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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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ON DISC
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

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:

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

Nigel Hawthorne, a stage and TV actor, had little cinema experience. He was so determined to reprise his award-winning stage role on screen that he took part of Dr. Raymond Cocteau in Demolition Man (1993) to prove that he had screen presence. It was unnecessary; Hawthorne was the producers' automatic choice for the lead. Alan Bennett only agreed to his play being turned into a film if Hawthorne was cast as George III. 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

George III: [crudely staring at Lady Pembroke] Fine cluster there, eh?
[to Queen Charlotte, pointing at her bosom]
George III: Go on. Look. Look. Go on. You might learn something.
[circles around Pembroke]
George III: Good arse too.
[rubs his behind against hers]
George III: And warm, eh, I'll bet. Ahh.
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Connections

Featured in The 67th Annual Academy Awards (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Zadok the Priest
(uncredited)
Music by George Frideric Handel (as G. F. Handel)
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User Reviews

 
George III: a decent man who suffered from bad timing
26 May 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A superlative drama. By now, most sophisticated movie-goers are aware that King George III's sickness might very well have been a result of porphyria, a hereditary disease that some doctors have traced back to Mary, Queen of Scots (i.e., George III's great-great-great-great-great grandmother). Whatever the cause, Nigel Hawthorne gives the performance of a lifetime as the tortured king. The conflict between George III and his heir, the Prince of Wales (the eventual King George IV), is brutally and unapologetically portrayed: the director does not spare us in his vivid reenactment of the combative and sour relationship that actually existed between the two men. As an American, one might suspect I'd be unsympathetic to the British monarch who presided over England's attempt to brutalize its colonies -- but George III's almost-wistful resentment of his errant "colonists" generates some sympathy for the man himself - a sympathy which is unexpectedly intensified by Hawthorne's sudden descent into incoherence, his dim, yet aching realization of what he has become, and his eventual recovery. George III was haunted by demons not of his own making; and no human being deserves the fate to which his disease, if such it was, eventually condemned him. "The Madness of King George" enlightened, entertained,and provoked: what more could one ask of a film?


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