The Castle (1997 Australian film)

The Castle is a 1997 Australian comedy-drama film directed by Rob Sitch . It starred Michael Caton , Anne Tenney , Tiriel Mora , Stephen Curry , Sophie Lee , Eric Bana (in his film debut) and Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell . The screenwriting team comprised Sitch, Santo Cilauro , Tom Gleisner and Jane Kennedy of Working Dog Productions .

The Castle was filmed in 11 days on a budget of approximately A $ 750,000 . [1] The film gained widespread acclaim in Australia and New Zealand, but was not widely distributed globally. It grossed A $ 10,326,428 at the box office in Australia. [2]

The film’s title is based on the English saying, which is also a part of the film, ” a man’s home is his castle “. Its humor plays on the national self image , most notably the concept of working-class Australians and their place in modern Australia. [3]


The Kerrigan home, in the outer Melbourne blue-collar suburb of Coolaroo , is filled with love as well as Pride In Their modest lifestyle, purpose Their happiness is threatened This When developers attempt the compulsory acquisition of Their house to expand the Neighboring airport .

The Kerrigan House is built in a largely undeveloped housing tract, it has a toxic landfill, and directly adjacent to an airport runway. Despite all this, Darryl’s sweet-natured family patriarch ( Michael Caton ) believes that he lives in the lap of luxury. Blissfully unaware of his family’s lack of style or sophistication, he busies himself by driving a tow truck, racing greyhounds, and constantly adding tacky renovations to the house. The rest of the Kerrigan clan shares and supports his enthusiasm in every way.

One day, a property worth arriving at inspect the house. Though he Has No wish to sell , Darryl point out all the features of the property, believing they’ll add value to the appraisal. A few weeks later, he received a letter informing him about the acquisition of his house for the sum of $ 70,000. His neighbors (elderly Jack, Yvonne divorcee, Farouk and Tabulah, recent immigrants from Lebanon) all receive similar notices. Darryl attempts to fight the eviction. Agents from the airport, but their actions only stiffen the Kerrigans’ resolve. Darryl hires an incompetent attorney acquaintance, Dennis Denuto ( Tiriel Mora), but Dennis’ meagre argument that the eviction goes against the “vibe” of the Constitution does not go well in court. While awaiting the court’s final decision, Darryl makes it easy to meet Lawrence Hammill ( Bud Tingwell ), who has come to watch his performance in short. The court rejects the family’s appeal and gives them two weeks to vacate. The purchase price is small enough to cover a small apartment. Dejected in defeat, the family begins to pack.

A new breath of hope comes with the arrival of Lawrence, who reveals himself as a retired Queen’s Counsel . Lawrence has taken an interest in the Kerrigans’ case and offers to argue before the High Court of Australia on their behalf, gratis . Lawrence makes a persuasive case that the Kerrigans have the right to receive compensation under section 51 (xxxi) of the Australian Constitution . He closes by paraphrasing Darryl’s own comments that his house is more than just a structure of bricks and mortar, but a home built with love and shared memories. The Kerrigans, and their case becomes a landmark precedent on the subject. Yearepilogue shows that the Kerrigans continues to prosper happily, and Lawrence becomes a lasting friend of the family.


  • Michael Caton and Darryl Kerrigan, the patriarch of the family
  • Anne Tenney as Sal Kerrigan, his loving wife
  • Stephen Curry has Dale Kerrigan, the sound youngest, digger of holes, and narrator of the movie
  • Sophie Lee as Tracey Petropoulous (nee Kerrigan), the family’s only daughter, a newlywed hair dresser
  • Eric Bana as Petropoulous Con, Tracey’s new husband, an accountant and amateur kickboxer
  • Anthony Simcoe as Steve Kerrigan, the second oldest son and an apprentice mechanic
  • Wayne Hope as Wayne Kerrigan, the black sheep, who is serving time for armed robbery
  • Tiriel Mora and Dennis Denuto, a small-time bumbling lawyer
  • Costas Kilias as Farouk, the Kerrigans’ neighbor
  • Charles’ Bud ‘Tingwell as Lawrence Hammill QC, retired barrister who comes to the Kerrigans’ aid by defending them pro bono
  • John Flaus as Sgt. Kennedy, a local police officer
  • Tony Martin as Adam Hammill, Lawrence’s sound (brief, mostly non-speaking cameo)
  • Ian Ross appears as himself, a Channel Nine newsreader

