What Rupert Murdoch and 'The King's Speech' Have in Common
Wall Street Journal critic Joe Morgenstern says mogul Rupert Murdoch's father was cured by the same therapist as King George VI. So Lionel Logue not only saved England, he has a fan rich as a king.
As if Oscar magnet The King's Speech needed more fans, it apparently has one in News Corp. boss Murdoch, probably a more influential friend than alleged The King's Speech fan Queen Elizabeth. "Several weeks before [The King's Speech] opened, I had a conversation with Rupert Murdoch," Morgenstern wrote on Friday, "who popped a question familiar to movie critics: What should he see?"
"I suggested The King's Speech, and, not wanting to spoil it with too many details, gave a shorthand description: Colin Firth as King George VI, who has a terrible stutter, and Geoffrey Rush as a raffish Australian speech therapist."
"'Yes', he replied, Lionel Logue."
"'So you know the story'."
"'Not the story of the movie,' he said. 'Lionel Logue saved my father's life.'"
"When I responded with speechlessness, he explained that his father, as a young man, wanted passionately to be a newspaper reporter, but couldn't interview people because he stuttered. Then he met Lionel Logue, who cured him in less than a year."
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Scott Feinberg, the lead awards analyst for The Hollywood Reporter, is one of the entertainment industry's most experienced and trusted experts about the Oscars, Emmys and Tonys. He started on the awards beat in 2001, writing for independent websites including his own ScottFeinberg.com before joining the Los Angeles Times and then THR, for which he writes “The Race” blog, which won the LA Press Club’s National Entertainment Journalism Award for best entertainment blog of 2012-2013. A voting member of both the Broadcast Film Critics' Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association, he is also writing a book about film history for young people for which he has interviewed more than 500 high-profile Hollywood figures whose careers span the silent era through the present.
Follow Scott on Twitter at twitter.com/scottfeinberg.