IMDb > "Kings in Grass Castles" (1998)

"Kings in Grass Castles" (1998) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1998-

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Mary Durack (book)
Tony Morphett (writer)
View company contact information for Kings in Grass Castles on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 March 1998 (Australia) See more »
A Saga of Hatred and Tragedy, Wealth and Romance . . . (DVD)
The life of an Irish immigrant family in Australia in the second half of the 19th century.
Plot Keywords:
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
A stirring tale to make all Australians feel good, or anybody else who has ever migrated. See more (1 total) »


 (Series Cast)
Rafe Andrews ... M. P. (aged 7)
Stewart Armstrong ... Mr Robbins
Craig Ashley ... Jarrold
Maurie Barlin ... Dinnie Skehan
Donal Beecher ... James Maguire
Michael Butcher ... Maloney
Alan Cinis ... Auctioneer
Peter Corbett ... Darby

Imelda Corcoran ... Poor Mary
Cormac Costello ... Skinner

Max Cullen ... Mr. Costello
Margaret D'Arcy ... Mammy Amy

Essie Davis ... Mary Costello
Conal De Huggard
Michael K. DeVaney ... Young Michael

Stephen Dillane ... Patsy

Ernie Dingo ... Jimmy
Peter Driffield ... Vicar
Marcus Eyre ... Fruin

Fionnula Flanagan ... Bridget Durack

James Fox ... Longman
Patrick Frost ... Clerk of Works
Sean Gilroy ... Father McAlroy
Marc Grey ... M. P. (aged 21)
Derek Halligan ... Rent Collector
Trevor Jamieson ... Boontamurra Youth

Nick Jasprizza ... Big Johnnie
Wayne Scott Kermond ... Stumpy Michael
Ningali Lawford ... Valley
Julian Leather ... Long Michael
Alice Livingstone ... Margaret Darby
Tom Long ... Pat Tully
Scott Lowe ... Inspector Gilmour

Susan Lynch ... Sarah
Elspeth MacTavish ... Mrs Longman
Des McAleer ... Michael

Peter McDonald ... Game Keeper

T.P. McKenna ... Lord Dunraven
Ingrid Menge ... Kate McInnes
Stanley Mirindo ... Dinnakin

Sharon Mitchell ... Koorie Jane
David Ngoombujarra ... Burrakin
Vicki Ngurruwuthum ... Burrakin's wife
Niki Owen ... Maid
Damian Pike ... John Costello
Susan Rigg ... Mrs Robbins
Brian Rooney ... J. W. (aged 19)
Paul Shillingsworth ... Koorie Bill
Robert Simper ... Sergeant Moreton

Ritchie Singer ... Mr Emanuel

Carl Snell ... J. W. (aged 5)
Maggie Steed ... Mrs Costello
Gary Vincent ... Photographer

Directed by
John Woods 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Mary Durack  book
Tony Morphett  writer

Produced by
Paul D. Barron .... producer
Irene Dobson .... producer
Jan Tyrrell .... producer
Original Music by
Shaun Davey 
Film Editing by
Paul Garrick 
Art Direction by
Donna Brown 
Michelle McGahey 
Set Decoration by
Lisa Elvy 
Costume Design by
Louise Wakefield (1998)
Makeup Department
Joan Hills .... makeup artist
Production Management
Sally Ayre-Smith .... production manager
Art Department
Simon Clayton .... assistant scenic artist (1998)
Sarah Light .... assistant art director (1998)
Phil Shearer .... illustrator
Noel Walsh .... property master
Sound Department
Ray Cross .... sound
Robert 'Gotch' Cutcher .... boom operator
Mark Franken .... sound supervisor: adr
Dino Giacomin .... sound supervisor: adr
Tracey Grimshaw .... foley artist
Ross Linton .... sound
Alan Lyons .... sound
Rory Martin .... assistant sound effects editor
Gavin Myers .... dialogue editor
Fabian Sanjurjo .... sound effects editor
Robert Sullivan .... sound mixer
Steve Witherow .... dialogue editor (as Stephen Witherow)
Andy Clarke .... stunt coordinator
Gavin Wild .... stunt performer (1998)
Philippe Zone .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Eoin O'Hagan .... gaffer: Ireland
Casting Department
Jane Arnell .... casting: Ireland/UK
Susie Maizells .... casting: Australia
Alanna Perry .... extras casting (1998)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Meg Gordon .... costume buyer
Music Department
Karl Akers .... music engineer
Mark Armstrong .... orchestrator (1998)
Kim Lord .... music engineer
Chris White .... music engineer
Other crew
Manus Hingerty .... location manager
Anne Masterton .... assistant to producer (1998)
Paul Ranford .... production coordinator (1998)

DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:200 min (DVD)
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The title is derived from a complete line in the source novel which reads: "If it's kings we are, it's kings in grass castles that may be blown away in the wind."See more »


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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
A stirring tale to make all Australians feel good, or anybody else who has ever migrated., 9 June 2002
Author: Keith F. Hatcher from La Rioja, Spain

I myself emigrated to Australia near 40 years ago and have very fond memories of the country; thus I do not pass up any opportunities of seeing Australian productions which come by here, usually on our regional Basque TV Channel.

Based on a novel of the same name (Corgi Books, 1967) written by a grand-daughter of the main protagonist of this story – Patsy Durack – the film narrates the hard life of some Irish peasants who fled the potato famine in 1853 and emigrated to Australia. However, on arrival in the land of promise, they soon found that life there was also going to be rather hard. However, they persevere and get their own spread `in the back of beyond' near Thargomindah (the name is changed in the film, can't think why) in the deep south west of Queensland. From extreme to extreme, the saga unrolls, beautifully filmed and sometimes really well acted, reaching its forseeable conclusion without too many problems.

The best was a very loveable David Ngoombujarra as Burrakin, aborigine who became Patsy Durack's lifelong friend.

From a rainy windy Galway, Western Eire, the film miraculously dumps us in the middle of the splendid scenery of the Blue Mountains, not far from Oberon I rather fancy, overlooking the majestic Kurragorang Valley. Later we see the great empty plains of south west Queensland, and a few views of the beautiful Kimberlies can also be seen. As I have said, some beautiful filming: sunsets and a few wild animals, well-reconstructed street scenes, billabongs – made me almost feel `home' sick!

There is some play on how aborigines were badly treated, thrown off their lands, but this theme was not very much gone into. However, on a recent trip to Australia I noticed that now these people run their own lands and the booming tourist business.

Whether this film is very genuinely a story of the hard lives the early immigrants led may be a little debatable.

Try to get a copy of Ernestine Hill's `The Territory' (Angus and Robertson) for a truly authentic and beautiful book about people opening up the interior of Australia, especially the north.

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