The Castle

(Dir. Rob Sitch) (1997)

Darryl Kerrigan (Michael Caton) has lived with his family at 3 Highview Crescent Cooloroo from time immemorial (15 years). It’s so handy being next to the airport, in case they ever have to fly anywhere. So when the Barlow Group seeks to compulsorily acquire all homes in the street for an airport expansion, Daryl takes them on.

This delightful Australian comedy is not perfect (i.e., it’s not Love Serenade) and is rough-and-ready at times, but it works due to a winning cast and a robustly funny script. Some of our favourite moments:Vibe

  • The hilariously awful submission to the Federal Court by Darryl’s local solicitor, Dennis Denuto (Tiriel Mora): “It’s just the vibe…of the thing…” (we also like it when Dennis, looking tired after a long day, dictates a letter to the solicitors for Barlow Group, and then swivels in his chair to start audio-typing himself – the secretary only comes in on certain days).
  • Darryl’s son-in-law, Con Petropoulous (Eric Bana) says with deadly seriousness: “May I say how disenchanted I am with our legal system.”
  • Dale (Stephen Curry) incessantly quizzes sister Tracey (Sophie Lee) on trivia, e.g.,what films they saw on the plane (Twister, of course!).
  • At a strategy meeting of householders, Darryl asks everyone to stump up to pay Mr Denuto’s modest fee. Farouk (Costas Kilias, who, incidentally, is a barrister in real life!) immediately produces his wallet, drawing forth an admonition from Darryl to “Hold your horses – what is it about wogs and cash?!?“)
  • Lawrence Hammill QC (Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell) rides to the Kerrigan’s rescue, explaining to Darryl and wife Sal (Anne Tenney) that he is a Queen’s Counsel. “Oh,” she exclaims, “You counsel the Queen!”


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