->''"We're goin' ta Bonnie Dooooon..."''

''The Castle'' is a 1997 Australian film from the company that would become known as Creator/WorkingDogProductions, focusing on an ordinary family of "Aussie battlers" who live next door to an international airport. Their life is turned upside-down when the government tries to force them out of their house, but the family stands their ground and fights it both in and out of the courts.

Regarded by many to be the greatest Australian comedy film ever made, thanks to its endlessly quotable [[CatchPhrase catch phrases]] and heartwarming story. The dialogue is heavy on Australian expressions, colloquialisms and cultural references. A partially redubbed version replaces some of the dialogue with Americanized expressions.

The film focuses on the close-knit Kerrigan family, made up of a mother and father and their four adult kids (and one son-in-law).

* '''Darryl Kerrigan''' (Michael Caton): ThePatriarch, a down-to-earth tow truck driver and family man. Hobbies include greyhound racing and home improvement.
* '''Sal Kerrigan''' (Anne Tenney): loving mum and fantastic cook (at least in Darryl's eyes). A fan of arts and crafts.
* '''Wayne Kerrigan''' (Wayne Hope): TheQuietOne who is serving a prison term for armed robbery. The only downer in the Kerrigans' otherwise idyllic life.
* '''Steve Kerrigan''' (Anthony Simcoe): The older brother whose main pastime is reading the ''Trading Post'' (a popular classified ads paper) for good deals on useful junk. Evidently inherited the DIY gene from his dad, because he has a knack for inventing things around the home. [[RunningGag He's an ideas man.]]
* '''Dale Kerrigan''' (Stephen Curry): the Narrator of the story, prone to [[DepartmentofRedundancyDepartment redundantly]] [[CaptainObvious narrating the obvious]] [[ShapedLikeItself in his narration]]. Likes [[MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext digging holes]].
* '''Tracey Kerrigan''' (Sophie Lee): DaddysGirl, a certified hairdresser. Once featured as a contestant on the Australian version of ''Series/ThePriceIsRight''.
* '''Con Petropelous''' (Eric Bana): an accountant, and a fanatical kickboxer who is newly married to Tracey. This was Eric Bana's first cinematic role, and even here he was kicking arse!

The Kerrigans are informed that an airport consortium is buying them out to make way for a new freight terminal. Darryl can't believe that the law can allow such a thing. [[ArcWords "A man's home is his castle!"]] However, the legal doctrine of ''compulsory acquisition'' (aka ''compulsory purchase'', or ''eminent domain'') says they have no choice in the matter.

Darryl decides to fight the compulsory acquisition with the support of his neighbours. He enlists the help of his small-time suburban lawyer Dennis Denuto (Tiriel Mora), whom he has complete faith in, but Dennis's inexperience in the courtroom almost spoils the case. To make matters worse, the unseen and powerful consortium backing the project make very clear they are going to get their way, whether by the book or by resorting to threats and intimidation.

Just when all seems to be lost, Darryl strikes up a chat with Lawrence Hammill (played by the venerable late actor Charles "Bud" Tingwell), who happens to be a retired Queen's Counsel experienced in the area of Constitutional law. Lawrence offers to help Darryl take his case all the way to the highest court in Australia...and the rest is history.

