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Critics have been fairly generous in their praise of the new Hollywood film "Anna and the King," but in Thailand -- the setting for the romantic adventure -- moviegoers will have no chance to second-guess the pundits: Government censors on Tuesday banned the movie.

"After we viewed the movie, the majority agreed to ban it, because it makes jokes and insults the institution of our monarchy and distorts the facts," said Police Maj. Gen. Prakard Satamarn, the chairman of the censorship board.

Satamarn declared the 20th Century Fox movie "illegal" and said police would go after pirated videodiscs and tapes already available in Bangkok.

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