The Professor and the Madman

The Professor and the Madman

The Professor and the Madman

Oscar winners Mel Gibson and Sean Penn lead this true story about how a professor and a convicted murderer created the Oxford English Dictionary. Co-stars Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones).

The compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857 and was one of the most ambitious, and revolutionary projects ever undertaken. Professor James Murray (Gibson) took on the challenge of creating the most comprehensive dictionary ever compiled, but knew that it would take him and his team over a century to compile all known definitions. However, by “crowd sourcing” the work, that is, by enlisting definitions from people all over the world, the dictionary could be compiled in mere decades.

As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor Murray, discovered that one man, Dr. W.C. Minor (Penn), had submitted more than ten thousand words. When the committee insisted on honouring him, a shocking truth came to light: Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was a convicted murderer and being held at an asylum for the criminally insane.

The film saw delays due to legal battles that saw Gibson and Icon Productions contend with Voltage Pictures. The latter denied director Farhad Safinia final cut privileges and additional days of shooting.

2019Rating: M, Violence124 minsIreland
DramaMysteryTrue Story & BiographyHistorical

Streaming (4 Providers)

The Professor and the Madman / Reviews

Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald

The film is a bombastic dirge verging on the preposterous.

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Stuff

Stuff

Expecting not much, I walked out of The Professor and the Madman happy enough to have seen it.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

Ironically, for a movie about words, the dialogue only sparks to life on rare occasion.

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FilmInk

FilmInk

… the film’s musings on language, definition and redefinition, and its dual character study at its core, it makes for decent viewing.

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Variety

Variety

Gibson is fine; it's everything else that doesn't work.

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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

We'll never know where Shemran's movie truly lost its way, but its current form of saving face by sounding smart will make viewers want to simply move on from it, just like its star and director and have.

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The Professor and the Madman / Trailers