Legal principles

The movie Refers to the land rights movement of the Australian Aborigines , with Darryl Kerrigan drawing an explicit parallel entre His struggle and theirs. It also draws on one of the few rights in the Australian Constitution for subject matter, the right to just compensation for acquisition of property under s51 (xxxi) . Also in the film are many references to Australian Constitutional Law Cases, such as Mabo and the Tasmanian Dams Case . The film also deals with section of the Constitution which provides that the case of an inconsistency between Federal and State law, the Federal law shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.

For the purpose of the drama, some of the legal principles are simplified. For example, the law on the subject of acquisition can be used in the film. Section 51 (xxxii) of the Commonwealth of the Commonwealth of the Commonwealth, not the States, and the latter is more likely to be compulsorily acquired property. [4] Similarly, in contrast to Kerrigan’s idea that the value of the place of entry is not limited to the law, it is a good value for monetary value.


According to Santo Cilauro, the film took the final cut. The movie was written in two weeks, shot in two days and taken to cut in two weeks. [5] [6]

The Castle was filmed mostly in Melbourne , Victoria. The external shots of the Kerrigan household were shot at 3 Dagonet St, Strathmore , and Essendon Airport and Melbourne Airport . Location shots of Brunswick feature in the movie, including Brunswick Town Hall and Rocky Porcino Pharmacy at 720 Sydney Rd (Dennis’s Office). Melbourne’s 200 Queen Street and the Supreme Court of Victoria are featured along with the High Court of Australia in Canberra . Some of the movie is set in Bonnie Doon, and a very small portion of it was shot there.

The name Kerrigan was chosen for the family of tow trucks for the film could be borrowed from an existing Melbourne tow-truck company with that name. The company still operates today. [7]

In January 2011, 3491 Maintongoon Road, Bonnie Doon was listed for sale. The property appeared in the movie as the Kerrigan family holiday house. [8] The property is a real estate agent, which is said to be the reason why it is so expensive. [9]

Alternative versions

In the US version, there were several minor changes to dialogue. ” Rissole ” was changed to ” meatloaf “, ” two-stroke ” was changed to ” diesel “, references to the Australian TV show Hey Hey It’s Saturday were changed to more funniest home videos the brand names of the various cars in the driveway have been changed from uniquely Australian cars like the Camira , to ones sold in both countries like the Corolla . [10]

The Australian TV version for “before-8: 30pm screening” has made it clear, where possible, when it is not visible. When broadcast after 8:30 pm, all explicit language is intact.

Box office

The Castle grossed A $ 10,326,428 at the box office in Australia, [11] over 13 times its A $ 750,000 budget.

US rights were bought by Miramax for a rumored $ 6 million. [12]

Critical reception

The Castle received positive reviews from critics. It retains to “Fresh” 88% rating from review-aggregation Rotten Tomatoes , based on 34 reviews. [13]

Roger Ebert gave the film 3 stars out of 4, calling it “one of those comic treasures like” The Full Monty “and” Waking Ned Devine “that shows its characters in the full bloom of glorious eccentricity”. [14]

In 2011, Time Out London named the 25th-greatest comedy movie of all time. [15]


The Castle can be seen as a social study on the lives and aspirations of the inhabitants of suburban Australia. The central character, Darryl Kerrigan, joins the stereotypical depiction of an ” Aussie Battler, ” a man who will protect himself and his family. [16] [17] The Aussie battler will face times or adversity, often in the face of oppressive government or economic hardship. Kerrigan, and to a lesser extent, are committed to their pursuit of the Australian Dream, [18] a concept considered somewhat outdated. [19]

