Lamentable PG-13 Cut of 'The King's Speech' Sadly Will Be Released

March 25, 2011
Source: Deadline

The King's Speech

Harvey "Scissorhands" Weinstein wins again. I'm only going to write about this once, because I don't think this sad, mutilated version of what was once a great Oscar winning film deserves to be seen - by anyone. It doesn't deserve the attention or effort I'm even giving it, which is ironic because a mere three months ago, I was rooting for The King's Speech to win Best Picture (and it did anyway). The Weinstein Company has announced (via Deadline) that they will be releasing a new PG-13 cut of Tom Hooper's The King's Speech, minus the scenes with "fuck" used in them, in theaters on April 1st. It will open on 1000 screens in the US.

Apparently $360 million in worldwide box office earnings just wasn't enough for the Weinsteins, as they had to go back and recut this as a PG-13 film and re-release it. What an absolutely disgusting and deplorable travesty in the world of film. It frustrates, angers, and saddens me that Americans can't simply handle a few historically accurate and appropriately used "fucks" that are necessary in the context of the film. And don't get me started on the MPAA. The King's Speech, in its original uncut form, received a rating of "12A" in the UK - suitable for 12 years and over and a rating of "PG" for Parental Guidance in Canada. So how was it rated R in the US?!

Please, If you want to see a truly great film - the won that won all the Oscars - don't see the PG-13 version of The King's Speech. In fact, I would start a campaign to boycott this release, but I realized that would be wasting too much time on something that doesn't deserve the attention anyway. I don't know whether my complaints with this should be aimed towards the MPAA for slapping it with an R-rating to begin with, or towards The Weinstein Company for making such a careless decision to alter an otherwise fantastic, Best Picture winning film. This may be the first time in history a Best Picture winning film and script has been edited simply to thwart the MPAA and make more money (but I'm not entirely sure). To be honest, both of them probably deserve the flack, as it's a combination of everything.

TWC's Distribution head Eric Lomis stated in the press release: "The action enables those to whom it speaks most directly - young people who are troubled by stuttering, bullying and similar trials -- to see it." If you've seen the film, you'll know that one of the techniques Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush) uses to help Berty overcome his stuttering is cursing. And what if that's the same technique these young people who are troubled by stuttering need to try in order to overcome their problems? How will they see that it's acceptable if they're watching an inaccurate and edited version? They're going completely against their own statements!

At this point, I feel like this rant is already long enough. I'm sure many oblivious people will still go see the PG-13 cut not knowing why it was edited or how much this is hurting the film, but there's not much I can do about that besides bringing this news to your attention. So please, if you haven't seen The King's Speech yet, wait until the R-rated Blu-Ray is released on April 19th and watch that instead. Anyone else outraged?

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Reader Feedback - 50 Comments


This is a damn shame, the cursing was key and also bonded the two as well as adding a touch of humor to break the tension of a frustrated King. Booooooooooooo.

Voice of Reason on Mar 25, 2011


Fuck that.

Andy Ortega on Mar 25, 2011


That just goes to show you that behind the red, white and blue curtain the US is just a capitalistic socialist state. Free speech and human rights these days are just a facade.

TC Jordan on Mar 25, 2011


How is this socialism? Do you even fucking know what socialism means?

Milkman on Mar 26, 2011


Lol captialism and socialism are opposites and being that it's because of our freedom of speech they can do this no matter how dumb of an idea it really is. Tc Jordan if you have such a problem with our country get out of it then and you will hopefully be a lot happier

Mj765 on Mar 27, 2011


That's why is funny... you can have whatever you want whenever you want, if you can pay for it (capitalism) AFTER is properly cut/censored/adjusted/filtered for you to consume, ONLY if the guys on top wants you to (communism).

