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The Madness Of King George Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

The Madness Of King George

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements.

PG-13 In Theaters 12/28/1994 , 107min.
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Plot & Details

Based on Alan Bennett's acclaimed play The Madness of George III, The Madness of King George takes a dark-humored look at the mental decline of King George III of England. The film's story begins nearly three decades into George's reign, in 1788, as the unstable king (Nigel Hawthorne, reprising his stage role) begins to show signs of increasing dementia, from violent fits of foul language to bouts of forgetfulness. This weakness seems like the perfect chance to overthrow the unpopular George, whom many blamed for the loss of the American colonies, in favor of the Prince of Wales (Rupert Everett), but the king's prime minister William Pitt (Julian Wadham) and his wife Queen Charlotte (Helen Mirren) are determined to protect the throne. Doctors are brought in, but the archaic treatments of the time prove of little value. In desperation, they turn to Dr. Willis (Ian Holm), a harsh, unconventional specialist whose unusual methods recall modern psychiatry. Willis struggles to break through to the mad king, treating him with an anger and haughtiness George has never before experienced. Stressing the absurdity of the entire situation, Bennett's witty screenplay emphasizes dry humor over tragedy, even utilizing references to King Lear for comic effect. Hawthorne's fiery yet vulnerable performance received much critical praise, including Best Actor at the British Academy Awards and a nomination for the same at the Oscars.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1994 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Supporting Actress Helen Mirren Nominated
1994 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Art Direction Carolyn Scott Won
1994 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Art Direction Ken Adam Won
1994 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Actor Nigel Hawthorne Nominated
1994 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Adapted Screenplay Alan Bennett Nominated

Cannes Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1995 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Helen Mirren Won

National Board of Review

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1994 National Board of Review Best Picture Nominated

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