The Castle is a 1997 Australian comedy film that gained widespread acclaim in Australia, but was not widely distributed globally.
The Castle starred Michael Caton and Anne Tenney, Eric Bana, and Charles 'Bud' Tingwell. Directed by Rob Sitch, the screenwriting team comprised Rob Sitch, Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner and Jane Kennedy of Working Dog Productions. The Castle was filmed in 11 days on a budget of approximately AUD$500,000 (rumoured to be as little as AUD$19,000). It grossed AU$10,326,428 at the box office in Australia. The Castle was Eric Bana's first film
The story follows the exploits of the Kerrigan family–whose name was reportedly borrowed from the towing company that loaned the trucks used in the film–-who have been blissfully residing in their home (their "castle") for years. Unfortunately, the nearby airport wants to expand and plans to evict the Kerrigans and their neighbours by way of compulsory acquisition
. The humour
in The Castle
plays on the self image
of Australians, most notably the concepts of working class Australians and their place in the modern Australia. The movie title is named for the English saying, repeatedly used in the film, "A man's home is his castle."
The film also refers to the land rights
movement of the Australian Aborigines
, with Darryl Kerrigan drawing an explicit parallel between his struggle and theirs. It also draws on one of the few rights protected in the Australian Constitution
for subject matter, the right to just terms compensation for acquisition of property under s51(xxxi)
. Also interspersed in the film are many references to famous Australian Constitutional Law Cases, such as Mabo
and the Tasmanian Dams Case
. The film also deals with section 109
of the Constitution which states that in the case of inconsistency between Federal and State law, Federal law will prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.
was filmed mostly in Melbourne
, Australia. The external shots of the Kerrigan household were shot at 3 Dagonet St, Strathmore
, and footage of Essendon Airport
and Melbourne Airport
. Location shots of Brunswick
feature in the film, including Brunswick Town Hall
. Melbourne's 200 Queen Street
and the Supreme Court of Victoria
are featured along with the High Court of Australia
Although some of the film is set in Bonnie Doon, a very small portion of it was shot there.
In the USA version, there were several cosmetic changes, among them, 'rissole
' was changed to 'meatloaf
' was changed to 'diesel
', the references to the Australian TV show Hey Hey It's Saturday
were removed, and the brand names of the various cars in the driveway were changed from an Australian (Commodore
etc) to an American one (Chevrolet
The Australian TV-Version for "before 8.30pm screening" has scenes of explicit language either completely cut, where possible, masked by aircraft noises or redubbed when lip movements can't be seen.