Jupiter Jack on Apr 5, 2011


well since that was the ONLY reason to get an R rating....i guess....but that was funny and well needed for the film

Jericho on Mar 25, 2011


Many movies deal with the editing of severe language differently. One that comes to mind is A Christmas Story. We all knew when the dad got mad that he was using several words, but we didn't need to hear them. I know that these are two different types of movies but I am going to wait for the edited version to come out and then decide if they destroyed the movie. What is the difference between doing this and letting a film get chopped up for TV/airplanes? I have no problem with this (for now) even if you see the main reason is to just line the Weinstein's pockets.

Gafranklinlds2 on Mar 25, 2011


Do you see what happens, Larry? Do you see what happens when you find a stranger in the alps?

Anonymous on Mar 25, 2011


Just one word to say about this PG-13 cut: FUCK!!!

Anonymous on Mar 25, 2011


The effort put into making this cut is a disgrace to cinema.

Marcus on Mar 25, 2011


I think it's hilarious that you are so angry about this...What does it matter to you? Like the guy above said, it's no different from a TV edit, and though cursing is somewhat integral to the story, I'm sure it will still be a meaningful movie without the word fuck in it. Maybe mild annoyance rather than "outrage" is a better reaction...

Dave_g_h on Mar 25, 2011


Yes and many directors have gone so far as to remove their name from the TV edits of film because they're such a shitty butchery. I believe in being true to the integrity of the filmmakers who made the movie and they way they intended it to be seen in its truly finished form. I specifically never watch TV edits of movies for the same reason. I'm sorry you consider them acceptable.

Alex Billington on Mar 25, 2011


Alex, the market considers them acceptable. The reason we have TV edits is because networks and advertisers can make more money from them that way. The people who own the movies (i.e. not the artist) want to make back the money they spent to make and market the movie and they want to earn a profit. There's nothing wrong with this. If the artist really wants his movie to never be vilified by other interests, he should self-fund it and distribute it, a lá Coppola. I'm a filmmaker and I believe in artistic integrity. But "integrity" becomes a fluid concept when filmmakers demand it while using other people's money to make their films. Tom Hooper is a grown-up and he's certainly not pitching a fit about this because he knows the movie is not solely "his".

Concourse D on Mar 26, 2011


Say what you want Concourse, but the fact remains if swearing was part of the character's behaviour, it's just another case of sanitizing history to suit today's political correctness madness that's sweepinng America; case in point the edited version of Mark Twain I can only imagine what they would do with Schindler's List or Gone With The Wind.

Hattori Hanzo on Mar 26, 2011


well, Firth makes some eloquent points against ( and Hooper only says he has not seen it - suggesting the cuts were made without his involvement. exactly how does artistic integrity decrease due to the *source* of funding? surely it only becomes a 'fluid concept' when you change your *own* artistic vision as a result of funder influence? when funders change the final product independently of the artist, that has nothing whatsoever to do with integrity.

Anonymous on Mar 27, 2011


fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccck pg13 btw who loves to see dragonball z getting a remake from mr James Cameron? sorry for hijacking the thread..

Terminator on Mar 25, 2011


Lame, then again the movie is as overrated as it gets.

David Perretta on Mar 25, 2011



Cody W. on Mar 26, 2011


I still haven't seen the movie but I as sure as hell don't intend on seeing the PG-13 cut.....R ALL THE FUCKING WAY!!

Chris on Mar 25, 2011


I don't really care at all. But Doug Benson made a good point on his Podcast. Basically said that kids in school wouldn't be able to watch it without a permission slip simply because he went on an F Bomb spree. I feel the true blame lies with MPAA for sticking to a set of rules that don't make sense. But at least now kids will be able to watch this movie once and then never watch it ever again like all of us have and will.

D Block on Mar 25, 2011


Also I hope for the sake of unnecessary censorship they decide to blur the background set of Rush's office because it was used as a gay porn set before they used it for the set of King's Speech.

