7.3/10
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42 user 21 critic

My Brilliant Career (1979)

A young independent woman who lives with her grandmother and aunt in the countryside rebels against being pressured into marriage and chooses to solely focus on having a career as a writer. Nevertheless, two suitors propose to her.

Director:

Gillian Armstrong

Writers:

Eleanor Witcombe (screenplay), Miles Franklin (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Judy Davis ... Sybylla Melvyn
Sam Neill ... Harry Beecham
Wendy Hughes ... Aunt Helen
Robert Grubb ... Frank Hawdon
Max Cullen ... Mr. McSwatt
Aileen Britton Aileen Britton ... Grandma Bossier
Peter Whitford ... Uncle Julius
Patricia Kennedy Patricia Kennedy ... Aunt Gussie
Alan Hopgood Alan Hopgood ... Father
Julia Blake ... Mother
David Franklin ... Horace
Marion Shad Marion Shad ... Gertie
Arron Wood Arron Wood ... Stanley (as Aaron Wood)
Sue Davies Sue Davies ... Aurora
Gordon Piper Gordon Piper ... Barman
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Storyline

Sybylla Melvyn is an independent young woman who soon after arriving to live with her Grandmother Bossier and aunt Helen announces that she will never marry and plans on having a career instead. She does attracts the interest of several suitors. The bumbling Englishman Frank Hawdon has only been in Australia for three months and proposes that she return home with him as his wife. She rejects him out of hand telling her grandmother that she does not love him. Then there's her neighbor, the handsome young farmer Harry Beecham, who she is attracted to and eventually accepts his proposal. Time passes however and in the end refuses to marry him while she seeks to become a writer. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes it is the things that bind us, that truly set us free. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1979 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

My Brilliant Career See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD 800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actress Karen Robson auditioned for the role of Sybylla Melvyn. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sybylla: Possum Gully, Australia. 1897. Dear fellow countrymen, just a few lines 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 career... my *brilliant* career. I make no apology for being egotistical... because I am!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in At the Movies: 25 Years of Margaret & David (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

One of my all-time favorite films
30 April 2000 | by aromatic-2See all my reviews

Judy Davis, as Sybylla Melvin, struggles with the conflicts that we all have between ambition, family, love, and guilt in a most remarkable manner. Sybylla grows to understand that life is a series of trade-offs, and that no one can have it all, and that no one can please everyone. Simple yet universal themes told with charm, wit, and a vulnerability that allows us to get right inside of her character and to understand her --- up to a point that is, a career is vital but I don't believe I'd have the strength to pass up Sam Neill under any circumstances, especially as cute as he is in this movie. In fact, all the acting is great, and the cinematography is breathtaking. Gillian Armstrong has been my idol ever since she made this magnificent film. I give it a 10.


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