The Getting of Wisdom is a 1978 Australian film directed by Bruce Beresford and based on the 1910 novel by 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. The lesbian overtones between two school girls are obvious 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 andJulia Blake.

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


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.


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