One of Australia's most popular and well-known directors, Bruce Beresford got his start producing short documentaries as the head of the British Film Institute Production Board from 1966 to 1970. After returning to Australia in 1971, he directed his first features, the rowdy Barry Crocker and Barry Humphries comedies The Adventures Of Barry McKenzie and Barry McKenzie Holds His Own, which he also co-scripted. Both films found great commercial success in Beresford's native country and helped to establish their director's reputation.
Beresford began attracting international attention in the late 1970s and early '80s with the satire Don's Party, the period drama The Getting of Wisdom, and Breaker Morant, a bitter account of the Boer War. The latter film, which was screened in competition at the 1980 Cannes Festival, won a particular amount of acclaim and a number of honors, including the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film.