The King's Speech

The King's Speech is a 2010 British historical drama film directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. Colin Firth plays the future King George VI who, to cope with a stammer, sees Lionel Logue, an Australian speech and language therapist played by Geoffrey Rush. The men become friends as they work together, and after his brother abdicates the throne, the new king relies on Logue to help him make his first wartime radio broadcast upon Britain's declaration of war on Germany in 1939.

The King's Speech
British theatrical release poster
Directed byTom Hooper
Written byDavid Seidler
Produced by
CinematographyDanny Cohen
Edited byTariq Anwar
Music byAlexandre Desplat
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 6 September 2010 (2010-09-06) (Telluride Film Festival)
  • 23 December 2010 (2010-12-23) (Australia)
  • 7 January 2011 (2011-01-07) (United Kingdom)
Running time
119 minutes[4]
Budget$15 million[7]
Box office$427.4 million[1]

Seidler read about George VI's life after learning to manage a stuttering condition he developed during his own youth. He started writing about the relationship between the therapist and his royal patient as early as the 1980s, but at the request of the King's widow, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, postponed work until her death in 2002. He later rewrote his screenplay for the stage to focus on the essential relationship between the two protagonists. Nine weeks before filming began, the filmmakers learned of the existence of notes written by Logue that were being used by his grandson Mark and Peter Conradi as the basis of a book, and were granted permission to incorporate material from the notes and book into the script.

Principal photography took place in London and around Britain from November 2009 to January 2010. Hard light was used to give the story a greater resonance and wider-than-normal lenses were employed to recreate the Duke of York's feelings of constriction. A third technique Hooper employed was the off-centre framing of characters.

The King's Speech was a major box office and critical success. It was widely praised by film critics for its visual style, art direction, screenplay, directing, score, and acting. Other commentators discussed the film's representation of historical detail, especially the reversal of Winston Churchill's opposition to abdication. The film received many awards and nominations, particularly for Colin Firth's performance, which resulted in his first Academy Award for Best Actor. At the 83rd Academy Awards, The King's Speech received 12 Oscar nominations, more than any other film in that year, and subsequently won four, including Best Picture. Censors initially gave it adult ratings due to profanity, though these were later revised downwards after criticism by the makers and distributors in the UK and some instances of swearing were muted in the US. On a budget of £8 million, it earned over £250 million internationally.[8]

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