6 user

The King (2007)

The King is the story of Graham Kennedy, Australia's first and greatest home grown TV superstar. It traces his rise and rise, from working class Balaclava kid, through radio, TV, film, and ... See full summary »


7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
... Graham Kennedy
... Colin Bednall
Garry McDonald ... Nicky Whitta
... Harry M. Miller
... Bert Newton
... Richard Croft
... John Wesley
... Norm Spencer
Donal Forde ... Geoff 'Corkie' Corke
Leo Taylor ... Sir Frank Packer
... Tim (as Beau Brady)
Monica Maughan ... Nana Scott
... Kathleen Whitta
... Noeline Brown
Beth Buchanan ... Val Wesley


The King is the story of Graham Kennedy, Australia's first and greatest home grown TV superstar. It traces his rise and rise, from working class Balaclava kid, through radio, TV, film, and back to TV again. But against this backdrop of professional success it also tracks Kennedy's personal tragedies - the loneliness, the unrealised ambitions and the terrible pressures of being Australia's first homegrown superstar in the 1950s and 60s. But The King is not just about a man - it's also the story of the birth of television, a cultural phenomenon that has helped define a nation, and make us who we are today. Written by Grundy Television/FremantleMedia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Drama





Release Date:

20 May 2007 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

The King: The Story of Graham Kennedy  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


AUD 2,100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


| (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bernard Curry plays one of Stephen Curry's love interests in the film. In real life they are brothers See more »


After Graham gets into his car and tells his driver he might have a quiet night in, the vehicle proceeds round a corner, briefly revealing a lighting tower and several crew members in the background. See more »

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User Reviews

A missed opportunity

For more than three decades, starting in the late 1950s, Graham Kennedy reigned supreme as Australia's most popular and highly publicized television funny man. Famous for his outrageous and often controversial antics in front of the cameras, Kennedy hosted a string of top rating variety and game shows together with a satirical news program, winning a record six Gold Logies along the way.

Several books and TV specials had been devoted to his stellar career before and immediately after his death in 2005. However, it wasn't until 2007 that his story became the subject of a telemovie , appropriately titled "The King" - a monicker that was bestowed on him at the peak of his success in the 1960s. But , when the film was premiered, it was strongly criticized by many friends and former colleagues of the legendary entertainer. The main complaints were that it contained far too many historical inaccuracies and also that it was grossly unfair, portraying Kennedy as being a dark, almost sinister, figure, something that he never was according to those who were closest to him.

Although Stephen Curry and Stephen Hall give excellent performances in their respective roles as Kennedy and his long time on air partner Bert Newton, the movie ultimately fails to reach its full potential due to a decidedly weak script and its misplaced emphasis. For those who have any genuine interest in learning more about Kennedy, what made him tick and how he managed to dominate the industry for so long, no real insight has been provided.

Ironically, for a film that was, presumably, meant to highlight the extraordinary talents of our most dynamic, inventive and adored television jester, viewers are given very little reason to laugh at any point of the proceedings. Indeed, the general mood is downright bleak for no apparent reason with "The King" being depicted as a permanently depressed and hateful ogre. Such a portrayal seems to bear little, if any, resemblance to the man about whom so many have spoken very publicly and with much affection over the years .

Kennedy was certainly a complex character who had one or two private demons and there's no question that he seriously neglected his health , being a heavy smoker and drinker. As a performer, he was demanding and, occasionally , volatile behind the scenes. Away from the studios, he was an intensely private, low key individual who preferred quiet domesticity. But he was no scowling misanthrope or beetle man who spent his days hiding in dark corners.

Having been involved in the Melbourne show business scene back in the 1970s and ' 80s, I got to know a number of people who worked with Graham . One gent , in particular, knew him well enough for he and his wife to be invited down to Frankston for dinner. To this day, the man in question has nothing but happy memories of that evening that was spent by the bay with "Gra Gra"- someone who proved to be an easy going, thoughtful and charming host.

"GK" loved his work and the challenge of making people laugh. He also had many other interests outside of television which included a passion for books, reading, history, cooking, travel and various charity groups of which he remained a dedicated supporter throughout his life.

However, Graham Kennedy will be primarily remembered as the first and most enduring superstar of Australian television. Each night when the red light came on, the real "King" was able to instantly transform himself into an electrifying wizard of wittiness who conjured up an endless procession of comedic delights out of thin air. Sadly none of that magic and charisma has been effectively recreated in this flimsy and superficial biopic which, in the end, adds up to little more than a missed opportunity.

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