The Madness of King George

"Good"

The Madness of King George Review


1994's last Oscar contender crawled into Austin last week, the much-heralded film The Madness of King George. Adapted from the acclaimed stage play, Nigel Hawthorne reprises his lead role as King George III, the British monarch during the time of the American Revolution, who didn't quite have a full bag of marbles.

It all starts innocently enough, with a relatively sane King George administering government alongside the Queen (Helen Mirren). But soon George falls victim to an unpredictable nervous disorder, causing the King to completely lose his mind. For the next 20 minutes, people inexplicably chase the rambling King in his bedclothes, either in his castle or on the fields. I suppose there's a fine line between whether you can actually tackle a King or if he should be allowed to gallop around England unmolested, but I'm just a cold-hearted anti-Royalist American who wouldn't understand the intricacies of managing the throne.

The real story, and it isn't much of one, involves the King's son, who wants to be appointed Regent by Parliament to rule in his father's place. Two factions emerge: those who were given bribes and kickbacks by King George, and those who have been promised them by the son. And as the King falls deeper into his stupor, the factions of the son begin to gain power.

Meanwhile, the King is under the medical care of an unorthodox doctor (Ian Holm), where he spends most of his time in a straightjacket or tied to a chair in restraint. Fortunately, this seems to be just the right treatment, and it's a race against time for the King's return to health in order to thwart his son's ascension.

You can probably already tell that this story never really goes anywhere. It's just a simple tale set in the grandest of settings. The acting is basically perfunctory: even the critically acclaimed Hawthorne isn't that great. Some of the costumes and hairstyles look like they're straight out of Monty Python. Thankfully, most of the humor here works, but on the whole, the film falls to mediocrity.



The Madness of King George

Facts and Figures

Run time: 107 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 28th December 1994

Distributed by: MGM

Production compaines: Samuel Goldwyn Company, Close Call Films, Channel Four Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Fresh: 40 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as George III, as Queen Charlotte, as Dr. Willis, as Greville, as Lady Elizabeth Pembroke, as Prince of Wales, as Frederick, Duke of York, as William Pitt Jr., as Charles James Fox, as Warren, as Fortnum

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