The other history here is that George VI (Colin Firth) was more “worthy” of the throne than his brother, who had misbehaved (with women), although few people knew about his stammering.
All this is the subject of the funny period piece from Tom Hooper and The Weinstein Company, “The King’s Speech”, which played to an almost sold-out audience at Landmark’s E Street on a Monday night. The script was written by David Seidler.
Now I gave a speech on my own book in Feb. 1998, while still on crutches, at Hamline University, in an event arranged by a college senior and televised on cable afterward. And I got to speak for myself.
The climactic ten minute speech, with pauses matching the rhythm of the famous A minor Allegretto from Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, comes to a climax when the speech (not his words) summarizes Hitler’s philosophy as “Might makes right.” Already, sandbags and bunkers are appearing in The City of London, in mid 1940. The Battle of Britain would soon follow.
Of course, George wouldn’t make it without the speech therapy for years (Geoffrey Rush as Lionel, not exactly a Luthor). And his lessons were nothing like those of Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady” (1965, which I remember seeing the day before a friend’s wedding). George really couldn’t have said the lines about The Rain in Spain. The idea that cigarette smoking could help relax the speaker is a bit off-putting if very much in period.
The technology of the time is lovingly displayed, to the point of directly recording speeches onto phonograph records (78s).
The film remains in standard aspect ratio, which allows the close-ups to work.
It's interesting to me that the libertarian-oriented news anchor John Stossel overcame stuttering, as documented here. I met Stossel at a lunch for The American Experience in Minneapolis back in 2003.
Two of the pictures: I speak in 1998 at Hamline, and get a grand introduction.
Picture below, a post 9/11 speech (Feb 2002) I gave at a Unitarian Church near Minneapolis.
Note: The word "Edward" appears in the URL name of this posting (as cataloged) instead of "George" because of a typing error. "George" is intended.