Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The King's Speech (2010)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The King's Speech (2010, UK)

In director Tom Hooper's historical British drama - an intelligent Best Picture-winner about the speech disability of a future King - and during treatment, the development of the royal patient's relationship with his therapist:

  • in the film's opening, the portrayal of the painful-to-watch stuttering of Prince Albert, the Duke of York (and second son of the King George V) (future King George VI (Oscar-winning Colin Firth)), who was stammering through the closing ceremony speech of the British Empire Exhibition delivered at Wembley Stadium in 1925; it was his "inaugural broadcast" - using the new invention of wireless BBC radio
  • the intercession of Albert's wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), the Duchess of York, negotiating that her husband meet with unorthodox Australian speech-defect therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), who insisted that the Duke come to his office: "My game, my turf, my rules"; when he learned that his client was the Duke of York who required "absolute discretion" and confidentiality, he agreed to help, but specified: "I can cure your husband. But for my method to work, I need trust and total equality, here in the safety of my consultation room. No exceptions"; she paused, then added: "When can you start?"
  • the first meeting between the Duke and Lionel, the Duke admitted he wasn't good at starting conversations: "Waiting for me to commence a conversation, one can wait rather a long wait....Timing isn't my strong suit"; it was decided that the doctor would be known simply as "Lionel," and the Duke would be called "Bertie" (instead of the formal "Your Royal Highness"); Lionel stressed: "In here, it's better if we're equals"
The First Therapy Consultation: The Establishment of Names: Lionel and Bertie
  • the montage sequence in which the future king practiced muscle relaxation exercises and breath control techniques
  • the revelation of the underlying reasons for the Duke's stuttering - from early childhood pressures due to favoritism and special treatment; and his honest confession and his distance from the 'common man': "Lionel, you're - you're the first ordinary Englishman, Australian, I've ever really spoken to. When I'm driven through the streets and I see the, you know, the common man staring at me, I-I'm struck by how little I know of his life and how little he knows of mine"; Lionel responded: "What are friends for?" to which the Duke answered: "I wouldn't know"
  • the rivalry between the Duke and his mean older brother David (Guy Pearce), who had ascended to the throne as King Edward VIII, but was soon to abdicate the throne due to his prospective marriage with the twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson (Eve Best); the Duke was intimidated by David, who mocked his stuttering, his elocution lessons, and his potential to be king: "Younger brother trying to push older brother off the throne. P-P-Positively medieval"
  • the scene of the angry Duke's unorthodox spouting of a string of swear words - without hesitation: (Lionel: "You don't stammer when you swear!")
  • during a foggy walk, the dramatic scene of the split between Bertie/the Duke and Lionel, when Lionel insisted that Bertie himself could make a good king: ("Your place may well be on the throne....You can outshine, David...I'm just saying you could be King. You could do it"); Bertie accused Lionel of speaking treason ("I am not an alternative to my brother....Don't take liberties! That's bordering on treason") - and the Duke quit Lionel in anger ("Don't attempt to instruct me on my duties! I am the son of a King. And the brother of, of a King. You're the disappointing son of a brewer. A jumped-up jackeroo from the outback. You're a nobody. These sessions are over")
  • after reconciling, the scene of the newly-ascended King and Queen at Lionel's home having tea, when Mrs. Myrtle Logue (Jennifer Ehle) was shocked to see the Queen having tea at her dining room table (Lionel to the King: "I haven't told her about us"); Lionel nervously introduced his wife to the King - she knew him only as a patient: "I believe you two have met, but I don't think you know - King George the Sixth"
  • later, after the Duke was coronated as the new King, the King's climactic and tense wartime radio broadcast at Buckingham Palace, delivered from a private chamber, when Britain declared war on Germany in 1939, with Lionel coaching him from the side: ("Forget everything else and just say it to me. Say it to me as a friend")
The Declaration of War Speech - 1939 -
Coached From the Side by Lionel
  • the aftermath of the speech, with the more confident, assured King waving to applauding crowds from the palace's balcony with his family and wife, Queen Elizabeth
  • the final postscript (title card): "Lionel and Bertie remained friends for the rest of their lives"

Stuttering Duke of York at Wembly Stadium in 1925

Duchess Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) Setting Up Private Speech Therapy for Duke of York with Lionel Logue

Practice of Breathing Control Techniques

The Duke's Revelation of Childhood Roots of Stuttering

The Duke's Mocking of Older Brother David/King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce)

The Duke's Angry String of Swear Words including the F-word

The Duke to Lionel: "Don't take liberties!...These sessions are over!"

Mrs. Logue - Shocked at the Sight of the Queen Having Tea in her Home


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