In 1961, Kempton Bunton (Jim Broadbent), a 60-year-old taxi driver, 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 sent ransom demands stating that he would return the painting on condition that the government invest more in elderly care – he had long campaigned for retirees to receive free television.
What happened next became legendary. The whole story surfaced just 50 years later – 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 do this is a wonderfully uplifting story.
Roger Michell was born in South Africa to a British diplomat and lived in Beirut, Damascus and Prague as a child. He is a theater and film director. His films include PERSUASION, MY NIGHT WITH REG, TITANIC TOWN, NOTTING HILL, CHANGING LANES, THE MOTHER, VENUS, ENDURING LOVE, MORNING GLORY, HYDE PARK ON HUDSON, LE WEEK-END, MY COUSIN RACHEL, NOTHING LIKE A DAME and BLACKBIRD.
Running time: 96 minutes
Directed by Roger Michell
Written by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman
Produced by Nicky Bentham
Anna Maxwell Martin
and Charlotte Spencer