The Professor and the Madman

Based on the worldwide best-selling novel by Simon Winchester, The Professor and the Madman is an extraordinary true tale of madness, genius, and obsession about two remarkable men who created history with the writing of the Oxford English Dictionary.

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 (Mel 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 WC Minor (Sean Penn), had submitted more than 10,000 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.

Check out the trailer

Transmission Films invites YourLifeChoices members to an advance preview screening of The Professor and the Madman at a cinema near you. Preview screenings commence from 3 February and it’s on a first come, first served basis, so get your tickets before they run out!

For more information and to download tickets please visit

The Professor and the Madman is in cinemas 20 February.

If you require any assistance, please contact [email protected]

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.


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