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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 »

Director:

Matthew Saville
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7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Curry ... Graham Kennedy
Shaun Micallef ... Colin Bednall
Garry McDonald Garry McDonald ... Nicky Whitta
Steve Bisley ... Harry M. Miller
Stephen Hall ... Bert Newton
Todd MacDonald ... Richard Croft
Bernard Curry ... John Wesley
Nick Farnell ... Norm Spencer
Donal Forde Donal Forde ... Geoff 'Corkie' Corke
Leo Taylor Leo Taylor ... Sir Frank Packer
Johnny Brady ... Tim (as Beau Brady)
Monica Maughan Monica Maughan ... Nana Scott
Roz Hammond ... Kathleen Whitta
Jane Allsop ... Noeline Brown
Beth Buchanan Beth Buchanan ... Val Wesley
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Storyline

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

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Genres:

Biography | Drama

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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 2007 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The King: The Story of Graham Kennedy See more »

Filming Locations:

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD 2,100,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color | Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cathy Godbold played the part of Rosemary Margan, her real life mother. See more »

Goofs

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

 
But where's the jester
13 February 2011 | by robincru21See all my reviews

This TV movie title tells us Graham Kennedy was the anointed king of the formative years of Australian television but the writers here failed by not showing enough of how he earned that reputation.

He was supposedly the funniest media entertainer of his era but besides brief moments with giant cat food cans and a cough medicine send up, we see very little proof. Although well- produced and Stephen Curry won an AFI Award for the role, all surviving close friends of the real Kennedy were united in their comments that there was nothing of the Graham Kennedy they knew in this production's portrayal. So what was missing? - possibly the profound brightness, warmth and humour he was most famous for. Curry is good, but on best advice he's playing an expedient character the writers have cooked up - the opportunity for a more memorable biography lost with the failure to expose the real Kennedy - the starting point for a decent biography.

More foolish again is the insulting portrayal of Channel 9 anchorman Geoff Corke, the first man on a TV broadcast in Melbourne. The lazy writers try to re-invent Corke as a dime-store Indian. Corke was a driving force in the founding of television production and station management. People like Corke had no predecessors or role models. They created and defined the technique of TV production and presentation. Corke was hugely popular - his wedding in Melbourne was an unprecedented media event there drawing a crowd of 15,000. Graham Kennedy was there too as best man. Only the dynamic of Kennedy and Newton combined managed to challenge Corke's position at the top.

The Nine Network's involvement in the production is obvious with the polite rendition of former CEO bully Frank Packer. This forlock-tugging production would have us believe Packer was the King. Of goblins maybe.

Archive footage of Kennedy on air shows him laughing until the tears stream down his face - with people like Corke stage managing Kennedy's live to air anarchy and loving it. That's what was uniquely Australian about this era of TV. It's largely missing in this movie.


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