture quality is better than the cinemascope Oklahoma but not quite as good as the Sound of Music. Of course, the picture is a lot better than the Todd-AO Oklahoma.
I got the region 2 versions of King and I , Carousel, and South Pacific a few months ago and found no problem with the soundtracks. I'm assuming the same tracks are used for region one.
ONe problem most of these old mag stereo tracks have (and especially at Fox) things are mixed really high and right into distortion, because the engineers new that the distortion would be somehwat masked by the screen and large theaters.
They sound pretty good to me, too. I was happy to hear that the directional dialog in "Carousel" has not been narrowed at all. During the scene near the opening where Gordon MacRae has his first conversation with Gene Lockhart. Lockhart walks back and forth across the screen several times and his voice tracks with him. If you suspect your L-C-R speaker levels are a bit off, this could practically be used as a calibration disc!
For best results, if practical, I would recommend watching this with your left and right speakers anchored fairly closely to your screen. It can be disorienting if they are very far away from the sides.
I played the first two-thirds of this movie this afternoon on my Sony upconversion player, and I thought it looked and sounded terrific. I saw colors in the costumes I had never witnessed before and really couldn't be happier with this new version.
For anyone who bought the new King and I, can you go to 110:11 into the film (Shall We Dance) have the "Singalong Subtitles" on and tell me if your DVD jumps around. It seems to only happen when the "Singalong Subtitles" are visible. No other subtitles and it doesn't matter what audio track you are listening to.
Mine is a Sony upconversion player. I didn't try it in my Panasonic.
However, the number ("Shall We Dance") began just fine. I thought there would be no problem, but when the song gets to the part where Anna is teaching the king to count "one-two-three-and') that's when the troubles started.
I’ve been looking at the new 2-disc DVDs of CAROUSEL and THE KING AND I today and I can’t recommend them enough. I’ve never the colors of these films reproduced so fully and richly as here. I just saw a print of THE KING AND I at the AFI theater a few months ago, and I thought that looked nice, but it was nothing compared to what's on this disc. Really eye-popping.
There are plenty of other things to recommend in the packages as well, but I especially want to recommend a listen to the music-only track available on both discs. The track reproduces Alfred Newman’s underscore for both films at full volume in beautiful crisp stereo sound. And most of the songs are presented without vocals, so you get a chance to appreciate what’s going on behind the singers. Amazing stuff.
One problem I noticed in CAROUSEL--at the very beginning the Fox fanfare is followed by "A CinemaScope Picture" instead of the "First Motion Picture in CinemaScope 55" credit that appeared on the letterboxed laserdisc. A shame that was dropped.