The Duke ready for theatrical release
A FEELGOOD trailer reveals a preview of the new The Duke, starring Dame Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent, which was largely shot in Bradford.
The film, based on the real-life story of a taxi driver who stole a priceless portrait from the National Gallery, was shot in the city in late 2019 and early 2020, before the pandemic. It premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year and hits theaters on September 3.
Bradford’s locations – City Hall, Cartwright Hall, Little Germany, Upper Piccadilly, and Cannon Mills – have been transformed into 1960s settings. Upper Piccadilly has been transformed into a row of stores, including a ladies’ fashion boutique and boutique of ties.
The Bradford UNESCO City of Cinema team worked with the production team to secure the venue and involve students from the University of Bradford and Bradford College behind the scenes.
A pathé, Ingenious Media and Screen Yorkshire presentation of a Neon Films production, The Duke is set in 1961 and is the story of Kempton Bunton, 60, played by Jim Broadbent, who stole Goya’s portrait from the Duke of Wellington at the National Gallery in London. It was the first and the only one in the history of the Gallery.
Dame Helen plays Kempton’s wife, Dorothy, a role that sees the usually glamorous actress in old-fashioned cardigans and glasses. The cast also includes Motherland and Line of Duty star Anna Maxwell Martin.
Police first suspect that a criminal gang is behind the art theft, then Kempton begins sending ransom demands stating that he would only return the painting if the government invests in personal care seniors, specifically drawing attention to its long-standing campaign for retirees to receive free television.
It wasn’t until half a century later that the full story emerged.
While filming in Bradford, Dame Helen tweeted a photo of Cannon Mills during a nighttime shoot which she captioned: “The one and only Bradford with its own magic”. The Oscar-winning actress also enjoyed a curry at Mumtaz on Great Horton Road and headed to the Alhambra to see Snow White, with Steps’ Billy Pearce and Faye Tozer, who tweeted a backstage photo of Dame Helen – wearing a flashing tiara she bought at the theater – with the panto cast.
Bradford City of Film director David Wilson said: “It’s great to finally see the trailer for The Duke and see so many places in Bradford. I look forward to the theatrical release of the film which is based on a true story but has such an uplifting feel-good factor. It was a great production to work with, made even better by Dame Helen Mirren’s wonderful comments on Bradford and the fact that she spent time exploring parts of the city’s culture by attending the panto and taking a curry.