Just watched this yesterday and I can't understand what's so good about it. It felt pretty toothless, almost like a made-for-TV job. Redgrave was good, I guess, but I didnt' think anything special. And there was never really a sense of danger for the Fonda character doing what she did. I thought it was a fairly big deal when released, but so maybe I just missed the point.
Why don't you try A TOUCH OF CLASS, OP. More to your liking.
Was this the movie where her husband died and she opened up a design firm with her sister?
I agree. Even Hellman's lies were boring.
I used to love it and watched it many times on tv, and of course it stars two great actresses. I hadn't seen it since the 80s and downloaded it a few years ago. I had the same response as the OP, it's quite weak, why didn't I notice that in the 70s/80s?
It cried out for a sex scene between Jane & Vanessa, but we didn't get one because it was 1977.
R5 isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. The 70s were a time when you were MORE likely to get such a scene.
Oh, really, R6? Please name oh, three movies that featured sex scenes between two female leads in the 1970s.
I agree OP, but for some reason it was a well received film on 77.
I agree, r5. There weren't any mainstream movies with lesbian sex until the early 80s with Personal Best and The Hunger. No way in hell were two big stars like Jane & Vanessa going to have a lesbian sex scene in 1977.
It was heralded at the time, partly because it marked Jane's return to serious film making after a long absence, excluding the previous year's silly "Fun with Dick and Jane".
In 1977, the public wasn't yet aware of the fact that Lillian Hellman had made the whole story up.
Not a great movie but there are beautiful moments. The sequence that starts with Maximilian Schell's entrance into the hotel and ends with Fonda finding him in the train station is unforgettable. Delerue's score was very good. Schell is superb.
The reason I think it moved so many people is that it was about two women's complete devotion to each other, something rarely seen at the movies (I can't think of another example offhand). The movie certainly doesn't cry out for a sex scene between Fonda and Redgrave. They are playing friends. Not lovers.
It is a far better movie than either The Goodbye Girl or The Turning Point, two other movies with female protagonists released in 1976.
I agree Lily and Julia weren't lovers. But I object to Fonda's violent response to John Glover's jocular accusation that they were (after he boasts of sex with his sister, Meryl Streep). That was unnecessary, silly and implied that Lillian would have been offended by the accusation. Hellman was many things but she was not a prude, let alone a homophobic one. And it was certainly out of character for the author of The Children's Hour. It seems coldly tacked on to the script to simply make clear to the audience that Lilly and Julia were not sexually involved.
And the equation of a love affair between women with one between brother and sister is rather Scalia-esque.
Every word Hellman wrote was a lie, including and, the, and a.
The sneering lesbian allusion re: Hellman and the character "Julia" appears in Hellman's memoirs.
So, the real Hellman has the fictional Hellman fend off a fictional accusation of homosexuality?
Julia liked to put her cig out in Lily's wet pussy
R16 True story: not so wet.
I loved the movie, and I still do. But then again, I'm a lesbian.
I agree R15. it's particularly awkward in that context because the Glover character wasn't suggesting it was a slur as such, so it's a misreading of Hellman that her problem with accusations of homosexuality is that they were unfounded slurs
on the subject of lesbian sex scenes the criticism of R6 might be correct but the 70s gave us Sunday Bloody Sunday, Last Tango in Paris, Women in Love that were more sexual in mainstream films than for years after.
Julia had the style of an independent film or foreign film, not splashy Hollywood flair. It captured well the frustration of the loss of a friend to a terrible time left to imagine the horror of what happened. it's better than naysayers here are letting on but Best Picture... not better than That Obscure Objecf of Desire, Providence or something more ambitious like Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
The intimacy, intensity, love, longing, emotional, physical closeness (in one scene aren't they in front of the fire or something, so ready to kiss?) seem more lesbian than hetero friendship. "Lesbian relationship" may not have been in the script, but it was in the visuals.
The train scenes are like a film within a film. I find them tense and well realized. You never know who is on Hellman's side, who might be a sympathizer.
