THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE
Release Date: December 30, 1994
Starring: Nigel Hawthorne, Helen Mirren,
Ian Holm, Amanda Donohoe,
Rupert Graves, Rupert Everett,
& Charlotte Curley
Genre: Historical Drama
Runtime: 100 minutes
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Company
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Producer: Stephen Evans & David Parfitt
Writer: Alan BennettBASED ON THE PLAY
BY: Alan Bennett
Address Comments To:
THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE is a well-made film about King George III's brief spell of insanity. It details the suffering of the king, and the political intrigues of his family and the government during his illness.
In 1788, King George III of England (The King George of the American Revolution!) endured a six-month bout with insanity which very nearly cost him his throne. THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE is a film adaptation of the play about this strange interlude. When a sudden illness causes a marked change in King George's behavior, it is decided that he must be kept out of sight. The action of the film alternates between the irrational ramblings of the deranged and suffering monarch, and the battle in Parliament over whether to wait for his recovery or appoint the Prince of Wales regent in his stead. The drama culminates in a race against time as the suddenly recovered king tries to head off the appointment of his son to the power of the throne.
THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE contains ample drama due to the political intrigue of the impending succession of the prince. Also, there are numerous minor conflicts involving the touching and positive relationship between the king and the queen, the struggle between the doctor and his incorrigible patient, and the covert maneuvers of members of parliament to retain, or attain, power. Potential offenses are very mild: typical is a scene where it is implied that the king has soiled his pants. On a technical level, the cast is excellent, and so are the directing and camera work.