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The Madness of King George (1994)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  28 December 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 11,555 users  
Reviews: 57 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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
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 ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

28 December 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La folie du roi George  »

Box Office


$15,238,994 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(8 channels)|



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


For this film, Nigel Hawthorne became the first openly gay actor nominated for an Academy Award. (Other actors who later admitted or were later confirmed to have been gay had been previously nominated, but he was the first actor who was already "out" at the time.) He then became frustrated that this was all the American interviewers wanted to discuss, rather than the film or the nomination itself. See more »


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 »


Thurlow: The cork's too tight in the bottle, that's the trouble. He must be the first King of England not to have a mistress.
Pitt: Fifteen children seem to me to indicate a certain conscientiousness in that regard.
Thurlow: I'm talking of pleasure, not duty.
See more »


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


Zadok the Priest
Music by George Frideric Handel (as G H Handel)
See more »

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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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