Fonda was not perfectly cast as Hellman, she seems rather stiff, and WASPish.
Robards and Redgrave are perfect.
"The intimacy, intensity, love, longing, emotional, physical closeness (in one scene aren't they in front of the fire or something, so ready to kiss?) seem more lesbian than hetero friendship."
only by factitious American standards. Go anywhere else on earth and you will find closeness and intimacy between friends who are not lovers.
Not only that even in the U.S. men sometimes have close, intimate loving relationships with other men they are not lovers with. Usually gay men who are loving, physically close but not sexual. I have some of those.
Well, I happen to be excellent as usual....
OP, you've got a point. I remember when this movie first came out, it pretty much got panned across the board ... something about too 'thin" a plot line to carry a full movie, dull, etc. Plus after its release the press also reported on one of Lilian Hellman's "intimate" friends that Hellmon had grossly exaggerated the entire incident, that Hellman barely knew the woman, that her 'efforts" to help said woman were nowhere NEAR what the movie depicted. The general opinion (from what I remember at the time) was that Jane Fonda did it to help "promote" the anti-war cause. Seeing Fonda's life-long political bent, that's not surprising.
[quote] Fonda was not perfectly cast as Hellman, she seems rather stiff
Replace "Hellman" with any other character that Fonda played, and you just summed up her acting career.
What I love is that this was filmed before Meryl Streep became a S-T-A-R, so whenever she is talking to Jane Fonda, all you see is the back of her head.
Would that she had made more films like this.
It was an Oscar-bait movie from a prestige director. These "important" films lose their luster pretty quickly.
Streisand brought up turning down Julia last night, saying that she would've been very good in the role.
Why did Lillian lie? Did she assume that she was too smart for the rest of the world and that no one would find out? Didn't Mary McCarthy say something about Hellman's pathological ability to lie? Wasn't Hellman kind of ugly?
I had a friend who did extra work in movies in NYC in the 70's and 10 of them were actually flown to London for four days to work in the Sardi's opening night sequence, a lot of which got cut out. The director Zinnemann apparently felt that the original extras chosen for the sequence didn't look American enough.
I saw it on opening day at Cinema 1 in Manhattan and several times since most recently a few years ago. as it is a favorite of mine.
It remains an intelligent, very well crafted and superbly acted prestige movie.
Fred Zinnemann was one of the Hollywood masters and Alvin Sargent is one of the most accomplished screenwriters.
There are many wonderful sequences in it especially those with Vanessa Redgrave's radiance. Jane Fonda at her peak. Jason Robards was so commanding in a relatively brief role with his haunting face and voice.
Below is a link to the many worldwide awards it was nominated for and won.
Streep plays a socialite- she's got a wonderful little part.
Good film. I guess the knowledge that what you engaged in can get you or your best friend killed is not that exciting in the era of special effects etc. I thought (true or untrue) it was a great story and captures the brutality of the times quietly, and in a way that was the more common experience. Europeans under the Nazi yolk lived in fear of their neighbors and even relatives.
Fonda was perfectly cast as the uptight character- Redgrave as the brave heroine using her inheritance to save jews at her own mortal risk. Almost type casting.
About ten years ago, I took a train from Prague to Budapest. In the middle of the night, officious Hungarian border guards, went up and down the train, banging on doors and demanding to see our papers/passports.
The dragged some woman off the train. We could hear her screaming on the platform as we pulled away.
I felt just like Jane Fonda in Julia.
This was Jane Fonda's big comeback film. She had reappeared, but this was the one where she got her star back.
"The general opinion (from what I remember at the time) was that Jane Fonda did it to help "promote" the anti-war cause."
What war? This was 1976. Viet Nam had been over for years.
How exactly does "Julia" support an anti-war cause? It's a movie which heroizes a woman fighting against the Nazis and losing her life doing so. It's hardly anti-war. Quite the opposite.
It was a few years later that Jane got to do her anti-Vietnam movie, Coming Home (1978).
It was a beautifully made film with beautiful locations. Everyone loved the house on the beach...which was in fact, shot in France, not New England.
