7.2/10
13,752
57 user 40 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS (8 channels)| Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fortnum, one of the King's footmen, leaves his service in order to start "a grocer's in Piccadilly". Alan Bennett states in his introduction to the play that he based this character on the historical founder of the London store Fortnum and Mason. Charles Fortnum (1738-1815) was indeed in royal service, but he was a member of the Queen's retinue, not the King's, and the firm had already been founded by 1756 (probably by his father William), five years before he entered her household. Charles combined running the family business with his job as a servant until his death. 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: [to William Pitt] You'll have to speak up, I don't see very well.
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Connections

Featured in The Madness of King George: Featurette (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Greensleeves
Traditional
Played by the bell-ringers
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User Reviews

 
Wonderful, entertaining Britflick
18 February 2004 | by FramescourerSee 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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