Screen One: Season 3, Episode 8

A Question of Attribution (4 Oct. 1992)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 165 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

Sir Anthony Blunt, who was a Soviet agent for 25 years, is routinely questioned and gives no answers, but is knighted and works as Director of the Courtauld Institute, and presents his ... See full summary »

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Title: A Question of Attribution (04 Oct 1992)

A Question of Attribution (04 Oct 1992) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
Chubb
...
Donleavy
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ann Beach ...
Mrs. Chubb
Richard Bebb ...
Consultant
John Cater ...
Restorer (Robertson)
Edward de Souza ...
Collins
...
Colin
Gregory Floy ...
Radiologist
Barbara Hicks ...
Lady at National Gallery
Anne Jameson ...
Blunt's Secretary
Mark Payton ...
Phillips
Julia St John ...
Receptionist
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Storyline

Sir Anthony Blunt, who was a Soviet agent for 25 years, is routinely questioned and gives no answers, but is knighted and works as Director of the Courtauld Institute, and presents his interrogator with a puzzle in the shape of a doubtful Titian painting. He also does art restoration work in Buckingham Palace, where he gets into an interesting conversation with HMQ. Written by Kathy Li

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4 October 1992 (USA)  »

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Quotes

[the Queen knows that Sir Anthony Blunt is a traitor and Blunt knows that the Queen knows this, but both maintain a facade of innocence as they discuss the Queen's art collection, amid many coded references]
H.M.Q.: Portraits are supposed to be frightfully self-revealing, aren't they? Show what one's really like - the secret self. Either that or else the eyes are supposed to follow you round the room. Have you had your portrait painted?
Sir Anthony Blunt: No, Ma'am.
H.M.Q.: So we don't know whether you have a secret self?
[later]
H.M.Q.: ...
[...]
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Featured in Alan Bennett at 80: Bennett Meets Hytner (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Of fakes and enigmas
22 November 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Alan Bennett's plays are strongly character driven and A Question of Attribution is no exception.

Like his earlier An Englishman Abroad, this focuses on spies, in this case Anthony Blunt, brilliantly played by James Fox, and his work as keeper of the Queen's pictures. The Queen herself is played by Prunella Scales who stays on the right side of caricature but makes HMQ warm and funny.

The play centres on the topic of fakes, of course mirroring the police investigation searching for the fifth man who worked alongside Blunt, Burgess, Philby and Maclean. Blunt is also investigating a Titian painting which isn't all it seems.

A good play, and typical Bennett.


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