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The Madness of King George (1994)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 10,343 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 38 critic

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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Title: The Madness of King George (1994)

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

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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

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Release Date:

28 December 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Madness of King 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

One bit of business that failed to survive the transition from stage to film: Pitt's drinking. While in the film George III briefly mentions Pitt's drinking habits to his wife, on stage, as Alan Bennett puts it, "Pitt takes a swig from a hip flask, such a regular feature of his behaviour it is not noted in the stage directions." (The historical Pitt was considered a heavy drinker even by eighteenth-century standards, especially as he got older; modern biographers agree that his alcohol intake probably contributed to his early death.) See more »

Goofs

At the end of the film, the Royal Family goes to Saint Paul's Cathedral. A view of the front of the Cathedral shows that the clock in the left-hand tower is missing, but this was as a result of German bombing raids in the early 1940s. See more »

Quotes

George III: [to William Pitt] You'll have to speak up, I don't see very well.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Borderlands (2009) 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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