Getting of Wisdom (1977)

Getting of Wisdom





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The suffocating repressiveness of the Victorian era is superbly realized by director Bruce Beresford in The Getting of Wisdom. Thirteen-year-old Laura (Susannah Fowle), an incorrigible free spirit from the Australian outback, is enrolled in a prestigious girl's boarding school. The indoctrination process is a rough one, and Laura very nearly loses her individuality and sense of self-worth. When she does mature, however, it is on her terms, and not the school's. Intriguingly, The Getting of … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
On DVD: Apr 17, 2012


as Rev. Strachey

as Rev. Shepherd

as Mrs. Gurley

as Miss Chapman

as Isabella Shepherd

as Miss Hicks

as Mrs. Rambotham

as Mr. O'Donnell

as Miss Snodgrass

as Maisie Shepherd

as Miss Zielinski

as Tom Macnamara

as Lilith

as Sarah Mrs. Rambotham...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Getting of Wisdom

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Getting of Wisdom

All Critics (4)

Rightly regarded as one of the finest films ever made about Australian adolescents, the director Bruce Beresford's 1978 drama The Getting of Wisdom exists in a space unaffected by time

Full Review… | August 20, 2015

The Getting of Wisdom demonstrates the painful aspects of trying to win the approval of one's peers during adolescence.

Full Review… | January 29, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

August 5, 2005

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for Getting of Wisdom


Wanting to see more of the outside world and naturally ambitious, Laura Tweedle Rambotham(Susannah Fowle) looks forward to attending boarding school in Melbourne, run by Reverend Strachey(Barry Humphries), a 'lugubrious spaniel.' That all changes the instant she gets off the train in the dress made by her postmistress mother(Kay Eklund), making her the focus of ridicule. At least her roommate Lilith(Kim Deacon) likes the candy she brought with her, even as Mrs. Gurley(Sheila Helpmann), school enforcer and holy terror, points out that having food in the room is against the rules, before listing all of them in their entirety.

As occasionally as unformed as some of its subjects, "Getting of Wisdom" is still a witty and engaging look at an awkward teenager trying to fit in to school society in Victorian Australia while quietly modifying the rules to help others. It is not only her unique fashion sense that sets her apart, as she also seems to be a head shorter than everybody else.(I know everybody else makes fun of her name, but I rather like it.) Even for some of us who went through something similar in our own school years, the movie is not painful in the least to watch, except for the poor character who is accidentally hit in the nose by the cricket bat.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Getting of Wisdom Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Getting of Wisdom on our Movie forum!