At the behest of an old and dear friend, playwright Lillian Hellman undertakes a dangerous mission to smuggle funds into Nazi Germany.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Alan
...
Dottie
...
Dora Doll ...
Woman Passenger
Elisabeth Mortensen ...
Girl Passenger
...
Sammy
...
Young Julia
Susan Jones ...
Young Lillian
Cathleen Nesbitt ...
Grandmother
Maurice Denham ...
Undertaker
...
Pratt
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Storyline

From "Pentimento," the memoirs of late playwright Lillian Hellman, JULIA covers those years in the 1930s when Lillian attained fame with the production of her first play "The Children's Hour" on Broadway. Not surprisingly, it centers on Lillian's relationship with her lifelong friend, Julia. It is a relationship that goes beyond mere acquaintance and one for which the word "love" seems appropriate. While Julia attends the University in Vienna, studying with such luminaries as Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein, Lillian suffers through revisions of her play with her mentor and sometimes lover Dashiell Hammett at a New England beach house. After becoming a celebrated playwright, Lillian is invited to a writers' conference in Russia. Julia, having taken up the battle against fascism, enlists Lillian to smuggle money through Nazi Germany which will assist in the Anti-Fascist cause. It is a dangerous mission especially for a Jewish intellectual on her way to communist Russia. During a brief... Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of two women whose friendship suddenly became a matter of life and death. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

20 January 1978 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Júlia  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,840,000 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 4,101,519 (Sweden)
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Company Credits

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the casting process, both Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave's names were mentioned as possible stars for the film. The producers initially vetoed both actresses on the advice of the publicity department, fearing that the absolute worst option would be to cast Fonda and Redgrave, both of whom were known for their outspoken political beliefs, in a film together. In the end, of course, both actresses were cast and the film went on to great critical and box office success. See more »

Goofs

June 1934 began on a Friday, not a Monday. See more »

Quotes

Dashiell Hammett: [after reading Lillian's play] You better tear this up. It's not that it's bad, it's just not good enough, not for you.
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Connections

Referenced in It's My Party (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

G'schichten aus dem Wienerwald, op. 325 (Tales of the Vienna Woods)
(1868) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Waltz played at a hotel
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User Reviews

 
What a cast! What a production!
14 February 1999 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

Just cast an eye at the credits (Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards, Maximillian Schell, Hal Holbroke, Meryl Streep, John Glover and others directed by Fred Zinneman in a story by Lillian Hellman) and you know this film is worth seeing. It delivers fabulous performances by some of the best actors of our time, in a carefully -- yeah, sumptuously -- produced film directed by one of Hollywood's most respected veterans, based on a narrative by a gifted dramatist and tale-spinner.

The screenplay blends the two longest episodes in Lillian Hellman's PENTIMENTO, the third, most engaging, and most imaginative of her memoirs. It traces the (largely factual) struggle of Hellman to develop her talents as a playwright under the tutelage of her long-time lover, Dashiell Hammett, and the (largely fictional) course of her friendship with an anti-Nazi activist. The character of Julia seems to be part fantasy, part composite of women Hellman admired.

The film suffers from this blend of fact and fiction and even more from the episodic nature of the intermixed stories. In addition (and to its credit), it does not minimize Hellman's famously abrasive personality. But the characters are so compelling, the performances so outstanding, and the pacing so canny that it holds the viewer's interest for a full two hours.

A flawed but fascinating flick!


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Julia a work of total fiction EJF
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