THE KING’S SPEECH – 2010
THE KING’S SPEECH – 2010 – movie – directed by Tom Hooper – screenplay by David Seidler – the players are – Bertie, King George VI (Colin Firth), Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), Archbishop Cosmo Lang (Derek Jacobi), Equerry (Robert Portal), Private Secretary (Richard Dixon), Chauffeur (Paul Trussell), BBC Radio Announcer (Adrian Scarborough), King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce), Wallis Simpson (Eve Best), Winston Churchill (Timothy Spall), King George V, (Michael Gambon),Princess Elizabeth (Freya Wilson), Princess Margaret (Ramona Marquez).
This movie is about how one man overcame personal limitations, carried
the weight of responsibility, and mastered the destructive fear of failure. It is centered on a rich, fallible, imperfect man who has inherited a mantle of awesome power and responsibility. But, when under stress, he is burdened by a paralyzing fear of speech. Now he is being thrust forward to face the world of the common man; a world he knows nothing about, and whom he must lead into war. He is so immobilized with fear that he cannot utter complete sentences without lapsing into an uncontrollable stutter. He is to become the future king of England, King George VI.
It is now the mid-1930s and his nation is facing potential destruction at
the hands of a cruel and powerful enemy.
Let’s go back and get a little historical perspective here: As is mentioned
in the opening titles; The British Empire – of which the U.S. was formerly
a member – ruled over a quarter of the world’s population at the time of
King George’s reign.
When you’re presented with a movie such as this, rich in the events that have so recently shaped all our lives – pre-WW II - the history is irresistible. It took me a while to finally get the titles figured out.
The title “Duke of York” is a peerage title passed on through generations. King George V, who carried the title Duke of York, and Queen Mary (whose father was from Germany) had one daughter and five sons, including Prince Edward (who everyone called David) and Prince Albert (Bertie in the movie). Both George V and Mary should be, by my research, ranked among the worse parents in the world. When King George V died, his second son Prince Albert (Bertie) assumed the mantle of Duke of York. The kingship was passed to the older son, Prince Edward (previously the Prince of Wales) who was now King Edward VIII. However, 326 days later he was forced to abdicate the throne because he wanted to marry a divorced American, Wallis Simpson.
He then reverted to the title, Duke of Windsor – she became the Duchess of Windsor. It was his brother, Prince Albert (Bertie), who then assumed the throne to become king. His wife became Queen Elizabeth – known today as the “Queen Mum” - and his title was changed to King George VI. I know…. it’s mind-binding for us out here in the provinces to grasp all this. I'm sure you're relieved to have all it finally straightened out. Well, don’t feel too bad, Colin Firth (Bertie) didn’t know that King George VI’s wife was the Queen Mum.
There’s some disagreement about Bertie’s relationship with his brother David. A little historical digging suggests that they were actually friends and that Edward was not the tormenting bully depicted in the movie.
It may seem a little bit like People Magazine, but this little drama plays a pivotal role against the backdrop of the rise of fascism and intrigue that led up to WWII. Hmmmm, maybe we should be paying more attention to all those magazines we see as we’re waiting for our groceries to be rung up.
How could this little bit of Eurocentric royal intrigue and social deviance
be so tangled up in the history of a former colony that revolted and left
the British Empire 240 years ago? Ha! This, as they say, is just the tip
of the iceberg.
There is no record of any business investments that Edward made in Germany but he and Wallis tacitly consorted with Hitler during the 1930s, as did many European and American corporate heads and "personalities". '.
The actions of Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson – later the Duke and Duchess of Windsor – is a whole other subject. It is centered on their relationship with Nazi Germany, her sexual liaisons with von Ribbentrop
– German Ambassador and Edward’s comments in support of Hitler. It is a topic that I’ll cover at a later date.
In Edward’s case it was the aristocracy, which he loathed and wanted no
part of. He was infatuated with Mrs. Simpson.
She, however, thought that Edward was just having a temporary fling before he assumed his responsibilities. As an aside, there have been many books written on this subject, touting
various theories… take your pick.
You’re going to find in this movie that some events have been re-arranged. When writing a movie script based upon actual events it often is necessary to compress time and highlight those dramatic moments needed to propel the story forward at a good clip… and bring it to a close in about 2 hours.
For years, before Logue, Bertie had been consulting recommended advisors who were deemed suitable for treating someone of his position. None of these cures worked.
Contrary to the film’s order of facts, Bertie first engaged the brilliant Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue in 1928, when he began an intense programed course in speech therapy. It proved so effective that he delivered speeches in Africa and Australia in the 1920s that were stutter-free.
On a medical note, it was his doctor’s recommendation that he smoke
cigarettes to calm his nerves. Ironically he died in
1952 of lung cancer. Proving once again that medicine is not a science, and whatever the medical community “knows” at any given time stands a good chance of being disproved in the future.
When we began this movie the British Empire ruled a quarter the world’s people.
After WWII and during King George VI’s reign, we witnessed the dissolution of the largest empire ever seen. The former Crown Colonies are now comprised of 14 Overseas Territories - about 250,000 people - which remain under the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. Such is the fate of all nations harboring thoughts of dominion over people who wish to be free to choose a democratic way of life.
#TomHoope #DavidSeidler #KingGeorgeVI #ColinFirth #GeoffreyRush #HelenaBonhamCarter #DerekJacob #KingEdwardVIII #GuyPearce #WallisSimpso #Eve #WinstonChurchill #FreyaW #RamonaMarquez #PrincessElizabet #PrincessMargaret #WWII #WorldWarII #BritishEmpire #fascis