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Topic: The Duke
Posted by: Susan Kelly
Date/Time: 27/02/22 17:20:00

1961. Newcastle. Kempton Bunton (a name you could not make up) is a curmudgeonly old man who finds it hard to hold down a job while his long-suffering wife Dolly goes out cleaning for a local Councillor. The shadow of a dead daughter lies over the family. Kempton refuses to pay his TV licence (even serving 13 days for it) and believes that they should be free to pensioners and war widows. When his campaign gets nowhere, he takes a couple of days in London and steals a portrait of the Duke of Wellington which the National Gallery has just paid 140,000 for.

The police are convinced that they're dealing with an international criminal gang, not Victor Meldrew's dad. He sends letters asking for a ransom of 140,000 to be used for charitable purposes but they're dismissed as the work of a crank. An unforeseen snag causes him to walk into the Gallery and return it.

At the trial he pleads not guilty, pointing out that there has to be an intention permanently to deprive someone of their goods for it to be theft.

I had seen the trailer numerous times and went along expecting it to be a bit lame but to pass the time on a cold Sunday afternoon in February. In fact, it's a delight. I loved the period details, from the Adventures of Robin Hood in black and white on the illicit telly, to the packaged goods in the corner shop. Some nice CGI inserts Kempton into genuine footage of London in 1961.

It's also good to see glamorous Helen Mirren playing a dowdy old woman, looking every minute of her real age for once. Speaking of which, the Buntons are meant to be about 60. I know people aged more quickly 60 years ago, but still.


Entire Thread
TopicDate PostedPosted By
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      Re:Trailers - "The Duke"01/03/22 12:31:00 Joe Conneely
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