7.2/10
14,199
58 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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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

This movie is based on a play by Alan Bennett called "The Madness of George III". An urban legend formed that the title was changed to prevent non-British audiences from mistaking it for a sequel to two other movies about "The Madness of George". Nicholas Hytner clarified that in the U.K. it would be obvious that "George III" was a King, but it might not be so clear elsewhere, hence the name change. That does not rule out the sequel theory, as the numeral III was not mentioned by Hytner. See more »

Goofs

The red dispatch box in which the Prime Minister carries papers for the monarch to sign dates from Victorian times. The first PM to use it was William Gladstone around 1860. See more »

Quotes

George III: Six hours of sleep is enough for a man, seven for a woman, and eight for a fool.
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Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movie Kings (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Greensleeves
Traditional
Played by the bell-ringers
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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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