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Rupert Murdoch Pere Knew King’s Speech Therapist Lionel Logue

Rupert Murdoch Pere Knew King's Speech Therapist Lionel Logue

Thompson on Hollywood

In his weekend column, Wall Street Journal film critic Joe Morgenstern reveals a fascinating connection between WSJ owner Rupert Murdoch and Oscar front-runner The King’s Speech:

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.

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tom brueggemann

A curious note – Murdoch is a staunch (small r) republican, that is, anti-monarchy. His Australian papers (his roots) have strongly favored that country replacing the Queen as head of state with a native president (which would be a non-political position, as in most countries). His British papers were among the early ones to break accepted Fleet Street codes about respecting royal privacy.


thanks for the fix


I don’t know if it’s intentionally misleading but your headline is wrong. Murdoch didn’t know Logue; his father did. Nowhere does it say Ruport met Lionel although, admittedly, it makes a better story.


Interesting. I would’ve loved to have met the real person. I am sure the character in the movie is somewhat close to who Lionel Logue, but I always wonder what the real thing would think of himself being portrayed on film.

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