The Kings Speech Shooting Script Review

David Seidler must be pretty chuffed with himself. So must Colin Firth and Tom Hooper. And the British Monarchy. Yes, whichever way you look at it, The King’s Speech has worked wonders for the creative team behind it as well as British Cinema and the Windsor Family. I would consider it fair to say that The King’s Speech, masterpiece as it is, owes many of its achievements to its glorious, now Oscar winning screenplay of one David Seidler, whose past exploits include dubbing scripts for Godzilla the Monster and Political Advisor to the Prime Minister of Fiji. What a fella.

These bite-sized chunks of trivia I picked up through leafing through the official Shooting Script of the King’s Speech, which not only offers intriguing insights into the life of Seidler and how he came to write the King’s Speech but gives some clues as to the directing process – even though this is the Shooting Script there are a great man discrepancies between the book and the finished product, ranging from substituting the odd word to cutting whole scenes, always to the benefit of the final cut.

The most notable cut is George V’s funeral, a notable omission from the film. Logue, standing in the crowd watching the procession, remarks to his wife that the King’s children weren’t too fond of him, anyway. The reasons for including this short chapter in the first place are clear: it adds a bit of dramatic irony; we know something Mrs Logue doesn’t! Also, it serves as a testament to Bertie and Logue’s increasingly intimate friendship. But there is no subtlety to this scene and the conversations between the two friends which follow serve as a much more definite mark of friendship than any glib comment.

Turning afterwards to the introduction written by Seidler, I had a moment of clarity (perhaps, on a far smaller scale!) similar to that of the film’s producer when the final piece of a wonderful puzzle slotted into place. Seidler himself is a ‘reformed’ stutterer and growing up in England in the 1940s, “Mad King George the Sixth – The Stammerer” was naturally a living hero and source of great inspiration for Seidler as a child. Who better than this man to turn Good King George’s story into the motion picture of the year?

Through the introduction, charmingly written, we learn of the trials and tribulations which Seidler encountered in creating this film, including battling cancer and receiving a stern note from the Queen Mother that no such film was to be created in her lifetime (and that when she was a youthful 88 years old, compared to her final age of 101!). But as with any great thing in life, whatever doesn’t kill it only makes it stronger, and to read of the perseverance and determination which Seidler certainly put in to creating what may well go down in history as his class-royal act adds even more heart to what is a very hearty film!

Published by Nick Hern Books at £12.99

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Dani Singer

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