D Block on Mar 25, 2011


Join and share the boycott here:

Christian Back on Mar 25, 2011


Unfortunately the PG-13 version is already showing here in Boston. It's ridiculous. Weinstein is a greedy bastard, doesn't care that the word "fuck" was used in a therapeutic rather than malicious way, and couldn't care less if he insults the integrity of his adult audiences. Shame.

CisforCinema on Mar 25, 2011


F$$k this.

Anonymous on Mar 25, 2011


Completely agree with you, Alex. It’s very difficult to understand this issue from Europe. Why don´t most people realize that it’s censorship. And the TV edits are censorship, not only in films, but in speeches like Melissa Leo’s. And censorship has not place in a free country. I also see that it´s also a problem to write down the word fuck. Most of the times I see it, it´s written with blanks. Is it forbidden even for a web page? You can´t say/write fuck, but it´s not a problem to say kill. Or the same thing watching some nude or watching someone shooting a gun. I know that it´s part of your culture, but it’s really hard to understand it.

Anonymous on Mar 25, 2011


Censorship absolutely does have a place in free countries when individuals or companies censor themselves. If the government censors (which it does at times, but not in this case) and Americans don't like it, they can demand something else by voting in new representatives to change the laws. There are not enough Americans who want to change the way TV or movies are done, and many Americans are happy with the current FCC restrictions, so it doesn't change. That's what happens in a free country.

Concourse D on Mar 26, 2011


Since the makers of this film have free speech dont they have the right to make two versions of their films. One that is R-rated and one that isnt. Just because you believe that all adults must like crude language doesnt mean that everyone does. I thought that was one of the best things about American culture.

Coolkenan on Mar 26, 2011


What are you talking about? It's not a question of Americans liking crude language or not-the scene is an integral part of the movie and the point of a certain breakthrough for the King. And in pre WWII-when he was taking speech lessons-those were his actual words. So long as the R version (A12 in UK) is available for rent or purchase, all is well, though this luxurious film is nice on the big screen, too.

Sylmjk on Apr 1, 2011


Not upset. It's America; let the market decide.

Concourse D on Mar 26, 2011


I don't really give a shit about the PG-13 remake. It sucks when this happens to any movie but that's life, in the end it's about $. The irony of that though is that it's financially retarded. Who the fuck is going to see King's Speech that already hasn't? Probably just adults that didn't catch it the first time around and wouldn't care about the F bombs anyway. There isn't going to be any influx of "younger" audiences for a 2 1/2 hour British Drama about a guy who can't speak. Oddly enough, the scene they cut would probably be the only entertaining part of the film for 13 year old.

Contradiction on Mar 26, 2011


Right when the movie had a voice, it gets silenced.

Anonymous on Mar 26, 2011


You are all a bunch of losers. Who cares? If taking out the f-bomb ruins this film, then it really wasn't much of a film anyway. Maybe they should ADD the f-bomb to Toy Story, The Wizard of Oz, and It's a Wonderful Life. Then those movies would be CLASSICS. Yeah, Europe is SO much more cultured because they accept crass language as normal. Great.

Tommy on Mar 27, 2011


um...when he Bertie say "fuck" is has something to do with the plot. Lionel needed Bertie to curse and get loud and yell that he "HAS A VOICE!" its an important moment in the film. "You are all a bunch of losers." How about this, be careful this may hurt your baby ears. F_ck off, you f_cking, f_ck.

Anonymous on Mar 27, 2011


So cultured and adult. You must be from Europe! Funny how your only sentence that didn't have any grammatical or spelling errors was the one where you used foul language. Typical.

Tommy on Mar 28, 2011


So foul language is bad? "Fuck" is one of the greatest human words ever uttered. It was necessary in the film, and editing it out so kids will wanna see it, is not only ignorant but downright stupid, most kids wanna watch stupid/fun/action/comedies not a film based in England in the 30's. What's with the stab at Europe? Even if I was from the U.K. what does that gotta do with anything? "Grammatical or spelling errors." Gimme a break! Its the internet not a term paper. Proper punctuation does not matter. Go watch the film in its watered down PG-13 rating if you want, just know this: You're wasting your time on something that shouldn't have happened.

