7.2/10
14,325
57 user 42 critic

The Madness of King George (1994)

When King George III goes mad, his Lieutenants try to adjust the rules to run the country without his participation.

Director:

Nicholas Hytner

Writers:

Alan Bennett (play), Alan Bennett (screenplay)

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

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A semi-autobiographical project by John Boorman about a nine year old boy called Bill as he grows up in London during the blitz of World War II. For a young boy, this time in history was ... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Sarah Miles, David Hayman, Sebastian Rice-Edwards
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Graves ... Greville
Helen Mirren ... Queen Charlotte
Amanda Donohoe ... Lady Pembroke
Charlotte Curley Charlotte Curley ... Amelia
Peter Bride-Kirk Peter Bride-Kirk ... Royal Children
Eve Camden Eve Camden ... Royal Child
Thomas Copeland Thomas Copeland ... Royal Child
Joanna Hall Joanna Hall ... Royal Child
Cassandra Halliburton Cassandra Halliburton ... Royal Child
Russell Martin Russell Martin ... Royal Child
Natalie Palys Natalie Palys ... Royal Child
Rupert Everett ... Prince of Wales
Julian Rhind-Tutt ... Duke of York
David Leon David Leon ... Footman
Martin Julier Martin Julier ... Footman
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Storyline

Aging King George III of England is exhibiting signs of madness, a problem little understood in 1788. As the monarch alternates between bouts of confusion and near-violent outbursts of temper, his hapless doctors attempt the ineffectual cures of the day. Meanwhile, Queen Charlotte and Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger attempt to prevent the king's political enemies, led by the Prince of Wales, from usurping the throne. Written by Jwelch5742

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 December 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La folie du roi George See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$15,238,994
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS (8 channels)| Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Willis (Sir Ian Holm) first restrains King George III (Sir Nigel Hawthorne) in the restraint chair, the music that plays is George Frideric Handel's "Zadok The Priest", commissioned for King George II, and performed during his and every subsequent coronation. As the music reaches its climax, the King is fully restrained in the "throne", with a leather strap around his forehead resembling a crown. The music establishes the restraint scene as a mock coronation. 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

Fitzroy: To be kind does not commend you to kings. They see it, as they see any flow of feeling, as a liberty. A blind eye will serve you better.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Madagascar (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Zadok the Priest
(uncredited)
Music by George Frideric Handel (as G. F. Handel)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A great fun story full of colourful characters and performances
27 February 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Already upset by the loss of America to independence, King George III of England's position is made more difficult by the onset of an illness that causes him to act wildly and babble uncontrollably. While the Prime Minister places him in the hands of Dr Willis to keep him in power, The Prince of Wales and the leader of the opposition both plan to replace the king with the prince by way of a parliamentary bill.

Based on the great little play that is historically based, this film went down very well with the awards season since it is very English and well acted. The plot is well written, I'm not sure if it is totally accurate but it is surely based on facts even if it has been coloured for artistic and entertainment reasons. The film embraces both the internal workings of the royal family and the politics of parliament really well; again, it may not be totally true but it is colourful, dissenting and enjoyably. The film is involving but yet still manages to be enjoyable and funny. It is a great story and it is lavishly brought to the big screen in this great production.

The sets and costumes are really good and establish the period and setting of the story very well, but it is the performances that really make it work. Hawthorne is wonderfully cast and delivers a great performance in the lead - both as the cruel monarch or the madman. He is totally believable all the way and never lets his performance become comical or silly even when it is amusing in delivery. Mirren and Donohoe both have less to do but make impacts in their scenes. Everett, Holm, Wadham and Graves support the film to great effect, their performances are colourful, impacting and very enjoyable.

Overall, historical films will quite often be viewed as lifeless, dull and overlong. Here this film goes against all those old clichés and is lively, colourful and enjoyable. The rich sets and costumes add value to some great performances in an engaging story that is very enjoyable.


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