- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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It Ain't Necessarily So
- Thomas Anthony DiMaggio
I have always LOVED the films of Fred Zinnemann, as well as the acting of Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, and Jason Robards; but, for me, "Julia" has a decidedly acrid aftertaste. I was a friend of the late Muriel Gardiner Buttinger (1901-1985), whose very real experiences as an anti-Nazi activist and rescuer in Vienna in the 1930s were pilfered by Lillian Hellman to write the story "Julia" in her "memoir" (the quotes are mandatory) "Pentimento". In point of fact, Muriel and Hellman never even met; they did, however, share an attorney, Wolf Schwabacher, who apparently served as the conduit whereby Muriel's story reached Hellman. (Apparently a believer in the old maxim "Waste not, want not", Hellman also seems to have drawn on Muriel's life for certain elements of her play "Watch on the Rhine"). One night at dinner, Muriel (who never lost a leg, by the way) expressed derision to me about the way the "mission" in the story and film was handled. "No one with a physical feature as obvious as a missing leg would EVER have met with a contact in a public place", she said. "Also, Julia's statement that the money will go to help a variety of different people -- Jews and non-Jews alike -- is very suspicious. The underground was -- unfortunately -- tightly organized by beliefs; the Socialists wouldn't speak to the Communists, the Catholics to the Jews, and so on. These divisions were so acute that, even in the concentration camp barracks, people only slept near, and spoke to, 'their own kind'. These divisions among its opponents were among Nazism's greatest strengths."I am currently writing a screenplay about Muriel's remarkable years in Vienna, during which she saved an estimated 600 people. Anyone who wishes to read about the REAL "Julia" should look up Muriel's own autobiography "Code Name Mary: Memoirs of an American Woman in the Austrian Underground", or a more recent book, "Muriel's War", which is available on Amazon.
A bit faded
It is hard to remember in the second decade of the 21st Century, that Julia was one of the biggest budgeted films and most highly praised movies of the 1970's. The Seventies turned out to be a monumental decade for American cinema of lasting value: Star Wars, The Sting, French Connection, and of course the Godfather Saga.These films have retained their charm and impact but Julia not so much. Has a marvelous cast, great camera work, and generally speaking a literate and interesting script. But even by the 1980's, the film's reputation was fading. I think the problem is that the story line which was supposedly based on true events seems a bit distorted by Ms. Hellman. Writer's have the right to slant the truth as Twain once said. The daring mission to Germany seems a bit overly hyped and emotionally unfulfilling. Still I have always enjoyed the film's many wonderful qualities; Vanessa Redgrave and Jason Robards and Maximillan Schnell are excellent. Ms Fonda does solid work in a difficult part. Some films, even good ones, fade into their times and other transcend them. Julia seems now an interesting but slightly faded snapshot of excellent talent from a wonderful film decade.
A Great Film
- Maria Ramos
A beautiful, powerful film. The best actors of their generation give fine performances. And low and behold Meryl Streep is introduced. Maximillion Schell, I loved the way he ate his eggs. Lastly, it's an anti-fascist film, thank you Lillian Hellman.
While reading about this film, I thought it was one I had seen when it first came out in the 70's. I watched it a while, then turned it off. Towards the end of the film, I turned it back on and discovered I should have stuck with it to the end. For one thing, I should have noticed who the director was before I decided against the film. As I watched more of it, I discovered there was a lot more depth to the characters than I had first thought. In addition, the story was much more interesting than I had figured. Please show this film again so more of us can have a chance to enjoy it. Thank you so much.
- Michael Whitty
A story of writer Lillian Hellman and her friendships with writer Dashiell Hammett and childhood friend Julia who later gets into the political scene of Europe in the 1930s and the Nazis. Lillian writes the play "The Children's Hour" with the advice of Dashiell Hammett and after it becomes a hit she goes to Europe to find Julia who has been an opponent of the Nazis and is later killed by them. Jane Fonda as Lillian Hellman and Vanessa Redgrave as Julia and Jason Robards as Dashiell Hammett give affecting performances with Robards and Redgrave winning Oscars. Based on Lillian Hellman's book "Pentimento" director Fred Zinnemann, who made hit films in the 50s,60s, and 70s and "Julia was from 1977, created a moving and satisfying film that gets into the minds of the characters well.
- kevin sellers
I do not buy this film's attempt to rehabilitate Lillian Hellman from the nasty, litigious old bat she was into Lefty Saint Lily.
Not at All Oscar-Worthy
- Dean Ouellette
This is one of those heavily Oscar-nominated prestige movies that you watch years later and think "What the heck was the Academy thinking?" The pacing is dreadful, the direction (from Fred Zinnemann, no less...) and cinematography are pedestrian, and the title is a bait-and-switch (the film should have been called "Lillian" or "Writer's Block").
- Jay Higgins
What a great cast! Jane Fonda, Oscar winners for this film, Vanessa Redgrave and Jason Robards Jr, Maximilian Schell and a very early and wonderful appearance by Meryl Streep. The writing and production values are excellent, good period detail. The cinematography is great. All around an excellent well crafted film. Not surprising with director Fred Zinnemann at the helm.
Hellman's Best Friend & WWII
Vanessa Redgrave and Jane Fonda made Hellman's diary story come to life. Redgrave earned her Oscar; Fonda was robbed of hers. Fonda plays Hellman so well that during the WWII smuggling scene she has audiences rivetted, white knuckled & pensive, until she's out of Nazi controlled Berlin. To have actually been Jewish & done what these two women did to save over people from fates worse then death or death, still remains the mostly hidden actions women took for the WWII effort. Killing enemies wasn't the only way to trump evil.