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The Madness of King George (1994)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  28 December 1994 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 11,485 users  
Reviews: 58 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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History
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George was born on 12 August 1762, the first son of George III and Queen Charlotte. He was made prince of Wales five days later. George III suffered a particularly violent bout of 'madness'... See full summary »

Director: Tim Kirby
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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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 »

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)
 »

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

It is now generally believed that George III's mental state was caused by porphyria, a metabolic imbalance. His blue urine is a key clue. However, recent research into his written correspondence suggesting bouts of mania, and a theory that his blue urine was caused by a type of medicine commonly in use at the time, has challenged that view and asserts that he did indeed suffer from psychiatric illness. 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

George III: [after his recovery, on seeing his medical bill] Is it any wonder a man goes mad?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Borderlands (2009) 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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