Tag Archives: Lionel Logue

Videos for the Classroom: The original 1939 “King’s Speech”

The Neighborhood would love to give a hearty congratulations to Colin Firth, director Tom Hooper and the rest of the cast and crew of the 4-time Academy Award-winning The King’s Speech.  Both Firth and Geoffrey Rush give magesterial performances as George VI and Lionel Logue, respectively.  Well done!

I had made a serious point a few months ago to defend this film against its detractors, and I still stand by it.  Yet when it comes to the classroom, I really wish The King’s Speech wasn’t R-rated so it can be used with my students.  Hopefully, a classroom version can be available in the future.

While that happens, today we have a recording of the actual “King’s Speech”: the speech given by George VI over BBC Radio to his people across the Empire on September 3, 1939, as Britain declared war on Germany.  Those who saw the film can help students imagine what it was like for someone like George VI who struggled with his speech impairment, yet still needed to address his people at this awful hour.

It’s a great way to get students into the spirit of wartime Europe by listening to the king the way Britons would have listened back in World War II.

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