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The Madness of King George (1994)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 10,644 users  
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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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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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

28 December 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La folie du roi George  »

Box Office

Gross:

£3,330,349 (UK) (19 May 1995)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(8 channels)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Willis first restrains King George in the strapped chair, the music that plays is George Frideric Handel's "Zadok The Priest", commissioned for George II and performed during his and every subsequent monarch's coronation. As the music reaches its climax, the King is fully restrained in the "throne" with a leather strap around his forehead resembling a diadem. The music is thus highlighting the restraint scene as a mock Coronation. See more »

Goofs

Pitt and Thurlow go to visit the King at Kew during the winter - but the leafy green trees outside clearly indicate that the scene was filmed in summer (shooting took place from July to early September). See more »

Quotes

Baker: [shown the King's discoloured urine, evidence of his porphyria] Medicine, young man, is a *science*! It consists of *observation*! Whether a man's water is blue is neither here nor there.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Just a Minute: Episode #3.2 (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Zadok the Priest
(Coronation Anthem #1)
'Georg Friedrich Händel' (qbv)
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User Reviews

 
Wonderful, entertaining Britflick
18 February 2004 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

I've recently revisited the third Blackadder series. Nigel Hawthorne doesn't play his George III quite as spoony as that of the Curtis/Elton BBC series who wants his son to marry a pot plant, but it's close.

The film works because of three things. First - always first - is Alan Bennett's screenplay which is succinct and hilariously funny. It is also unbearably sad at choice moments. The actors - the second success story of the project - throw themselves at the pathos as furiously as at the comedy. There's camp and potty humour (literally) juxtaposed with the bare quoting of King Lear and it all works.

Thirdly, there is an attention to the detail which goes beyond costume and design. Hytner has got his cast to play out humans inside 18th century character roles - there's no false reverence or mannered acting.

Nigel Hawthorne is brilliant, playing out a human despite the vastly inflated ego he has to inhabit either side of sanity. All others aspire to this lead, with only Ian Holm (naturally, as his temporarily domineering doctor) matching it. 7/10


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