The Madness of King George (1994)
Scenes included one out under the Mulberry tree on the west lawn, and a couple in the Dining Room (which was the King's bedroom). Director Nicholas Hytner and crew were great, and we even had the fun of showing Alan Bennett round the house.
new york times FILM REVIEW; Going Mad Without Being a Sore Loser By JANET MASLIN, 28 December 28, 1994
All the world's a stage for King George III, the royally irrepressible ruler who holds sway throughout "The Madness of King George." While there's much to admire in Nicholas Hytner's splendid screen adaptation of Alan Bennett's neo-Shakespearean play ("The Madness of George III"), this exuberant tragicomedy is first and foremost a superb showcase. The monarch is a corker, and he commands almost all the attention.
Grandly played by Nigel Hawthorne, who repeats his stage role with a stunningly mercurial display of wit, pathos and fiery emotion, this wily King is a figure to be reckoned with even when his powers decline. It was under the stormy reign of George III (1760-1810) that England's monarchy lost a substantial degree of its authority to Parliament, while England itself lost the United States (or "the place we mustn't mention," as it's called in the film). As for George himself, he began losing his reason periodically in 1788, when the film takes place, and was deemed quite mad during the last 10 years of his monarchy.
Mr. Bennett's drama finds him at a critical juncture, still in control but well aware of the "catalogue of regal nonconformities" he presents to courtiers and loved ones. For all his comic fireworks, Mr. Hawthorne poignantly captures the King's understanding that his power may be slipping, that he may not be able to halt that process, and that a long list of adversaries eagerly awaits his decline.
The star, the film maker and the playwright find something universal in the ways this embattled man fends off the inevitable, using every behavioral weapon in his arsenal to keep his enemies at bay. In the process, they also enjoy the essential hollowness of keeping up appearances in royal fashion. "Smile at the people," King George exhorts his family, with a puckishness that certainly resonates today. "Wave to them. Let them see that we're happy. That's why we're here."
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The New York Times review is copyright The New York Times. The images are publicity stills from the film.