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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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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 ...
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
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David Leon ...
Martin Julier ...
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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

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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:

$15,238,994 (USA)
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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

Since Helen Mirren was nominated for playing Queen Charlotte, she went on to win her Best Actress Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006), who is a descendant of King George III. See more »

Goofs

A globe shows post-1846-but-before-1848 United States boundaries, including the Louisiana Purchase and Oregon Territory, but with California and Nevada (among other territories) still Mexican. See more »

Quotes

George III: [Signs document] Married yet, Mr. Pitt, what what?
Pitt: No, sir.
George III: [Blows excess pounce off document] Got your eye on anybody then, hey?
Pitt: No, sir.
George III: [Holds out document, which Pitt retrieves while handing the king another one] A man should marry - yes, yes.
[Looks at new document]
George III: Best thing I ever did. And children, you see, children. Great comfort, of course.
[Indicates paper]
George III: This fellow we're putting in as professor at Oxford - was his father Canon of Westminster?
Pitt: I've no idea, sir.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in House M.D.: The Socratic Method (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Greensleeves
Traditional
Played by the bell-ringers
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User Reviews

 
Singular outstanding acting job in a most complex role
19 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm writing these comments about "The Madness of King George" because of the singular outstanding performance by Nigel Hawthorne. This is one of the most versatile roles in films in decades. It surely ranks among the very best of all time. As King George, Hawthorne covers a range of emotions, personalities and temperaments not often found in film roles. His character is a study in transition from the serious to the serene to the silly. It's a role of drama, of hilarity, of ego and stuffiness, of pathos, of sorrow and regret, and of gentleness and kindness. What an exceptional acting job.

Most often I watch a movie for the whole experience, taking in the plot, characters, acting, scenes and scenery, location, action, intrigue, comedy, tragedy, as a blend of the whole product. All of these weigh in and affect how much I enjoy the film. But half way through this film, I became aware that I was more engrossed in the lead character himself, and the great diversity and excellence of acting on display.

Others have commented that Hawthorne should have won the Best Actor Academy Award for his role in 1994. While I like Tom Hanks as an actor, I agree that his role in Forrest Gump wasn't anything exceptional. Certainly not on the order of "Mr. King" in "The Madness of King George." Indeed, Hawthorne must have had to work on his role -- even as a consummate actor, if not for the variations of mood and portrayals, at least for the vast amount of lines he had to speak in the film. By comparison, the Forrest Gump role had a very small amount of lines, and those were far less taxing to an actor. Hanks' was a role that seemed more fun and easygoing than a challenge or demand.

I'm not one to complain about Hollywood (except for the low quality and volume of attempts at humor in the past 20 years), but once in a while I think that many others who make the same observation are right on. Hollywood flops big time in its Oscar choice of an actor, actress or film once in a while. It seems to me that the California-based Academy at times doesn't look as objectively and honestly at films produced outside the U.S. Nothing else produced in 1994 even came close to the outstanding acting by Hawthorne in this first rate film.


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