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The Tichborne Claimant (1998)

Not Rated | | Drama | 12 November 1999 (UK)
Based on a true story, set in the late nineteenth century: Lord Tichborne, the ninth richest nobleman in England, disappears after a South American shipwreck. Some years later, his erudite ... See full summary »


David Yates


Sukey Fisher (as Joe Fisher)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Pugh ... The Claimant
John Kani ... Bogle
Stephen Fry ... Hawkins
John Gielgud ... Cockburn
Robert Hardy ... Lord Rivers
Rachael Dowling Rachael Dowling ... Mary Anne
Charles Gray ... Arundell
James Villiers ... Uncle Henry
Dudley Sutton ... Onslow Onslow
Paola Dionisotti ... The Dowager
Perry Fenwick Perry Fenwick ... John Holmes
Tom McCabe Tom McCabe ... Keneally
Christopher Benjamin ... Gibbes
Roger Hammond ... Cubitt
John Challis ... Rous the Landlord


Based on a true story, set in the late nineteenth century: Lord Tichborne, the ninth richest nobleman in England, disappears after a South American shipwreck. Some years later, his erudite Afro-English valet, Bogle, is sent to investigate rumors that Tichborne survived and settled in Australia. An alcoholic ruffian answer's Bogle's inquiries claiming to be the lost heir. Bogle suspects fraud, but conspires with the claimant to split the inheritance should the latter succesfully pass himself off to friends, family, and the courts. As the claimant returns to England to continue his charade, enough people confirm his identity to make both the claimant and Bogle believe that he just might be the rightful heir after all. Written by Grace Nall <gracenall@earthlink.net>

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Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

12 November 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Tichbornes arv See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?


Theatrical directorial debut of David Yates. He returned to the big screen with the Harry Potter film franchise. See more »

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User Reviews

Belongs On The History Channel . Not In A Cinema
15 January 2006 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

At the start of THE TICHBORNE CLAIMENT we're informed that this is the greatest fraud ever played upon the British public so what does this type of movie say to you ? That you're going to be watching a truly cinematic and enthralling tale ? A sort of Italian Job with horse drawn carriages instead of minis ? That's how the movie should have been produced but for some reason the audience are never treated to anything resembling a cinematic movie

Who do we blame - The director David Yates or the producer Tom McCabe ? I looked up Yates resume and though much of his work has been in television he has a fairly good track record and will be directing the next Harry Potter film so that must mean something while McCabe has a very uneven CV which nearly always involves his produced works failing to get wide distribution so I'm making a very educated guess that Mr McCabe is the one responsible for this film being virtually unknown

The problem starts round about the opening sequence where Andrew Bogle relates the story of Lord Tichborne through a series of photographs and a not convincing model shot of a shipwreck . This expositional story telling technique has been done many times via the BBC's excellent history show TIMEWATCH and umpteen documentaries on the history channel and all through the running time of THE TICHBORNE CLAIMENT I never got the feeling that I was watching a dramatised cinematic account but something from The History Channel

What makes this rather unforgivable is the potential of the story and the fine cast . People love hearing about other people being made fools of and it's part of human nature but at no point will the audience rub their hands in sadistic glee watching people getting ripped off ( GREY OWL also suffers from this by being overly serious ) and the cast certainly don't help by being very staid . The whole movie would have been much more better if it had a Dickensian caricature feel where the characters are portrayed as Great British eccentrics . As it stands THE TICHBORNE CLAIMENT is instantly forgettable and ever so wasted as a cinematic film

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