[2014] Lejla13: The King's Speech

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[2014] Lejla13: The King's Speech

The King's Speech

George VI was born in 1895 and died in 1952. Albert, as he was known during his younger years, was the second son of the Duke of York (George V). He served during WWI and in 1920 his father created him Duke of York. In 1923 Albert married Elizabeth Lyon and had two children. In 1936, his brother Edward VIII abdicated the throne and Prince Albert then formally became King George VI. In 1939, on the brink of a second world war, he and Elizabeth had visited Canada and ended their proposed neutrality. He was also the first King to visit the United States. He and his wife were well known for their involvement in WWII decisionmaking.

Neville Chamberlain was the prime minister of Great Britain from 1937-1940. Under his order, Britan followed a policy of appeasement toward Germany; this is because England had just gotten out of the first world war and had an insufficient number of troops and funds to wage another. In 1938 the Munich Agreement was signed which allowed Germany to annex Sudetenland; Hitler promised Chamberlain that that was the extent of his expansion. However, Hitler continued to invade countries and in 1939, Chamberlain stepped down. Winston Churchill was appointed prime minister by King George VI. All throughout Chamberlain's time in office, Churchill had warned England of the dangers of Germany and was not optimistic as Chamberlain was; his correct instict proved him a wise choice for prime minister. In 1940, after the fall of France, Churchill asserted that the British people must not back down and fight for the cause no matter what. His efforts proved worthwile, as Germany surrendered in May of 1945. Although Churchill lost his position as prime minister in 1945, he still posessed a keen understanding of world events. In an adress that year he stated that "an iron curtain has descended across the continent"; and sure enough, The Cold War between western Europe and The Soviet Union was soon to begin. Although he served as prime minister once more from 1951-1955, Churchill would never surpass the work done during WWII.

Edward VIII (1894-1972) was the older brother of King George VI. In 1911 he was named Prince of Wales and as a prince was very popular; he was upbeat, social and sympathetic. Edward had met twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson in 1931 and would not succumb to his family's disapproval of her, even after becoming king in 1936 after his father's death. Prime minister Stanley Baldwin, The Church of England, and Edward's family had eventually won the battle and on December 10, 1936 he was abdicated from the throne. Edward married Simpson in June of 1937 and was later named Duke of Windsor by his brother; however, Wallis Simpson was given no title. Later that year the couple made a trip to Hitler's Nazi Germany to admire the efficiency of their labor conditions. Although harmless, the visit sparked a rumor that Edward was sympathetic to the Nazi's. Upon the outbreak of WWII, Edward was reluctantly given the position of liason officer between Britain and France. In 1940 he and his wife sailed for the Bahamas where he was appointed governor until 1945.

"It could have been a bunch of pip-pip, stiff-upper-lip Brit blather about a stuttering king who learns to stop worrying and love the microphone. Instead, The King's Speech — a crowning achievement powered by a dream cast — digs vibrant human drama out of the dry dust of history."-Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Magazine

ACADEMY AWARDS:Best PictureBest Original ScreenplayBest actor: Collin FirthBest director: Tom HooperGOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS:Best actor: Collin FirthSCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS:Best Ensemble CastBest actor Collin -kingsspeech.com

Queen Elizabeth (Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons) was born in 1900 and died in 2002. Her marriage to King George VI came as a surprise; he was a hot-headed, reserved man with a stammer while she was very regal, charming and energetic. She was a very supportive Queen and wife; Elizabeth worked endlessly to help her husband with his duties as King and pushed him to see a speech therapist. Queen Elizabeth's strength helped both her husband and the nation through WWII. In fact, Adolf Hitler had described the Queen as "the most dangerous woman in Europe." She remained a very popular figure even after the death of her husband. Like the rest of the royal family, Elizabeth did not like her brother-in-law's mistress, Wallis Simpson; she had even called Simpson "the woman who killed my husband", because King Edward's abdication was the reason George VI had to step up and rule through the turbulence of WWII. Although not caring very much for Simpson, Queen Elizabeth graciously attended her funeral procession in 1986. All througout her long life, the Queen maintained her vivaciousness and royal demeanor; she was 101 years old when she passed away.



Historical Inaccuracies:1) The King's stutter was extremely exaggerated in the film. In it, King George VI is barely able to speak a sentence without stuttering. However, in a speech made in 1927 by the real king, George VI spoke without any stuttering.2) Winston Churchill did NOT support Edward VIII's abdication as presented in the film. In fact, King Edward was supported by Churchill amongst others to try allowing a morganatic marriage, in which the king would be able to marry a divorced woman, however she would not be raised in rank as queen. The idea, of course, was rejected.3) Lionel Logue actually began working with the king in 1926; in the film, it wasn't until 1934.4) The death of King George V in the movie was due to old age and worsening alzheimers, however the real cause of death was due to bronchial complications.Accuracies:The film did an excellent job in keeping the validity of the following events:1)The secrecy and very low-key appointments with Logue. There are to this day no primary sources pertaining to the interactions between Logue and King George VI.2) Albert not desiring to be king. In the film, he tells David (Edward VIII) that he is glad that he will be king, because then that means Albert will not have to be. King George's reluctance to be on the throne is accurate.3) The "Declaration of War" speech in the film was copied word-for-word from the original speech. Overall, The King's Speech is a combination of fact and fiction; however, most of the film is exaggerated fact with only a few fictitious events. For a viewer hoping to gain historical information from the movie, most of the plot would prove helpful.

"It's a fine, absorbing work, built with brilliance and without excessive showiness or flash. It feels, in fact, like a classic virtually upon its arrival."-Shawn Levy, Oregonian(rottentomatoes.com)


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