Sunday Matinee: The King’s Speech Censored

Nominated for 12 Oscars and the winner of a ton of other prestigious awards, The King’s Speech is a historical drama about King George VI overcoming his stutter – leading to his big speech when Britain went to war with Germany in 1939.

The film, like all movies that are based on actual events, tries to be historically accurate but glosses over facts and changes people to suit the story. It stars Colin Firth as King George VI and Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue – the king’s speech therapist.

Despite all the acclaim and all the awards, the film has had some trouble with it’s movie rating. The film has no objectionable material in it except for a foul mouthed tirade which is the film’s big breakthrough for the King George’s speech impediment.

In the film’s native country of England – it was originally awarded a 15 Rating (no one under the age of 15). Director Tom Hooper was annoyed and pointed out how stupid it was to lump the film with other 15 Ratings when films like Salt and Casino Royale both had a 12A rating despite having torture scenes in them. The British Board of Film Classification then lowered the movie to a 12A.

In the United States – there is a similar problem with the film earning a R rating because of the language. It’s a stupid rating for the film. So producer Harvey Weinstein, despite the wishes of director Tom Hooper, has recut the film so that it now has a PG-13 rating. Harvey went and removed 3 of the naughty words so he can get kids to see the film. From what I understand they didn’t cut any film but actually removed the offending language from the film so instead of dialogue you have silence. This version will apparently replace the current R rated version, so whatever happens at the Oscars tonight, audiences will get a censored version to watch after. Somehow I doubt that massive groups of today’s youths will flock to theatres to watch a censored version of a film about a king overcoming a speech impediment. I’m sure that they would rather watch something animated in 3-D instead.

Incidentally the movie is already rated PG in Canada. We have no problems with the word “fuck.”

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.