By Admin | September 14, 1998

A well-shot and directed, pleasantly entertaining first feature directed by David Yates and scripted by Joe Fisher. The Tichborne Claimant tells the true story of Andrew Bogle, the African manservant of the Tichborne family, who is abandoned when his charge, Sir Roger Charles Doughty Tichborne, is lost at sea. Ten years later Bogle conducts a search for the missing heir and comes up with a drunken butcher living in Australia who somewhat fits the bill. Bogle gives his chosen claimant a Pygmalion like training in the art of behaving like an English gentleman. Upon arrival back in England, however, the Tichborne family refuses to accept Bogle’s claimant as the rightful heir to their estate and a well-publicized lawsuit ensues. Robert Pugh gives a strong, comical performance as the claimant while John Kani is sober yet affecting as Bogle. It’s an amusing, well-structured story told in an attractive and commercial style with the requisite number of laughs and a sufficiently moving and sentimental ending. Rather than groundbreaking cinema, this is a well-made, professional film that will charm mainstream audiences if they are willing to overlook the lack of box office names.

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