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…
Julia is a 1977 drama film directed by Fred Zinnemann, from a screenplay by Alvin Sargent. It is based on Lillian Hellman’s book Pentimento, a chapter of which purports to tell the story of her relationship with an alleged lifelong friend, “Julia,” who fought against the Nazis in the years prior to World War II. The film in DeLuxe Color was produced by Richard Roth, with Julien Derode as executive producer and Tom Pevsner as associate producer.
Julia was received positively from the critics and was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Fred Zinnemann and Best Actress for Jane Fonda. It ended up winning three awards, Best Supporting Actor for Jason Robards, Best Supporting Actress for Vanessa Redgrave, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Alvin Sargent’s script. Julia was the first film to win both supporting actor categories since The Last Picture Show six years earlier in 1971, and would be followed by Hannah and Her Sisters nine years later in 1986.
Directed by: Fred Zinnemann
Starring: Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards, Maximilian Schell, Hal Holbrook, Rosemary Murphy, Meryl Streep, Lisa Pelikan, John Glover
Screenplay by: Lillian Hellman
Production Design by: Gene Callahan, Carmen Dillon, Willy Holt
Cinematography by: Douglas Slocombe
Film Editing by: Marcel Durham, Walter Murch
Costume Design by: Anthea Sylbert
Music by: Georges Delerue
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: October 2, 1977