The King's Speech

December 24th, 2010

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The King's Speech

Still of Colin Firth in The King's SpeechStill of Colin Firth in The King's SpeechTom Hooper in The King's SpeechStill of Colin Firth in The King's SpeechStill of Helena Bonham Carter in The King's SpeechStill of Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech

The story of King George VI of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

Release Year: 2010

Rating: 8.2/10 (159,318 voted)

Critic's Score: 88/100

Director: Tom Hooper

Stars: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter

Tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George ('Bertie') reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stammer and considered unfit to be king, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country through war.

Colin Firth - King George VI
Helena Bonham Carter - Queen Elizabeth
Derek Jacobi - Archbishop Cosmo Lang
Robert Portal - Equerry
Richard Dixon - Private Secretary
Paul Trussell - Chauffeur
Adrian Scarborough - BBC Radio Announcer
Andrew Havill - Robert Wood
Charles Armstrong - BBC Technician
Roger Hammond - Dr. Blandine Bentham
Geoffrey Rush - Lionel Logue
Calum Gittins - Laurie Logue
Jennifer Ehle - Myrtle Logue
Dominic Applewhite - Valentine Logue
Ben Wimsett - Anthony Logue

Taglines: It takes leadership to confront a nation's fear. It takes friendship to conquer your own.


Official Website: Official site | Official site [France] |

Release Date: 24 December 2010

Filming Locations: 33 Portland Place, Marylebone, London, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $355,450 (USA) (28 November 2010) (4 Screens)

Gross: $373,700,000 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Colin Firth won the Best Actor Academy Award (Oscar) for this movie on his second nomination. Firth was a consecutive back-to-back nominee as he had been nominated the year before in the same category for A Single Man, losing to Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart. Bridges was also nominated in this same category the year Firth won, for True Grit.

Factual errors: The Altar Frontal was Purple in the Abbey. The Coronation occurred May 12th 1937, too late for Lent. Also, the Abbey has no purple altar frontals for the High Altar.

[first lines]
Title Card: 1925 / King George V reigns over a quarter of the world's people. He asks his second son, the Duke of York, to give the final closing speech at the Empire Exhibition in Wembley, London.

User Review

Brilliant movie!

Rating: 10/10

This is a biopic about how King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II, overcame his stuttering problem. Widely considered by all but his father unfit to be king, George is reluctantly thrust unto the throne and into the spotlight after his brother is forced to abdicate. Overshadowed on the global stage by powerful orators like Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini, the King relies on the help of a little-known Australian speech therapist named Lionel Logue to find his voice and courageously lead his people into the most devastating war humanity has ever faced.

This is a powerful, hilarious and deeply moving story, told against the backdrop of a critical juncture in modern history, of the emergence of a deep friendship out of a professional relationship between two men who would otherwise never have socially interacted. The screenplay, written by David Seidler (who also wrote Tucker: The Man and his Dream), is excellent. The dry British wit is hilarious. I was literally slapping my knee during some of the scenes. Tom Hooper (Elizabeth I) does a superb job directing this movie. The buildup to the climactic finale is skillfully executed and prompted the audience to erupt into spontaneous applause. (Apparently, this also happened at the Roy Thomson Hall premiere.) Geoffrey Rush (Elizabeth: The Golden Age) does a fantastic job as Lionel Logue and Colin Firth (A Single Man) is excellent as King George VI.

I saw the second public screening of this movie at the Ryerson Theater during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Tom Hooper was present to introduce the movie. He was joined by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush after the movie ended for a brief Q&A.

It turns out that David Seidler also had a stuttering problem as a child and drew inspiration from the king's struggle. Early in his career he wanted to write a screenplay about it. He dutifully asked the Queen Mother for permission. She agreed but told him "not in my lifetime". Little did he know she would live to be 101 and he would have to wait another 30 years.

Another interesting tidbit we learned was that near the end of the shoot, the crew finally located one of Lionel Logue's grandsons, who just so happened to live about 10 minutes away from the director. They got access to Lionel's diaries and correspondence and managed to incorporate some of it into the script.

This movie is an unqualified must see.

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