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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:

As Quatro Irmãs 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

This film represents the first star teaming of actors Judy Davis and Sam Neill. They would later both appear in One Against the Wind (1991) and Children of the Revolution (1996). 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 On Location with Robbery Under Arms (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant storytelling, Davis gives a flat-out great performance
27 February 2007 | by inkblot11See all my reviews

Sybylla (Judy Davis) is a young woman living in turn of the century Australia. Unlike a lot of girls, she doesn't want marriage and a family, she would like to have "a brilliant career". What in, she does not quite know. Sent to live with rich relatives, she meets a neighboring land owner (Sam Neill) who is quite wealthy, single, and handsome. And, he seems to have an eye on Sybylla. They become mates and have wonderful meetings where pillow fights reign supreme. Is it time to just rethink one's priorities, in Sybylla's case? This is a great film, based on the author's own experiences. Women are who they are, even 100 years ago, and Sybylla wants to follow her best instincts, not the traditions of the time. As Sybylla, Davis is flat-out brilliant, for, in her hands, we see this young lady's intelligence, beauty and fierce independence come to life. Neill gives a nice performance, too, as a man who has the tables turned on him by a woman, for heaven's sake. The settings and costumes are wonderful depictions of life long ago and the overall production values are very high. Although this film could probably be called a feminist classic, do not let that keep you away, if that sounds unattractive. It is a richly rewarding tale of a person following her heart and, as such, is great encouragement to anyone who walks to the beat of a different drum.


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