Your RDA of Irony

The Overdue Review

 If you had any doubts, yes I loved “The King’s Speech.”  The story of George VI and his valiant struggle to overcome his stammer is poignant and moving, with a wonderful cast.  It is a conventional film; there are no dazzling computer graphics, no possible video games from it, no tie-ins with McDonalds or Baskin-Robbins.   “The King’s Speech’ is merely everything you would want in a good movie. 

Yes, I also noticed the historical errors and distortions. Given our reverence for Winston Churchill, it is hard to think of him being in the wrong.  In fact, hidebound traditionalist that he was, Churchill supported Edward VIII in his royal snit to have both the throne and Mrs. Simpson.  The film gives the contrary impression, a tactful fabrication to protect Churchill’s reputation.  “”The King’s Speech” also gives the impression that Wallis was planning to redesign the royal crest, replacing the lion and unicorn with pugs.  However, in the Thirties the Windsors had yet to become pugherders.

I was also bewildered by a scene in which Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin tenders his resignation. According to the film, Baldwin admits his shame in failing to recognize the threat from Herr Hitler.  Actually, Baldwin did not have the scriptwriter’s hindsight.  In 1937, Baldwin couldn’t have cared less about Hitler, rather regarding him as antidote to Stalin. Baldwin probably was more affected by the death of Jean Harlow. No, he was just ready to retire, and leaving at his political pinnacle. A nice peerage was awaiting him.

But these faults do not seriously detract from viewing a fine film.

Now, if only a filmmaker would do justice to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Judd Apatow certainly would give them the respect they deserve. The thought of Seth Rogen playing him would torment the Duke more than anything he currently is enduring.

Helena Bonham Carter (whose forebears would have known the original cast) could recommend a talented, if somewhat surreal, director. Imagine Tim Burton’s portrayal of the Windsors. By comparison, the Romanovs might have gotten off lucky. And Johnny Depp would be just right for the role. Yes, I am thinking of the Duchess.

And let’s not forget the theological significance of this day;

  1. Tony H says:

    I enjoyed the film a lot too (I was hoping not to, actually: I don’t like to encourage heritage cinema; there’s far too much of it and it panders to a false touristic image of the country, but dammit, it won me over). One quibble: Edward Vlll was played – quite brilliantly I might say – as a sort of Bertie Wooster cad, but if he had been that repellant, would he have been so popular in the country? His compassion for the Welsh miners is still not forgotten. But glad to see the film alluding to the mysterious sexual hold exerted by Wallis over the KIng. This could furnish a scene or two in your projected film. All the best. Tony

  2. Peggles says:

    I have not seen the film yet (I’m going on Monday), but for me the most damning characteristic of Edward VIII was his affinity for a certain Herr Hitler. I say ‘good riddance’ to the twit.

    • Tony H says:

      Hear hear to that!

      It has just been brought to my attention that Madonna has announced she is to direct a film of the life of Edward Vlll with Ewan McGregor in the title role. There’s not a lot one can say about that.

    • Eugene Finerman says:

      Now, Peg, the Duke and Duchess were quite tolerant of rich Jews. Perhaps they could have charmed Herr Hitler into sparing the Rothschilds.

  3. Eugene Finerman says:


    With Madonna directing the film, we finally will see Mrs. Simpson’s sexual contortions. Expect the pugs to be in leather bondage outfits, too.


  4. Eugene Finerman says:

    PS (As in post-mortem shock): the brittle, aging Stanley Baldwin was played by Anthony Andrews. Some of us would remember him as a handsome, young leading man. He was always portraying an aristocrat, whether as Ivanhoe or the finally suitable mate for Miss Georgina in “Upstairs, Downstairs.” However, his most memorable role was as Sebastian Flyte in “Brideshead Revisited.” Seeing his coy, charismatic performance, everyone would want to be a gay, Catholic alcoholic.


    • Tony H says:

      You could have knocked me down with a feather when I discovered that was Anthony Andrews! There’s a warning there for all jeunesse doree.

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