Not to be confused with American murder-mystery series ''Series/{{Castle}}'', or the novel ''The Castle'' by Creator/FranzKafka. Or castles as a setting, which mostly HauntedCastle.
!!This film provides examples of:
* AmoralAttorney: There are a few that pop up as the defense counsel. A particularly intimidating one comes around to Dennis's office and tries to get him to persuade Darryl to settle the case.
* ArtisticLicenseLaw: Averted for ''most'' of the film. Only during Lawrence's RousingSpeech to the High Court do we get a break from reality, and an appeal to emotion - that even fair monetary compensation can never be "just terms" for the acquisition of your cherished family home and its irreplaceable value. Unfortunately, that's taking things a little too literally. In RealLife money is basically regarded as the best form of compensation under the law.
* BerserkButton:
** In one of the court scenes, the opposing lawyer refers to the Kerrigans' home as a 'dwelling' in a tone of voice that makes it clear that he's using the most courtroom-acceptable term he can think of for it. Darryl hotly rebuts that if there were more homes like his - and the opposing lawyer cuts him off and says that if there were, the jails would be full of people like his son. Darryl goes berserk and the judge tells the opposing lawyer to stop being a dick.
** Also, since Wayne's incarceration, guns. The one time we see Darryl get truly angry at a member of his beloved family is when Steve ejects a goon from their property at gunpoint.
* BookEnds: "My name is Dale Kerrigan, and this is my story..."
* BrickJoke: Dale mentions in his narration that sometimes when he's feeling happy, he thinks about his brother in jail and gets sad. In a later scene, he walks in on a heartwarming moment and smiles, then suddenly looks sad.
** The gates Darryl and Steve nick and the local police sergeant let them slide on because of the intimidation and threats the family are going through? Darryl actually uses them on his home.
* BuffySpeak: "Dad, you havenít let anyone down. I donít know what the opposite of letting someone down is... but you've done... the opposite."
* CatchPhrase:
** "Tell him he's dreamin'!" (Darryl's advice to Steve whenever a ''Trading Post'' seller's asking price is too high)
** "This is going ''straight'' to the pool room!"
** "How's the serenity?" ''(bug fried by zapper/plane flies overhead/motorboat zooms past)''
* ClusterFBomb: The movie's loaded with them. Especially whenever Dennis has to deal with his photocopier.
* ConsolationPrize: Tracey doesn't go home empty handed from ''Series/ThePriceIsRight''. "She still managed to come home with a tumble-dryer and drill set!"
* ContemplateOurNavels: Darryl loves to stand in his yard and marvel at such wonders as television aerials and power lines. "A testament to man's ability to generate electricity."
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Implied to be the antagonists but never shown on screen. All we know is that they're called the "Barlow Group" and they're comprised of some of the richest and most powerful men in the country. They deal with the main characters exclusively with through letters and lawyers.
* DavidVersusGoliath
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The whole parallel between Darryl's struggle and Aboriginal land rights.
* FifteenMinutesOfFame: "Mum reckons its funny how one day you're not famous, and then the next day you are. Famous. And then you're not again."
* FunnyForeigner: Farouk, Darryl's very Arab neighbour.
--> "[[NotInMyBackYard He say plane fly overhead, drop value.]] I no care. [[RussianReversal In Beirut, plane fly over head, drop bomb.]] I like these planes better."
--> "You have friend, I have friend. My friend go to your house, put bomb under your car and blow you to fucking sky!"
--> (explaining the above to Darryl, later) "Please understand, I don't really have friend like this, but, you know, I am Arab, and everybody think all Arab, he have bomb."
* HappilyEverAfter
* ItsThePrincipleOfTheThing: Most ordinary people would have taken the money, but Darryl risks everything he's got on his convictions. As Sal relates in the story of how they met, Darryl's principled and chivalrous behaviour are what attracted her to him in the first place.
* LandDownUnder: Of course, but ''The Castle'' is probably a hundred times more genuine to the Aussie way of life than ''Film/CrocodileDundee''.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: "It's the vibe!"
* MrFixit: Steve invents such wonders as the "motorcycle helmet with brake light in the back" and the "cleaning brush with a hose attached".
* NotInMyBackYard: The entire movie is an inversion of this trope. The Kerrigans live a few hundred metres from an airport runway. Massive power lines pass right over their backyard. And the Kerrigans love it that way.
* OddFriendship:
** Darryl and Lawrence, who couldn't come from more different origins regarding class or education but eventually bond over their love of family and fishing.
** Lawrence and Dennis provide an interesting contrast too - Lawrence's background is top flight "big picture law", while Dennis has always handled bread-and-butter legal work like wills and conveyancing. And he can't read Roman numerals.
* RunningGag: The reason the movie's {{Catch Phrase}}s are so memorable.
--> '''Dale:''' Dad? I dug another hole.
* SelfDeprecation: Portrays typical lower-class Australians as being [[WorkingClassPeopleAreMorons moronic]], simple, naive, racially ignorant and politically incorrect. Australians love it. Although the Kerrigans are racially ignorant, ignorance is repeatedly shown to be correctible - Daryl learns a little Greek to talk to his in-laws and comes to a deeper understanding of the Native Title issue as a result of his struggles in the film.
* ShoutOut: To iconic Aussie TV shows ''Series/HeyHeyItsSaturday'' and ''Series/ThePriceIsRight''. Both were still on the air at the time.
* ShownTheirWork: The power of compulsory acquisition is a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_51(xxxi) genuine Constitutional power]] in Australia. The characters cite real-life Constitutional law cases as both sources of inspiration and in courtroom argument. In addition, Darryl's case follows the correct hierarchy of appeals for decisions made under federal power (Administrative Appeals Tribunal; Federal Court; High Court on a question of Constitutional law). The film is often taught in Australian high school classes on Legal Studies because of its constitutional themes. Two of the film's four credited writers ([[RunningGag Snato Ghauro]] and Tom Gleisner) are both lawyers by training.
* ThereIsNoHigherCourt: Averted. Darryl's decision is appealed all the way up to the High Court of Australia (the USA's equivalent, and that of the UK too due to the recent reforms[[note]] which involved sorting out some of that 'separation of powers' mess that The Westminster System involves. They gave the dozen or so 'Law Lords' of the High Court new titles and a new building, as well as booting them out of the House of Lords at the Westminster Parliament. Though retired Supreme Court judges are still called upon to serve in the House of Lords, this technically means that the UK's Judiciary is no longer merged its Legislature. However, the de-facto position of Prime Minister (who wields Her Majesty's powers on her behalf as per The Royal Prerogative) continues to confuse the role of Executive and Legislature[[/note]], would be the Supreme Court).
* ThisIsMyStory: Quoted by Dale (it's not) as part of the running gag about his obliviousness.
* TrophyRoom: The "pool room" is where Darryl keeps his greyhound trophies, family photos and cherished gifts. If he truly appreciates something, he declares it will go "[[CatchPhrase straight to the pool room]]."
* TwoDecadesBehind: Despite being made in the late 1990s, you could swear the characters are stuck in the 80s. One character even uses a ''typewriter''! (See NoBudget.)
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: Doubles as the CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming.