At the end of Joe Morgenstern‘s Wall Street Journal column today comes this: “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.”