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The Madness of King George (1994)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 10,925 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 37 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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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 Child
Eve Camden ...
Royal Child
Thomas Copeland ...
Royal Child
Joanna Hall ...
Royal Child
Cassandra Halliburton ...
Royal Child
Russell Martin ...
Royal Child
Natalie Palys ...
Royal Child
...
...
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

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:

$15,238,994 (USA)
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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

Nigel Hawthorne - a relatively inexperienced cinema actor most of whose work up till then had been confined to the stage and TV - was so keen to reprise his award-winning stage role for the movie version that he took the part of a villain in Sylvester Stallone's vehicle Demolition Man (1993) just to prove that he had screen presence. As it transpired this was unnecessary as Hawthorne was the producers' automatic choice for the lead. See more »

Goofs

The servant Fortnum states that he is leaving royal service to open a provisioner's shop in Piccadilly ("a step up from emptying piss-pots"), a comical allusion to the Fortnum & Mason's establishment. The film takes place in 1788, 81 years after F&M was founded in 1707. In fact, the company's co-founder's grandson entered royal service in 1761, which led to an expansion of the company's business. See more »

Quotes

Prince of Wales: To be Prince of Wales is not a position - it is a predicament.
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Connections

Referenced in Recess: The Madness of King Bob (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Zadok the Priest
(uncredited)
Music by George Frideric Handel (as G H Handel)
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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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