Firth rejects 'cleaned-up' version of film

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The Independent Culture

Colin Firth has revealed he opposes plans to release an edited version of The King's Speech, which won four Oscars at the Academy Awards on Sunday night.

After winning the Best Actor Oscar for the title role, Firth said he was against a version of the film which would alter a pivotal swearing scene.

He said: "I don't take this stuff lightly, but in the context of this film, it could not be more edifying, more appropriate. It's not vicious, it's not an insult and it's not in any of the contexts which might offend people."

The film, which has already taken $114m (£70m) in the US alone, was originally given an R-rating in America for "some language", specifically for two scenes where the F-word is uttered numerous times. An R-rating prohibits anyone younger than 17 from seeing a film without an adult.

However, the ratings board of the Motion Picture Association of America announced on Friday that an alternate version of The King's Speech had been assigned a PG-13 rating. In the new version, the sound will be muted whenever Colin Firth's character, King George VI, says the word, but audiences will be able to see his lips move.

The Weinstein Co, the film's distributor, is now considering releasing the PG-13 version, which potentially could open the film up to a wider audience.

Tom Hooper, the film's director, has previously said he didn't want to change one frame. Industry observers say that technically he hasn't.

The Classification and Ratings Administration (Caro) has also granted the film an exception to a rule requiring a film to be withdrawn from cinemas for 90 days before being re-released so as not to confuse moviegoers with two versions. The US censor said it was unlikely there would be confusion among cinema-goers.

A spokesman for Caro said it was pleased that the Weinstein's respected the rating system.