Anonymous on Mar 28, 2011


Best picture... re-cut to make more money. Typical of Hollywood. Now I will not pay to see this ever.

Kal-el on Mar 27, 2011


When I finally saw it in January there were like 6 other people in the theater, I wouldn't expect many people are still all that interested. Not exactly something you wanna watch several times over. However, for those who did like it that much I hope there is an uncut version available for purchase later.

PyroDark on Mar 27, 2011


I saw ‘The King’s Speech’ and thought it was great, and will still be a positive message for persons who stutter even with a PG-13 rating. Colin Firth’s portrayal of a person who stutters was top notch! As a person who stutters, I find that emotional support is just as important as therapy. For 35 years the National Stuttering Association (NSA) has connected kids and adults who stutter through local chapter meetings, workshops, on-line support groups and annual conferences in which over 600 people who stutter attend each year – including such keynote speakers as VP Joe Biden, Arthur Blank (Owner, Atlanta Falcons), Annie Glenn, John Melendez and John Stossel. To learn more, visit

NSA on Mar 27, 2011


The swearing part was an important moment in the film.

Anonymous on Mar 27, 2011


I am delighted. Contrary to your belief, there are some of us who don't use that language and don't wish to hear it. There can be truly great movies made without the cursing even though I understand that it was integral to the healing of his stuttering. I look forward to seeing the PG-13 version. Thank you.

Mmchef22 on Mar 28, 2011


But the swearing was important to the growth of Bertie's character. It was solely as a vocal exercise that helped Bertie control his stammering. There was no need for Weinstein to edit the film to fuel his greed.

Anonymous on Mar 28, 2011


WaaaWaa. It wAS IMPORTANT! If you think this is important you are seriously fd up

Yougo on Apr 23, 2011


Does this really matter? He could have shouted the word "damn" or "bollocks" and it would have been just as effective a device for getting the point across. Changing it from "fuck" to "damn" wouldn't really change the meaning of the movie all that much.

PointlessOutrage on Mar 28, 2011


splicing over the word fuck in place another word isn't cool at all.

Anonymous on Mar 28, 2011


This isn't at all like a CleanFlix, user created edit. This is an actual production company decision. There is no legitimate moral issue here concerning the sanctity of cinema - nothing has been "ruined". I say the same thing to you as I would say to anyone complaining about an R rated film: "If you have a problem with it, don't watch it". You are making way too big of a deal out of this. Relax.

Mp4server on Apr 1, 2011


We'll all be okay, guys. Sixteen people will go the edited version, and this will likely go down as a bad and forgotten idea. If not, then paying Americans will have supported something they (not I) want. Let's move on. The original and perfect cut will absolutely be available forever on home video in two weeks.

Concourse D on Apr 1, 2011


Cry about it you little baby. This whole discussion is a waste of time.

Yougo on Apr 23, 2011


Wow! It's ONE word. Get over yourselves! Someone here mentioned, that if people don't want to see R movies, then they just shouldn go. Same goes to you who are crying over a pg 13 movie. Don't watch it then! It's not a secret what word was replaced, and yet, there are some of us who prefer not to hear it over and over again. It doesn't change anything, especially since it was replaced by a different, yet less offensive, curse word. And I think it's perfectly fine that there are those who wish not to expose our kids to so much foul language.

comunque on Apr 26, 2011


The King's Speech received a rating of "3" here in Finland. As in everyone over the age of three can see it. But rated R in the States? That's just madness. On the other hand, MPAA rated the French feel-good comedy Amelie R as well. I've been completely puzzled by the American rating system for a long time. You can squeeze a fair share of violence in a PG-13 movie, but god forbid if anyone dares to say a dirty word or flash a pair of tits.

Ruut on Dec 30, 2011

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