James Frain as Jack Beresford, Matt Smith as Bert Bushnell and Sam Hoare as Dickie Burnell.
By now, no one who is interested in the history of rowing can have missed when the BBC film Bert and Dickie (Going for Gold – The ’48 Games is the title in America on BBC America) is on. But to be on the safe side: it’s tomorrow, Wednesday, 25 July at 8:30 p.m. on BBC One in Britain, and the very same day on BBC America at 8/7 C.
HTBS’s correspondent Hélène Rémond in France sent a very interesting link, ‘BBC News – Entertainment and Art’, which has great information about the film, and also a film clip from the movie and an interview with the actor Sam Hoare, who plays Dickie Burnell. Despite that it’s said that the Burnells were ‘Rowing Royalties’, Dickie was a very humble man.
HTBS has followed this film from the start and we have written a lot about Matt Smith, who plays Bert Bushnell and Sam Hoare, who portrays Dickie Burnell. One character that we have not really mentioned in this film is Jack Beresford, who is played by James Frain. Beresford, who had taken five Olympic medals in five consecutive Games, was not an unimportant figure in the story about Bert and Dickie’s 1948 Olympic gold medal. Beresford became a mentor and a coach for the young Bert and Dickie.
For those of us who know something about the real Jack Beresford, actor James Frain seems to be an odd choice to play the blond Beresford. In an e-mail to HTBS’s Tim Koch, Jack’s son, John, says about Frain: ‘He’s totally unlike Dad in appearance’. John Beresford goes on by saying that at a screening his sister was horrified to see the actor playing her father wearing a brown suit. She said that Jack would never wear such a thing.
All this promises to be an interesting time in front of the TV on Wednesday!