The King’s Screen: A Tour of British Cinematic Royalty


Stammering to the Throne: Colin Firth as King George VI in “The King’s Speech”

Begin Slideshow

The British monarchy has been an anachronism for more than half a century, at the very least, and the British people themselves seesaw between complaining about it and fully embracing their kings and queens as part of a tradition that holds the fabric of their country together. The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth as a stammering George VI, is an Oscar favorite this year, a fact that displays our own weirdly approving view of the Brits giving in to traditional royal emotion. Is this American approval in fact a sneaky way of making sure that Britain stays safely in the past? Would Britain be able to compete with us more vigorously without the weight of the crown? It’s impossible to answer that question at present if Britain never tries retiring the purple robe and scepter, and the movies have always done their best to discourage that possibility.

Begin Slideshow

Did you like this article?
Give it a vote for a Golden Bowtie


Keyframe is always looking for contributors.

"Writer? Video Essayist? Movie Fan Extraordinaire?

Fandor is streaming on Amazon Prime

Love to discover new films? Browse our exceptional library of hand-picked cinema on the Fandor Amazon Prime Channel.