George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death. He was the last Emperor of India, and the first Head of the Commonwealth.
As the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward. He served in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force during World War I, and after the war took on the usual round of public engagements. He married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923, and they had two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret.
George's elder brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII on the death of their father in 1936. However, less than a year later Edward revealed his desire to marry the divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin advised Edward that for political and religious reasons he could not marry Mrs Simpson and remain king. Edward abdicated in order to marry, and George ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor.
On the day of his accession, the Oireachtas, the parliament of the Irish Free State, removed the monarch from its constitution. Further events during George's reign accelerated the break-up of the British Empire and its transition into the Commonwealth of Nations. Three years after his accession, the Empire and Commonwealth, except the Irish Free State, was at war with Nazi Germany. In the next two years, war with Italy and Japan followed. Though Britain and its allies were ultimately victorious, the United States and the Soviet Union rose as pre-eminent world powers and the British Empire declined. After the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, his title of Emperor of India was abandoned in June 1948. Ireland was formally declared a republic in 1949, and India followed suit the following year. George adopted the new title of Head of the Commonwealth. He was beset by health problems in the later years of his reign. After his death, he was succeeded by his elder daughter, Elizabeth II.
Because of his stammer, Albert dreaded public speaking. After his closing speech at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley on 31 October 1925, one which was an ordeal for both him and the listeners, he began to see Lionel Logue, an Australian-born speech therapist. The Duke and Logue practised breathing exercises, and the Duchess rehearsed with him patiently. Subsequently, he was able to speak with less hesitation. With his delivery improved, the Duke opened Parliament House in Canberra during a tour of the empire in 1927. His journey by sea to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji took him via Jamaica, where Albert played doubles tennis partnered with a black man, which was unusual at the time and taken locally as a display of equality between races.
The Duke and Duchess of York had two children: Elizabeth (called "Lilibet" by the family), and Margaret. The Duke and Duchess and their two daughters lived a relatively sheltered life at their London residence, 145 Piccadilly. One of the few stirs arose when the Canadian Prime Minister, R. B. Bennett, considered the Duke for Governor General of Canada in 1931—a proposal that the King rejected on the advice of his ministers
The King's Speech is a 2010 British historical drama film directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. Colin Firth plays King George VI who, to cope with a stammer, sees Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush. The men become friends as they work together, and after his brother abdicates the throne, the new King relies on Logue to help him make a radio broadcast on Britain's declaration of war on Germany in 1939.
Seidler read about George VI's life after overcoming a stuttering condition he endured during his youth. He started writing about the men's relationship as early as the 1980s, but postponed work, at the Queen Mother's wishes, until her death in 2002. He later rewrote his screenplay for the stage to focus on the essential relationship between the two protagonists. Nine weeks before filming began, Logue's notebooks were discovered and quotations from them were incorporated into the script.
Principal photography took place in London and around Britain from November 2009 to January 2010. The opening scenes were filmed in Elland Road, Leeds, (for the since demolished Wembley Stadium), Buckingham Palace interiors in Lancaster House, and Ely Cathedral stood in for Westminster Abbey. The cinematography differs from other historical dramas; hard light was used to give the story a greater resonance and wider than normal lenses were used to recreate the King's feelings of constriction. A third technique Hooper employed was the off-centre framing of characters: in his first consultation with Logue, George VI is captured hunched on the side of a couch at the edge of the frame.
Released in the United Kingdom on 7 January 2011, The King's Speech was a major box office and critical success. Censors initially gave it adult ratings due to profanity, though these were later revised downwards after criticism by the makers and distributors in the UK and some instances of swearing were muted in the US. On a budget of GB£8 million, it earned over US$400 million internationally (£250 million). It was widely praised by film critics for its visual style, art direction, and acting. Other commentators discussed the film's representation of historical detail, especially the reversal of Winston Churchill's opposition to abdication. The film received many awards and nominations, particularly for Colin Firth's performance; his Golden Globe Award for Best Actor was the sole win at that ceremony from seven nominations. The King's Speech won seven British Academy Film Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Firth), Best Supporting Actor (Rush), and Best Supporting Actress (Bonham Carter). The film also won four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Hooper), Best Actor (Firth), and Best Original Screenplay (Seidler).
Third choice to play the lead, Colin Firth's performance earned him BAFTA & Academy awards, among others.
