Rupert Murdoch Pere Knew King's Speech Therapist Lionel Logue

by Anne Thompson
February 12, 2011 7:14 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood
In his weekend column, Wall Street Journal film critic Joe Morgenstern reveals a fascinating connection between WSJ owner Rupert Murdoch and Oscar front-runner The King's Speech:
With "The King's Speech" gaining the Oscar traction it deserves—the latest boost being an expression of approval from Queen Elizabeth—I can't resist going public with a story that I've relished telling to friends, and to the people who made the movie. Several weeks before it opened, I had a conversation with Rupert Murdoch, 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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  • tom brueggemann | February 13, 2011 3:40 AMReply

    A curious note - Murdoch is a staunch (small r) republican, that is, anti-monarchy. His Australian papers (his roots) have strongly favored that country replacing the Queen as head of state with a native president (which would be a non-political position, as in most countries). His British papers were among the early ones to break accepted Fleet Street codes about respecting royal privacy.

  • john | February 13, 2011 2:05 AMReply

    thanks for the fix

  • john | February 13, 2011 2:01 AMReply

    I don't know if it's intentionally misleading but your headline is wrong. Murdoch didn't know Logue; his father did. Nowhere does it say Ruport met Lionel although, admittedly, it makes a better story.

  • GL | February 12, 2011 11:31 AMReply

    Interesting. I would've loved to have met the real person. I am sure the character in the movie is somewhat close to who Lionel Logue, but I always wonder what the real thing would think of himself being portrayed on film.

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