7.7/10
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146 user 45 critic

The Castle (1997)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 7 May 1999 (USA)
A working-class family from Melbourne, Australia fights city hall after being told they must vacate their beloved family home to allow for infrastructural expansion.

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(written and conceived by), (written and conceived by) | 2 more credits »
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2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Anne Tenney ...
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Sophie Lee ...
Tracey Kerrigan
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Tiriel Mora ...
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Lawrence Hammill
...
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Bryan Dawe ...
Ron Graham
Monty Maizels ...
Jack
Lynda Gibson ...
John Benton ...
Mr. Lyle
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Storyline

A Melbourne family is very happy living where they do, near the Melbourne airport (according to Jane Kennedy, it's "practically their back yard"). However, they are forced to leave their beloved home, by the Government and airport authorities. 'The Castle' is the story of how they fight to remain in their house, taking their case as far as the High Court. Written by Simon Quinn <G.Quinn@mailbox.uq.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's every Australian family's dream. A quarter acre block. A Pool Room. A barbie. And an airport over the back fence. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

7 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az én házam, az én váram  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£116,374 (UK) (31 July 1998)

Gross:

$861,789 (USA) (11 July 1999)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally made to raise money for the later Australian film "The Dish". See more »

Goofs

The scenes that are supposedly inside the High Court of Australia (Federal court located in Canberra) are actually filmed inside the Supreme Court of Victoria and the Victorian Coat-of-Arms are visible behind the judges. See more »

Quotes

Dale Kerrigan: The real estate agent said 'location location location' and we were right next to the airport!
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Soundtracks

Cherish
(1966)
Written by Terry Kirkman and Judith Kirkman
Performed by David Cassidy
Published by Beechwood Music Corp.
Courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

Don't damn it just coz you don't get it.
26 July 2002 | by (Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

This is an very Australian film built for a particular sense of humour. Having lived in both Sydney and Melbourne, I feel I can say that this will appeal more to the Melbourne than the Sydney sense of humour.

Forget "The Crocodile Hunter", Nicole Kidman or Russel Crowe. This is a lot closer to your typical Australian.

Reading the other comments, two things surprised me.

1) That anybody outside Australia, the UK, NZ or Ireland actually got this movie. To those Americans who praised it, thank you for taking the time to appreciate something outside your normal experiences.

and

2) The ferocity with with those who didn't get it damned the movie.

The Castle is very very clever. Yes, there are references to "wogs" and "lebs", but if given how that's exactly how a large percentage of these ethnic groups refer to themselves, they are terms without power and thus are rarely used in a racist sense. Melbourne is a wog city. It has the largest Greek population outside of Greece and is the third largest Greek city in the world. It also feature a huge population of first, second or third generation Italians. Some of my ex-coworkers sounded like they were straight out the Godfather. Then there are the lebs and the polacks and and a great mix of European Cultures.

Wogs. The lot of them. :)

To reduce the movie to laughing at the lack of intelligence in the family or to picking on racial minorities (not that the wogs are a minority in Melbourne), is to miss the point entirely. If you don't live in Aus, I can fully understand why this would be the case.

But simply because a movie is a outside your understanding or experience or doesn't fit your personal expectations of what is "funny" it no reason to condemn it. Once you get more sophisticated than "Beverly Hills Cop", you are not going to carry 100% of the audience, and the audience shouldn't expect that it would. (Notable exceptions exist.. Dead Poets' Society immediately comes to mind)

Personally, I like movies is one that makes a social comment, or those that a rift in society and stir informed debate. The Castle is a reflection on the "Australian Dream", if such a thing exists, which is that everybody should get "A fair go". This is streets apart from the American dream of riches beyond imagination at the expense of everything else, and highlights the great difference between the two cultures.


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