Colin Firth as King George VI / Prince Albert, Duke of York
Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue
Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth, Duchess of York / Queen Elizabeth
Guy Pearce as Edward, Prince of Wales / King Edward VIII
Michael Gambon as King George V
Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill
Jennifer Ehle as Myrtle Gruenert Logue
Derek Jacobi as Cosmo Gordon Lang (Archbishop of Canterbury)
Anthony Andrews as Stanley Baldwin
Eve Best as Wallis Simpson
Freya Wilson as Princess Elizabeth
Ramona Marquez as Princess Margaret
Claire Bloom as Queen Mary
Tim Downie as Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester
Maya Seidler as Mary, Princess Royal
Works directed by Tom Hooper
Red Dust (2004) · The Damned United (2009) · The King's Speech (2010) · Les Misérables (2012)
EastEnders (1998–2000) · Love in a Cold Climate (2001) · Daniel Deronda (2002) · Elizabeth I (2005) · Longford (2006) · John Adams (2008)
[hide]v · d · eAcademy Award for Best Picture (2001–2020)
A Beautiful Mind (2001) · Chicago (2002) · The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) · Million Dollar Baby (2004) · Crash (2005) · The Departed (2006) · No Country for Old Men (2007) · Slumdog Millionaire (2008) · The Hurt Locker (2009) · The King's Speech (2010)
Complete list · (1927–1940) · (1941–1960) · (1961–1980) · (1981–2000) · (2001–2020)
[hide]v · d · eBAFTA Award for Best Film (2001–2020)
Gladiator (2001) · The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2002) · The Pianist (2003) · The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2004) · The Aviator (2005) · Brokeback Mountain (2006) · The Queen (2007) · Atonement (2008) · Slumdog Millionaire (2009) · The Hurt Locker (2010) · The King's Speech (2011)
Best Film Not in the
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2001) · Amores perros (2002) · Talk to Her (2003) · In This World (2004) · The Motorcycle Diaries (2005) · The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2006) · Pan's Labyrinth (2007) · The Lives of Others (2008) · I've Loved You So Long (2009) · A Prophet (2010) · The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Best British Film
Billy Elliot (2001) · Gosford Park (2002) · The Warrior (2003) · Touching the Void (2004) · My Summer of Love (2005) · Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2006) · The Last King of Scotland (2007) · This Is England (2008) · Man on Wire (2009) · Fish Tank (2010) · The King's Speech (2011)
Complete list · (1948–1960) · (1961–1980) · (1981–2000) · (2001–2020)
[hide]v · d · eBIFA Award for Best British Independent Film
My Name Is Joe (1998) · Wonderland (1999) · Billy Elliot (2000) · Sexy Beast (2001) · Sweet Sixteen (2002) · Dirty Pretty Things (2003) · Vera Drake (2004) · The Constant Gardener (2005) · This Is England (2006) · Control (2007) · Slumdog Millionaire (2008) · Moon (2009) · The King's Speech (2010)
[hide]v · d · eScreen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (2001–2010)
Gosford Park (2001) : Eileen Atkins, Bob Balaban, Alan Bates, Charles Dance, Stephen Fry, Michael Gambon, Richard E. Grant, Tom Hollander, Derek Jacobi, Kelly Macdonald, Helen Mirren, Jeremy Northam, Clive Owen, Ryan Phillippe, Maggie Smith, Geraldine Somerville, Kristin Scott Thomas, Sophie Thompson, Emily Watson, James Wilby
Chicago (2002) : Christine Baranski, Ekaterina Chtchelkanova, Taye Diggs, Denise Faye, Colm Feore, Richard Gere, Deidre Goodwin, Queen Latifah, Lucy Liu, Susan Misner, Mýa, John C. Reilly, Dominic West, Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) : Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Bernard Hill, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, John Noble, Miranda Otto, John Rhys-Davies, Andy Serkis, Liv Tyler, Karl Urban, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham, Elijah Wood
Sideways (2004) : Thomas Haden Church, Paul Giamatti, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh
Crash (2005) : Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, William Fichtner, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Thandie Newton, Ryan Phillippe, Larenz Tate
Little Miss Sunshine (2006) : Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Greg Kinnear
No Country for Old Men (2007) : Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Garret Dillahunt, Tess Harper, Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Kelly Macdonald
Slumdog Millionaire (2008) : Rubina Ali, Tanay Hemant Chheda, Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala, Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar, Madhur Mittal, Dev Patel, Freida Pinto
