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Family-friendly edit of 'King's Speech' opens April 1

Family-friendly edit of 'King's Speech' opens April 1

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No fooling. On April 1, a re-edited, PG-13 version of the Oscar-winning film "The King's Speech" opens in 1,000 theaters, minus a scene of swearing.

That one scene, in which speech therapist Geoffrey Rush advises tongue-tied king-to-be Colin Firth to unleash a stream of obscenities, originally earned the film an R rating. But after winning the Academy Award for best picture--and earning more than $300 million worldwide--the Weinstein Company decided to trim the offending scene and re-release the film for family consumption.

Backstage at the Oscar ceremony, Firth (who attended Hazelwood West as an 8th-grade exchange student in 1972) said he opposed the idea and that the scene was not inherently offensive. The movie ratngs boards in the U.K. and Canada agreed and have allowed kids 12 and older to see the unedited movie without adult supervision. 

The Weinstein Company hopes that the new verson, which will replace all the R-rated prints that have been running in U.S. theaters since December, will attract students who have dealt with speech impediments. 

The new release, offically titled "The King's Speech Rated PG-13," is endorsed by the Stuttering Foundation, which notes that children who stutter have often been taunted or bullied and that the movie has helped eased the stigma.

I say that colloquial words for biological functions are essentially harmless and that artistic integrity is worth defending; but greater access to a tool for promoting tolerance is freakin' awesome.

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