09 20 Oct '24
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Roger Michell

The Duke

95' - 2021 - Comedy, Biography - Dialogue: English
Director: Roger Michell Composer: George Fenton With: Matthew Goode, Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent

In 1961, Kempton Bunton, 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 notes saying that he would return the painting on the condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly - he had long campaigned for pensioners to receive free television. What happened next became the stuff of legend. Only 50 years later did the full story emerge: 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 that is a wonderfully uplifting tale.

"Roger Michell’s warm take on the true story of how Kempton Bunton acquired the National Gallery’s new Goya is unashamedly sentimental and resolutely old-fashioned in the best sense of the term: a design classic built along the same lines as That Sinking Feeling or 50s Ealing comedies." - The Guardian
It's with a heavy heart and great shock the news of Roger Michell's sudden passing has reached us. As a director, he laid the groundwork for a new, fresh kind of romantic comedy with 'Notting Hill' and he proved to be eclectic in his taste when he went on to direct beautiful, acclaimed films like 'The Mother' and 'My Cousin Rachel'. We were looking forward to welcoming him in Ghent in October - and beyond honored Michell would present his new film 'The Duke' to Belgian audiences. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.
Film Fest Gent

Image gallery

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Roger Michell


George Fenton


Matthew Goode, Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent


Richard Bean, Clive Coleman

Director of Photography

Mike Eley


Kristina Hetherington


Nicky Bentham

Production studios

Neon Films


Paradiso Filmed Entertainment NV

More information



Countries of production

United Kingdom




Roger Michell
Downtown Lagos (TV-series, 1992), The Buddha of Suburbia (TV-series, 1993), David Bowie: The Buddha of Suburbia (Video short, 1994), My Night with Reg (1997), Titanic Town (1998), Notting Hill (1999), Changing Lanes (2002), The Mother (2003), Enduring Love (2004), Venus (2006), Morning Glory (2010), Hyde Park on Hudson (2012), Le Week-End (2013), Ellie Goulding: How Long Will I Love You, Version 2 (Video short, 2013), The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies (TV-series, 2014), Birthday (TV-Movie, 2015), National Theatre Live: Consent (2017), My Cousin Rachel (2017), Nothing Like a Dame (2018), Blackbird (2019)

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