This movie was about the fourth production of Melbourne-based Australian production house Hexagon Productions which functioned as Tim Burstall's production company for films distributed in Australia by the Village Roadshow organization.
This Australian film was retitled ' "Jock" Petersen ' for its American theatrical release in the USA. The film went out there with one hundred and twenty prints, a notable amount for an Australian movie at the time.
The nick-name of Dr. Patricia Kent (Wendy Hughes) was "Trish" whilst the nick-name of Tony Petersen (Jack Thompson) was "Jock" hence the latter's nick-name provided the re-title for Petersen (1974) for its UK and US release as "Jock Petersen" instead.
The DVD sleeve notes state that the film "helped catapault Jack Thompson) to international stardom". This is also basically what has been stated by David Stratton in his book "The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival" (1980).
The name of the student newspaper at the educational institution was called "Farrago". This is the same name as the real life student newspaper of the University of Melbourne where the uni campus scenes were set and shot.
Actress Wendy Hughes once said of working on this film in an interview published in Australian film magazine 'Cinema Papers' in October 1982: "I didn't know whether I was Arthur or Martha half the time".
According to David Stratton in his book "The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival" (1980), director Tim Burstall wanted this film to be the first movie from Hexagon Productions. Playwright David Williamson was contracted to write a screenplay which had various titles such as "Campus", "Sittin" and "Tony Petersen". However, as Williamson was busy working on a number of projects at the time, Hexagon Productions instead green-lit The Sex Therapist (1973), with Burstall directing it, and so Petersen (1974) got made next.
In an interview with Tim Burstall in the Sept-Oct 1979 edition of Australian film magazine 'Cinema Papers', Burstall said that Graham Burke of Hexagon Productions allegedly did not want to make Petersen (1974) [at least initially]. Burstall then went and tried to get funding and financing from the Australian Film Development Corporation (AFDC). When the government film body rejected the project, it was then that Hexagon Productions officially became attached as the production house for the picture.
The Shakespearian quote from William Shakespeare that Tony Petersen (Jack Thompson) quotes from in the film was from the Prince of Morocco in Act 2, Scene 1 from "The Merchant of Venice". Petersen quotes: "Mislike me not for my complexion, The shadow'd livery of the burnish'd sun, To whom I am a neighbour and near bred. Bring me the fairest creature northward born, Where Phoebus' fire scarce thaws the icicles, And let us make...".