7.2/10
13,008
59 user 39 critic

The Madness of King George (1994)

A meditation on power, and the metaphor of the body of state, based on the real episode of dementia experienced by George III (now suspected a victim of porphyria, a blood disorder). As he ... See full summary »

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(play), (screenplay)
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4,537 ( 1,139)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
Charlotte Curley ...
Amelia
Peter Bride-Kirk ...
Royal Children
Eve Camden ...
Royal Children
Thomas Copeland ...
Royal Children
Joanna Hall ...
Royal Children
Cassandra Halliburton ...
Royal Children
Russell Martin ...
Royal Children
Natalie Palys ...
Royal Children
...
...
David Leon ...
Footmen
Martin Julier ...
Footmen
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Storyline

A meditation on power, and the metaphor of the body of state, based on the real episode of dementia experienced by George III (now suspected a victim of porphyria, a blood disorder). As he loses his senses, he becomes both more alive, and more politically marginalized, neither effect desirable to his Lieutenants, who jimmy the rules to avoid a challenge to regal authority, raising the question of who is really in charge. Written by Dan Hartung <dhartung@mcs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His Majesty was all powerful and all knowing. But he wasn't quite all there.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 December 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La folie du roi George  »

Box Office

Gross:

$15,238,994 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(8 channels)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several performers repeated their roles from the Royal National Theatre production, and/or the U.S. tour, including Nigel Hawthorne, Julian Wadham, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Anthony Calf, Matthew Lloyd Davies, Paul Corrigan, Roger Hammond, and Cyril Shaps. Three others make cameos: Iain Mitchell (the original Sheridan), Nick Sampson (Prince of Wales on tour), and Selina Cadell (Queen Charlotte on tour). See more »

Goofs

The red dispatch box in which the Prime Minister carries papers for the monarch to sign dates from Victorian times. The first PM to use it was William Gladstone around 1860. See more »

Quotes

Pitt: I used to sit with my father when he was ill. I used to read him Shakespeare.
Dr. Willis: I have never read Shakespeare.
[Pitt and Thurlow stare at him in shock]
Dr. Willis: I am a clergyman.
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Connections

Referenced in Family Guy: Friends of Peter G. (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Greensleeves
Traditional
Played by the bell-ringers
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User Reviews

A great fun story full of colourful characters and performances
27 February 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Already upset by the loss of America to independence, King George III of England's position is made more difficult by the onset of an illness that causes him to act wildly and babble uncontrollably. While the Prime Minister places him in the hands of Dr Willis to keep him in power, The Prince of Wales and the leader of the opposition both plan to replace the king with the prince by way of a parliamentary bill.

Based on the great little play that is historically based, this film went down very well with the awards season since it is very English and well acted. The plot is well written, I'm not sure if it is totally accurate but it is surely based on facts even if it has been coloured for artistic and entertainment reasons. The film embraces both the internal workings of the royal family and the politics of parliament really well; again, it may not be totally true but it is colourful, dissenting and enjoyably. The film is involving but yet still manages to be enjoyable and funny. It is a great story and it is lavishly brought to the big screen in this great production.

The sets and costumes are really good and establish the period and setting of the story very well, but it is the performances that really make it work. Hawthorne is wonderfully cast and delivers a great performance in the lead

  • both as the cruel monarch or the madman. He is totally believable all
the way and never lets his performance become comical or silly even when it is amusing in delivery. Mirren and Donohoe both have less to do but make impacts in their scenes. Everett, Holm, Wadham and Graves support the film to great effect, their performances are colourful, impacting and very enjoyable.

Overall, historical films will quite often be viewed as lifeless, dull and overlong. Here this film goes against all those old clichés and is lively, colourful and enjoyable. The rich sets and costumes add value to some great performances in an engaging story that is very enjoyable.


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