Matthew Toomey thought so when he saw it in 2002.
It is the story of a group of residents in a nursing home who adopt a greyhound, come to love it and run it in races. They profit financially and the dog becomes a superstar. The screenplay is abysmal and the acting horrendous. It’s worse than a year 11 media studies assignment. To make matters worse, the sound and picture was out of sync for the last half hour. So when people’s lips were moving on screen, I wasn’t always hearing noise. The picture kept stuttering at several stages and got stuck for at least 30 seconds during a pivotal scene at the end…
The DVD I borrowed from Surry Hills Library did not do that, fortunately, in fact was technically very good. And I will grant that two characters, the representatives of the Nursing Home Board, were the hammiest stereotypes I have seen in many a day, and the evil daughter of one of the residents was not much better. A pity, because the old folks were brilliant. Here is a summary of the movie, which failed to get general release in 2002 yet played for over twelve months in one Melbourne cinema.
Based on a true story, the Australian feelgood comedy Dalkeith takes place in a tranquil retirement home. The elderly residents are bored to tears until they get a thoroughbred greyhound as a pet. The old folks name it Dalkeith, after the name of their home, and soon discover the dog’s talent for running. When they enter her in the greyhound dog races, Dalkeith actually starts winning. The residents make bets on the dog’s races and even go watch the action at the race track, providing them with a renewed sense of livelihood. The retirement home board of trustees object to the situation and try to put a stop to it, until resident Tarquin (Ray Barrett) revives his past in the legal profession and settles the matter in court. Also starring veteran Australian actors Gus Mercurio, Esme Melville, and Alan Hopgood.