Beethoven in the Movies: “The King’s Speech” and “The Fall”

Listen to this performance Beethoven’s Symphony Number 7, 2nd Movement.  It starts low and mysterious.  Slowly, very slowly, builds to a powerful, yet melancholy, finish.  Very dramatic!

No wonder it has been used in many movies!

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The King’s Speech (2010 R).  British Prince Albert (Colin Firth) suffers from stuttering until his wife (Helena Bonham Carter) finds a speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) who is able to work with him, even after Prince Albert has all but given up hope.  When he becomes king, he must make his first radio broadcast, announcing Britain’s declaration of war on Germany in 1939.  Logue is there guiding him, and Beethoven emphasizes the enormity of his speech.

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Watch The King’s Speech scene with Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.

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The Fall (2006 R).  In a 1920’s California hospital, an injured stuntman (Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies) from the early days of movies spends his days spinning an adventure story for a little girl (newcomer Catinca Untaru) also recovering from a bad fall.  Watch how the director (Tarsem Singh, Mirror Mirror) blends what happens in the story to the little girl’s perception of her world. It’s beautiful!  The opening title sequence uses the Beethoven to show how the stuntman was hurt while filming a silent western.

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Watch The Fall scene with Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.

Both movies use Beethoven beautifully.  And both movies are incorrectly labeled as R.   The King’s Speech, a historical adaptation, would be a terrific film to be shown in high school history classes, but because of one scene with many swear words, it got the R rating.  Casino Royal, the James Bond movie with a naked torture scene, got a PG-13.  The Fall, a fantasy adventure film, is “Rated R for some violent images”.  All four Pirates of the Caribbean movies certainly contain some violent images, and each have a PG-13 rating.

Take the time to see these great movies!  Enjoy the fun music, too.

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My teenaged daughter played this Beethoven piece in her youth symphony. It’s great that she recognizes classical music in movies!

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