The Madness of King George

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The Madness of King George ★★★½ 1994 (R)

Poor King George is a monarch with problems—his 30 years of royal authority are being usurped by Parliament, his American colonies have been lost, and, in 1788, he's begun to periodically lose his mind. So what do you do when a ruler becomes irrational? The royal physicians are baffled, his loving Queen Charlotte (Mirren) is in despair, but the noxious Prince of Wales (Everett) can barely contain his glee at finally having a chance at the throne. A last resort is offered by Dr. Willis (Holm), a former clergyman with some unusual and sadistic ideas about treating the mentally ill (even if they do have royal blood). Brilliant performance by Hawthorne (who originated the stage role in Bennett's 1991 play “The Madness of George III”). Screen note explains that King George suffered from the metabolic disorder known as porphyria. A Tony Awardwinner for his Broadway productions of “Miss Saigon” and “Carousel,” Hytner makes his featurefilm directing debut. 110m/C VHS, DVD . GB Nigel Hawthorne, Helen Mirren, Ian Holm, Rupert Everett, Amanda Donohoe, Rupert Graves, Julian Wadham, John Wood, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Jim Carter; D: Nicholas Hytner; W: Alan Bennett; C: Andrew Dunn; M: George Fenton. Oscars ‘94: Art Dir./Set Dec.; British Acad. ‘95: Actor (Hawthorne); Cannes ‘95: Actress (Mirren).