The Castle

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The hardest habit of all to break is the terrible habit of happiness.
Theodosia Garrison
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The Castle is a 1997 Australian comedy film about an "ordinary" Australian family threatened by eviction by way of compulsory acquisition when the nearby airport announces its plans to expand. Unwilling to abandon their home - their "castle" - so easily, the Kerrigans take the matter to the courts.

Directed by Rob Sitch. Written by Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy and Rob Sitch
It's not just a house... it's our home! (taglines)

Dale Kerrigan

  • My name's Dale Kerrigan, and this is my story.
  • As the real estate agent said, "Location, location, location", and we're right next door to the airport. It will be very convenient if we ever have to fly one day.
  • Our crescent was going to be the heart of a major housing development, but it never got up. They reckon the planes put people off, them and the power lines. Not Dad. He reckons power lines are a reminder of man's ability to generate electricity. He's always saying great things like that.
  • Pity my oldest brother couldn't be there. His name's Wayne. He's in jail. Eight years for armed robbery. Many people would call him the black sheep of the family, but not Mum and Dad. He got caught up with the wrong crowd - he didn't mean to rob the petrol station! Now he's sorry.
  • Dad? I dug another hole. It's filling with water.
  • If there's one thing dad loved more than serenity, it's a two-stroke motor at full throttle!
  • Dad reckons fishing is 10% brains and 95% muscle, the rest is just good luck.
  • Mum said it was funny how one day you're not famous, and the next day you are. Famous. And then you're not again.

Darryl Kerrigan

  • It's not a house, it's a home.
  • This is going straight to the pool room.
  • Tell 'em they're dreamin'!
  • [singing] We're going to Bonnie Doon!
  • Hey. Bad luck. [pause] Ya dickhead.
  • Suffer in yer jocks.


  • Dennis Denuto: It's just... the vibe... of the thing.
  • Farouk: He say plane fly overhead, drop value. I no care. In Beirut, plane fly over head, drop bomb. I like these planes better.
  • Farouk: I say you have friend, I have friend. My friend go to your house, put bomb under your car and blow you to fucking sky!
  • Steve Kerrigan: Dad, you haven't let anyone down. I don't know what the opposite of lettin' someone down is... but you done the opposite.


Dale: [narration] Steve is also an ideas man. That's why Dad calls him the Ideas Man. He has lots of ideas.
Steve: It's a motorcycle helmet with a built-in break light.
Darryl: [shaking his head] You are an ideas man, Steve.

Wayne: How's Mum?
Dale: Good.
Wayne: How's Dad?
Dale: Good.
Wayne: How's Trace?
Dale: Good.
Wayne: How're you?
Dale: Good.
Wayne: How's Steve?
Dale: He's alright.
Wayne: Good.
Dale: [narration] Even though he's the oldest and I'm the youngest, we get on great. We can just chat for hours.
Wayne: Thanks for coming, Dale.
Dale: You want some chewy?
Wayne: Nah.

Darryl: [pointing at the verandah] See that lace up there?
Valuer: Yeah?
Darryl: Fake. Plastic. Gives the place a Victoriana feel. Chimney? Fake too.
Valuer: Why's it there?
Darryl: Charm. Adds a bit of charm.

Darryl: Now, here back? Landfill. Not allowed to build there.
Valuer: Has the soil been tested?
Darryl: Oh yeah. Nothing too serious in there. [pause] What do you know about lead?

Darryl: I'll be interested to see this fella's valuation.
Dale: You thinking of selling, Dad?
Darryl: Oh, no, mate, no, but it'd be nice to know what we're sitting on.
Dale: [nodding] Clay.

Federal Court judge: And what on law are you basing this argument?
Darryl Kerrigan: The law of bloody common sense!


  • Ordinary family. Extraordinary story.
  • It's every Australian family's dream. A quarter acre block. A Pool Room. A barbie. And an airport over the back fence.
  • They want to extend the airport... But the Kerrigans won't belt up.
  • It's not just a house... it's our home!


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