The King's Speech

Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter
Film director: 
Tom Hooper
Event date: 
Tue, 25/01/2011

The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

Following a screening of the film in January 2011, three experts gave their responses to the film which can be read by clicking on the articles titles on the right-hand menu.

Articles on this film:

Hearing Our Voice: The Stigma of Stammering

My contribution to this debate comes from two directions:First I want to give my reactions to the film based on my own experiences of stammering, and receiving speech therapy. Second, I want to talk about how this film might help to change public attitudes towards stammering. This is perhaps the first major film that has treated stammering as the frustrating and painful disability it is, rather than as a source of amusement.

A Churchillian view of the 1930s? Cinematic representations of politics and monarchy in 'The King's Speech'

‘The King’s Speech’ focuses mainly on the relationship between King George VI and his speech therapist Lionel Logue, but the film also introduces audiences to other important historical characters, namely Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain, and Winston Churchill, and the influential role of the new mass media (radio, film, and the popular press) in Britain.

Stammering and The King's Speech

The film illustrates that there’s just so far you can go with silence, before people start to feel awkward. This seems to be one of the dominant features of stammering, certainly as presented in the film. It is unlike many other disorders of communication where there is typically something going on that the listener is able to work with. In trying to understand the communication disruption of stuttering, it is probably useful to consider the experience of the listener as well as that of the person who stammers.