IMDb > My Brilliant Career (1979)
My Brilliant Career
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

My Brilliant Career (1979) More at IMDbPro »


User Rating:
7.3/10   2,173 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 22% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Miles Franklin (novel)
Eleanor Witcombe (writer)
View company contact information for My Brilliant Career on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 August 1979 (Australia) See more »
Sometimes it is the things that bind us, that truly set us free. See more »
Sybylla Melvyn is an independent young woman who soon after arriving to live with her Grandmother Bossier... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 11 wins & 7 nominations See more »
(33 articles)
User Reviews:
love and career See more (37 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Judy Davis ... Sybylla Melvyn

Sam Neill ... Harry Beecham

Wendy Hughes ... Aunt Helen

Robert Grubb ... Frank Hawdon

Max Cullen ... Mr. McSwatt
Aileen Britton ... Grandma Bossier
Peter Whitford ... Uncle Julius
Patricia Kennedy ... Aunt Gussie
Alan Hopgood ... Father

Julia Blake ... Mother

David Franklin ... Horace
Marion Shad ... Gertie
Aaron Wood ... Stanley
Sue Davies ... Aurora
Gordon Piper ... Barman
James Moss ... Pub drinker
Bill Charlton ... Joe
Suzanne Roylance ... Biddy
Zelda Smith ... Ethel
Bobbie Ward ... Mrs. Butler
Basil Clarke ... Butler
Amanda Pratt ... Blanche Derrick
Dorothy St. Heaps ... Mrs. Derrick
Gerry Duggan ... Squatter
Babs McMillan ... Miss Benson
Carole Skinner ... Mrs. McSwatt
Tony Hughes ... Peter McSwat
Tina Robinson Hansen ... Lizer McSwat (as Tina Robinson)
Aaron Corrin ... Jimmy McSwat
Sharon Crouch ... Sarah McSwat
Robert Austin ... Willie McSwat
Mark Spain ... Tommy McSwat
Simone Buchanan ... Mary Anne
Ray Meagher ... Mailman

Directed by
Gillian Armstrong 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Miles Franklin  novel
Eleanor Witcombe  writer

Produced by
Margaret Fink .... producer
Jane Scott .... associate producer
Original Music by
Nathan Waks 
Cinematography by
Donald McAlpine 
Film Editing by
Nicholas Beauman 
Casting by
Hilary Linstead 
Liz Mullinar 
Production Design by
Luciana Arrighi 
Art Direction by
Neil Angwin 
Costume Design by
Anna Senior 
Production Management
Jane Scott .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Steve E. Andrews .... third assistant director
Mark Egerton .... first assistant director
Mark Turnbull .... second assistant director
Art Department
Sue Armstrong .... assistant props buyer
Sound Department
Ned Dawson .... sound recordist: additional crew
Phil Judd .... sound effects recordist (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Roger Cowland .... visual effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Brian Bansgrove .... gaffer
Sam Bienstock .... electrician
David Burr .... focus puller
Louis Irving .... camera operator
Grahame Litchfield .... grip (as Graham Litchfield)
Richard Merryman .... second assistant camera
Peter Moss .... camera operator
Paul Moyes .... electrician
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Melody Cooper .... wardrobe assistant
Robin Hall .... wardrobe stand-by
Terry Ryan .... wardrobe master
Editorial Department
Frans Vandenburg .... assistant film editor (as Franz Vandenburg)
Other crew
Catherine Barber .... unit runner (as Cathy barber)
Moya Iceton .... continuity
Toivo Lember .... location manager

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Though actress Judy Davis did not win the Australian Film Institute (AFI) Award for Best Actress for this film to which her performance had been internationally acclaimed, Davis did win an AFI Best Actress Award for another Gillian Armstrong film, Hightide (1987).See more »
Sybylla:Dear fellow countrymen, just a few words to let you know that this story is going to be all about me. So, in answer to many requests, here is the story of my career... here is the story, of my brilliant career. I make no apologies for sounding egotistical...because I am!See more »
Movie Connections:


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
love and career, 6 October 2003
Author: moviewoman2 from keene, nh

Watching this film made me think of what a strong character Sybylla is. In a time when doing something like trying to have a career, as a woman, was basically not done we are introduced to someone who is so head strong that she doesn't care what anyone says. One thing that I really enjoyed about this movie is the relationship between Sybylla and Harry Beecham because of the way it was presented. Usually a love relationship in a film is something that is just expected after one interaction, the audience should just know that since we see these two characters together they are now in love, nothing that you see actually develop on screen with multiple encounters and a progress of feelings. I felt like a huge part of this story was the development of the Harry/Sybylla connection. It's obvious early in the film that she cares for no one else, when she throws the flowers given to her by Frank in the river we see she has no intention of giving him a second thought. We see through the numerous encounters with these two that they both have very strong feelings for the other and it is finally revealed when he proposes to her. She takes this offer very seriously but realizes that if she is to be true to herself she cannot accept his offer. This hurts both of them very much and we can see that when she is teaching the family that her father is indebted to and she is not able to write him a letter. When he shows up at her family's farm two years later and re-offers his proposal it is another account of just how much she means to him. When she declines again it is for her reasons and for her career that she is not able to accept. I think that this is a great characteristic of her in this film and helps to make the point of how she is such a strong willed woman who will not settle for less then what she knows she is capable of.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (37 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for My Brilliant Career (1979)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Poor Sam Neill swolfcg
Confused about the ending cgunter-2
Absolutely magical movie ilovenature5
Classical Piece Night-Flight
Wrong film but good mnewlands
Not the film I thought it was - help please mnewlands
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Giant Madame Bovary The Tree of Wooden Clogs The River The Painted Veil
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Biography section IMDb Australia section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.