The Duke

Roger Michell, UK, 2020o


The first successful burglary in the history of London's National Gallery was committed in 1961 by a retired cab driver from the northern English working class. He climbed through a toilet window and stole a Goya portrait of the Duke of Wellington. His motive: the government should exempt pensioners and the destitute from paying television license fees. Roger Mitchell's comedy tells the story of the ludicrous blackmail.

Kempton Bunton lives in precarious circumstances and is a good-natured chap in his late fifties with a (rigid) sense of social justice. This sense is so strong that it regularly drives his wife up the wall and occasionally lands him in jail. His most important hobbyhorse is a British no-billag campaign: Bunton thinks it is unfair that pensioners and poor people have to pay fees to the state-run BBC for TV reception. When he also learns in the early 1960s that the government is using taxpayers' money to buy a painting by Goya depicting the Duke of Wellington, his patience finally snaps and events come thick and fast. As in many of the best British comedies, the hilarious is mixed with class warfare, and the acting duo of Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren are simply a delight as the warmly bickering old couple. And just as in the case of The Lost King, it is hard to believe that almost everything here is based on fact: In 1961, the story filled the press columns for weeks and there is even an allusion to it in the Bond film Dr. No.

Till Brockmann

Porté par une belle énergie, des dialogues savoureux d’humour anglais (la scène du procès, hilarante, a des allures de one man show) de super acteurs, ce film, le dernier de Roger Michell, se savoure comme un bon muffin à l’heure du thé.

La Rédaction


The Hollywood Reporter, 9/3/2020
All rights reserved The Hollywood Reporter. Provided by The Hollywood Reporter Archiv
The Guardian, 9/3/2020
All rights reserved The Guardian. Provided by The Guardian Archiv
SRF, 9/8/2012
All rights reserved SRF. Provided by SRF Archiv, 9/7/2020
All rights reserved Provided by Archiv
20minutes, 5/10/2022
All rights reserved 20minutes. Provided by 20minutes Archiv
Rolling Stone, 5/9/2022
All rights reserved Rolling Stone. Provided by Rolling Stone Archiv
Interview with Helen Mirren
/ Today
en / 4/4/2022 / 08‘10‘‘

Q&A with Jim Broadbent
en / 3/7/2022 / 24‘04‘‘

Interview mit Jim Broadbent und Roger Michell
de / 5/5/2022 / 01‘59‘‘

Movie Datao

Comedy, Drama
Running time
96 Min.
Original language
ØYour rating6.8/10
IMDB user:
6.9 (13014)
6.5 (13)
< 3 votes q

Cast & Crewo

Jim BroadbentKempton Bunton
Helen MirrenDorothy Bunton
Matthew GoodeJeremy Hutchinson QC


Interview with Helen Mirren
Today, en , 08‘10‘‘
Q&A with Jim Broadbent
BFI, en , 24‘04‘‘
Interview mit Jim Broadbent und Roger Michell
SRF, de , 01‘59‘‘
Review The Hollywood Reporter
Deborah Young
Review The Guardian
Xan Brooks
Review SRF
Selim Petersen
Gianluca Izzo
Review 20minutes
Caroline Vié
Review Rolling Stone
Xavier Bonnet
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