At the end of his most recent column, he writes about a recent conversation with his media mogul boss who asked him what he should see:
“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”
This is not the first time Keith Murdoch has been directly connected with a film.
After beginning his career in journalism with The Age in Melbourne he made a name for himself covering the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey, a military fiasco which was brought to the screen as Peter Weir’s Gallipoli (1981).
His son Rupert was by then a powerful newspaper owner and helped produce the film before going on to buy Twentieth Century Fox in 1985.