Inglourious Basterds (2009) : Daniel Brühl, August Diehl, Julie Dreyfus, Michael Fassbender, Sylvester Groth, Jacky Ido, Diane Kruger, Mélanie Laurent, Denis Menochet, Mike Myers, Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Til Schweiger, Rod Taylor, Christoph Waltz, Martin Wuttke
The King's Speech (2010) : Anthony Andrews, Helena Bonham Carter, Jennifer Ehle, Colin Firth, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, Guy Pearce, Geoffrey Rush, Timothy Spall
Complete list · (1995–2000) · (2001–2010)
[hide]v · d · eEdward VIII abdication crisis
Edward VIII · Wallis Simpson
Other persons involved
Joseph Lyons (Prime Minister of Australia) · William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister of Canada) · Éamon de Valera (Prime Minister of the Irish Free State) · Michael Joseph Savage (Prime Minister of New Zealand) · J. B. M. Hertzog (Prime Minister of South Africa) · Stanley Baldwin (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) · Cosmo Gordon Lang (Archbishop of Canterbury) · Alfred Blunt (Bishop of Bradford) · John Theodore Goddard (Mrs. Simpson's solicitor) · Alexander Hardinge (Edward VIII's private secretary) · Prince Albert, Duke of York (Edward VIII's brother, later George VI) · Queen Mary (Edward VIII's mother) · Ernest Aldrich Simpson (Mrs. Simpson's second husband)
Succession to the Throne Act 1937 (Canada) · Executive Authority (External Relations) Act 1936 (Ireland) · His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 (UK)
Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1978) · Wallis & Edward (2005) · The King's Speech (2010) · W.E (2011)
Winners and nominees
In the list below, the winner of the award for each year is shown first, followed by the other nominees. Except for the early years (when the Academy used a non-calendar year), the year shown is the one in which the film first premiered in Los Angeles County, California; normally this is also the year of first release, but it may be the year after first release (as with Casablanca and, if the film-festival premiere is considered, Crash). This is the year before the ceremony at which the award is given; for example, a film exhibited theatrically during 2005 was eligible for consideration for the 2005 Best Picture Oscar, awarded in 2006. The number of the ceremony (1st, 2nd, etc.) appears in parentheses after the awards year, linked to the article (if any) on that ceremony. Each individual entry shows the title followed by the production company, and the producer. For foreign language films, the original title is also shown. Until 1950, the Best Picture award was given to the production company; from 1951 on, it has gone to the producer. The official name of the award has changed several times over the years:
1927/28 → 1928/29: Outstanding Picture
1929/30 → 1940: Outstanding Production
1941 → 1943: Outstanding Motion Picture
1944 → 1961: Best Motion Picture
1962 → Present: Best Picture
For the first ceremony, three films were nominated for the award. For the following three years, five films were nominated for the award. This was expanded to eight in 1933, to ten in 1934, and to twelve in 1935, before being dropped back to ten in 1937. In 1945 it was reduced back to five. This number remained until 2010, when it was once again raised to ten.
For the first six ceremonies, the eligibility period spanned two calendar years. For example, the 2nd Academy Awards presented on April 3, 1930, recognized films that were released between August 1, 1928 and July 31, 1929. Starting with the 7th Academy Awards, held in 1935, the period of eligibility became the full previous calendar year from January 1 to December 31.
Film Production Company(ies) Producer(s)
Wings Paramount, Famous Players-Lasky Lucien Hubbard
The Racket Caddo, Paramount Howard Hughes
Seventh Heaven Fox William Fox
Film Production Company(ies) Producer(s)
The Broadway Melody Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer[L] Irving Thalberg & Lawrence Weingarten
Alibi Feature Productions, United Artists Roland West
The Hollywood Revue of 1929 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Harry Rapf
In Old Arizona Fox Winfield Sheehan[G]
The Patriot Paramount Ernst Lubitsch
Film Production company(s) Producer(s)
All Quiet on the Western Front Universal Carl Laemmle, Jr.
The Big House Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Irving Thalberg
Disraeli Warner Bros. Jack Warner, Darryl F. Zanuck
The Divorcee Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Robert Z. Leonard
The Love Parade Paramount Ernst Lubitsch
Film Production company(s) Producer(s)
Cimarron RKO Radio William LeBaron
East Lynne Fox Winfield Sheehan[G]
The Front Page Caddo, United Artists Howard Hughes