|The Getting of Wisdom|
|Directed by||Bruce Beresford|
|Produced by||Phillip Adams|
|Written by||Eleanor Witcombe|
|Based on||novel by Henry Handel Richardson|
|Edited by||William M. Anderson|
Southern Cross Films
|15 June 1977|
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.
Laura Rambotham is sent to attend boarding school in Melbourne at the turn of the century. During her second year she tells everyone about a made-up romance between herself and the school's minister, Reverend Shepherd. She forms an attachment with an older girl, Evelyn. When Evelyn leaves, Laura throws herself into her studies and wins the school literary and music prizes.
Bruce Beresford wanted to make the film after The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972) and tried to get finance from Reg Grundy. Grundy said he would think about it if Beresford made a McKenzie sequel. Beresford made Barry McKenzie Holds His Own (1974) but Grundy declined to make Wisdom.
The film was the first production from the newly formed Victorian Film Corporation, who provided $100,000 with additional funding from the Australian Film Commission and the Nine Network. Six thousand girls were interviewed for the school pupil roles. It was shot at the Methodist Ladies' College and in the town of Eddington in January and February 1977.
The Getting of Wisdom grossed $982,000 at the box office in Australia, which is equivalent to $4,517,200 in 2009 dollars.
The Getting of Wisdom was nominated for five AFI Awards in 1978 and won in the Best Adapted Screenplay (Eleanor Witcombe) category.