The Castle , like many other Australian television shows and movies, portrays the average Australian as “un-cultured” or ignorant of culture beyond what is filtered through the masses (on mainstream television or in tabloid journalism ), and to a lesser extent restrictions failing to explore a city beyond one’s suburbs imposes on families as far as exposure to arts or entertainment. A recurring gag in the movie HAS Darryl ask His wife, Sal, what She has cooked, to qui she frequently replies with something as easy as rissoles (a minced meat dish), sponge cake , or ice cream . This references the stereotype that Australian cuisineto be unsophisticated, something that is less prevalent than it was in the early to mid 1990s. quote needed ]


Award Category Subject result
(1997 AFI Awards)
Best Original Screenplay Santo Cilauro Won
Tom Gleisner Won
Jane Kennedy Won
Rob Sitch Won
Best Actor Michael Caton Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Charles Tingwell Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Sophie Lee Nominated
Australian Movie Convention Australian Movie of the Year Rob Sitch Won
British Independent Film Award Best Foreign Independent Film – English Language Nominated
European Film Award Screen International Award Rob Sitch Nominated
FCCA Awards Best Movie Nominated
Best Screenplay – Original Santo Cilauro Nominated
Tom Gleisner Nominated
Jane Kennedy Nominated
Rob Sitch Nominated
Best Actor – Male Michael Caton Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Male Charles Tingwell Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Female Sophie Lee Nominated
Stockholm International Film Festival Bronze Horse Rob Sitch Nominated

See also

  • Movie portal
  • Cinema of Australia
  • Mabo v Queensland (No 2)
  • Australian constitutional law


  1. Jump up^ Kaufman, Anthony. “Interview: A man’s movie is his” Castle “- Rob Sitch’s Aussie debut” . IndieWire . Retrieved 25 February 2013 .
  2. Jump up^ Wills, Dominic. “Eric Bana – Biography” . Talk Talk . Retrieved 13 April2010 .
  3. Jump up^ McElroy, Wendy (20 October 2006). “A man’s home is his castle” . Freedom Daily . The Future of Freedom Foundation . Retrieved 13 April2010 .
  4. Jump up^ Hardwick, Ben (27 October 2015). ” ‘ Tell him he’s dreamin’: five myths about The Castle and the Law” . The Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved 2 November 2015 .
  5. Jump up^ Interview with Santo Cilauro, Signit, 6 February 1997accessed 14 October 2012
  6. Jump up^ Peter Malone, “A House is a Castle”Cinema Papers, April 1997 p10-12
  7. Jump up^ “The Castle (1997) – Trivia” . IMDB .
  8. Jump up^ Taylor, Christian (11 January 2011). “Piece of Aussie cinema history up for sale” . Australian Times . Archived from the original on 7 March 2011 . Retrieved 7 March 2011 .
  9. Jump up^ Heard, Hamish (30 January 2011). “The Castle’s shack goes up for sale” . Herald Sun . Archived from the original on 7 March 2011 . Retrieved 7 March 2011 .
  10. Jump up^ R4 vs R1 DVD Comparison(scroll down to the section “R4 vs. R1”)
  11. Jump up^ “Australian Movies at the Australian Box Office” . Victoria movie . 23 September 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2011 . Retrieved 7 March 2011 .
  12. Jump up^ Tearlach Hutchenson, “The Castle”,Cinema Papers, August / September 2000 p10-14
  13. Jump up^ “The Castle – Rotten Tomatoes” . Rotten Tomatoes .
  14. Jump up^ Roger Ebert (1999-05-04). “The Castle” .
  15. Jump up^ “100 Best Comedy Movies” . Time Out London . Retrieved September 17, 2011 .
  16. Jump up^ “The Hero Castle Darryl Kerrigan best represents Australians: survey”. October 6, 2010.
  17. Jump up^ “Federal election 2016: ‘The Castle’ actor Michael Caton next campaign for Legal Aid funding” . The Sydney Morning Herald . 23 June 2016.
  18. Jump up^ “Let’s keep the Great Australian Dream – but downsize it” . The Sydney Morning Herald . October 14, 2016.
  19. Jump up^ “End of the Great Australian Dream?” . The Age . July 14, 2003.

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