Artist    John Hipwell

The Getting of Wisdom by John Hipwell

The Getting of Wisdom  1977

John Hipwell

3rd Assistant Director

100 min

The Getting of Wisdom is a 1977 Australian film directed by Bruce Beresford and based on the 1910 novel of the same name by Henry Handel Richardson.

The film is set in 1890s Victoria, when Laura (Susannah Fowle) enters an exclusive Melbourne ladies' college based on Presbyterian Ladies' College. The film follows her struggle for acceptance, conformity, romance, friendship and achievement over the next four years. Lesbian overtones between two schoolgirls are made explicit in the film, more so than in Richardson’s novel.

It also starred Barry HumphriesJohn Waters and Terence Donovan, and featured early career appearances by Kerry ArmstrongSigrid ThorntonNoni HazlehurstMaggie Kirkpatrick and Julia Blake.

A musical theme runs through the story, with piano works by BeethovenSchubert and Thalberg played by Sarah Grunstein.

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