The Duke is a moving true story that celebrates a man who was determined to live a meaningful life. Set in 1961, it follows the story of Kempton Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, who stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. It was the first, and remains the only, theft in the Gallery’s history. Kempton proceeded to send ransom notes declaring that he would only return the painting on the condition that the government invest more in care for the elderly, specifically bringing attention to his long running campaign for pensioners to receive free television.
What happened next is the stuff of legends… only 50 years later did the full story emerge and it was revealed that Kempton had spun a web of lies. The only truth was that he was a good man, determined to change the world and save his marriage – how and why he used the Duke to achieve this, is a wonderfully uplifting tale that will be seen on film for the first time.
The film had its World Premiere at last year’s Venice Film Festival where it was received to critical acclaim. As director Roger Mitchell puts it: “The Duke, in the great tradition of Ealing Comedies, shows a small man speaking truth to power. It is a serious story not to be taken too seriously.”
The Duke is released nationwide in UK cinemas on Friday 3 September 2021.
For more trailers and previews visit our What’s On Channel.Last modified: June 23, 2021