Tweed’s starring role in film on display

What do Muriel Heslop – lead character of PJ Hogan’s classic film Muriel’s Wedding – and Pirates of the Caribbean anti-hero Captain Jack Sparrow have in common?

Both have strong connections to the Tweed and feature in the Tweed Regional Museum’s upcoming exhibition Tweed on Film, opening on Tuesday 4 July.

Muriel’s wedding dress, on loan from the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, will be a centrepiece of the exhibition and feature alongside rare surviving film props from Pirates of the Caribbean V: Dead Men Tell no Tales.


“Replica whale bones, now part of the Museum’s permanent collection, will be on display for the first time since they formed part of the skeleton filmed on location at Hastings Point. They’re so real they even smell like the ocean,” exhibition curator Erika Taylor said.

“Muriel’s wedding dress is definitely a fashion statement, and a coup for us to have on display. It is probably the most recognisable costume from this very memorable film – some would say on par with the white satin jump suit Muriel wore to such effect in her performance of ABBA’s famous hit Waterloo.”

PJ Hogan grew up in Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads and attended Mt St Patrick College and Tweed River High School. Son of a local farmer turned councillor, PJ has spoken about how much he drew upon family experiences when writing and directing both Muriel’s Wedding and the more recent Mental.

A recognised classic of Australian film, Muriel’s Wedding has been adapted by PJ Hogan as Muriel’s Wedding The Musical, currently in rehearsal by the Sydney Theatre Company.

Museum Director Judy Kean said the Tweed had been the inspiration and location for many films, TV series and documentaries, and continued to be a very popular film location.

“That’s the story we’re featuring in Tweed on Film,” Ms Kean said.

“The list of productions that use the Tweed as a location or have their inspiration in local connections is long and travels the gamut from cult classic to blockbuster. I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Camp, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Terra Nova, Sisters of War, Cubby House, Taylor Made and Murwillumbah Swamp Beer are just some we’ve identified.”


On the set of Summer of the Seventeenth Doll | SUPPLIED: Tweed Shire Council

To complement the exhibition, the Museum will host a range of public programs, including a Movie Magic location bus tour on Saturday 5 August, as well as events in collaboration with ABC North Coast and Screenworks Northern Rivers NSW.

For full details and updates on events as part of Tweed on Film, visit the Museum website or phone (02) 6670 2493.

Tweed on Film is on display at the Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah until 25 November.