Vanessa looked beautiful and hadn't appeared looking quiet like that before. She gave a very sensitive and compassionate performance. People sort of fell in love with her, until the fiasco at the Oscars.
& indeed, until it got out that Hellman was lying, it seemed to be a very powerful, true story.
I love to re-watch it from time to time. The parts that bore me are the 'young Lillian' scenes. They seem to drag.
I snuck out of boarding school to see it for the third time and I remember my (butch) best friend saying 'Why did you take me to such a film?'
Unmarried Woman was to follow shortly...
"Streisand brought up turning down Julia last night, saying that she would've been very good in the role."
Yeah, duh. I don't believe that she was offered the role either. Streisand was way "too Jewish" to be schlepping around Nazi Germany in a movie unless it was a musical directed by Herb Ross.
Holocaust - The Musical!
For me the problem with Julia was Jane's incapability for introspective acting. The role demanded someone who had to look haunted and pulled by the past and such. Jane looked mostly confused and frazzled. The role was beyond her depth. Everything else was there: sets, location, cinematography, cast, music, etc. All excellent. But sorta pointless with Fonda looking blank and stiff.
I'm amazed they recreated Sardi's in London. Extraordinary information and the stuff about the extras.
The scene in London in the rain was shot on my brother's street in Hampstead. It's very strange to see it all dressed up to look like the '40s.
Redgrave seemed like she was in a constant state of orgasm in this movie.
R42 = Streisand fan
r45 - it's not a Streisand fan. it's Streisand.
Is this then one that Redgrave gave her "zionist hoodlums" Oscar speech for?
The scene that stayed with me my whole life was the one where Redgrave's characters watches in horror as the cheering anti-Semitic students at the University of Vienna fling their professor bodily over the balustrade to his death below.
I never really understand why Vanessa Redgrave is supposed to be so brilliant in this. She is so glassy eyed. She looks spacey all the time.
I do love Robards' work and even Fonda's.
[quote]The scene that stayed with me my whole life was the one where Redgrave's characters watches in horror as the cheering anti-Semitic students at the University of Vienna fling their professor bodily over the balustrade to his death below.
She doesn't 'watches in horror'...she runs and runs bravely to protect and assist them and because of her tremendous and gallant bravery, she ends up in the hospital bandaged from head to toe and because of her character's bravery, Vanessa won the Oscar.
[quote]I never really understand why Vanessa Redgrave is supposed to be so brilliant in this. She is so glassy eyed. She looks spacey all the time.
I do love Robards' work and even Fonda's.I do love Robards' work and even Fonda's.
& I've never understood all the excitement over Robards in this. He gives a one note performance, snarky.
I think a lot of people wanted to shack up with him in that house on the beach. It looked so cozy.
[quote]I never really understand why Vanessa Redgrave is supposed to be so brilliant in this. She is so glassy eyed. She looks spacey all the time.
True, but then she redeems herself with all that bravery.
[quote]Streisand was way "too Jewish" to be schlepping around Nazi Germany
Those who were skeptical of the truth in Hellman's tale found it particularly absurd that a celebrated Jewish anti-fascist would have been selected to smuggle money into 1930s Germany.
If the Jewish Streisand had been cast as the Jewish Lillian Hellman, well...then a lot of eyebrows might have been raised in astonishment/disbelief.
Streisand would have been ugly enough for the role....Fonda was criticized for being too pretty to play the facially challenged Hellman.
If Streisand really was offered the role, I'm certain that it was Hellman's homeliness that scared her away.
Streisand became a star playing a homely woman and wasn't about to go there again.
"Yeah, duh. I don't believe that she was offered the role either. Streisand was way "too Jewish" to be schlepping around Nazi Germany in a movie unless it was a musical directed by Herb Ross."
Have you ever seen Lillian Hellman?
^a lot of guys did including Dashiell Hammett, who was, pretty fucking hot.
Hellman may have made the whole thing up of course, but it's not quite as crazy as some are making it out.
First of all she isn't running around Nazi Germany, she travels from Paris through Berlin to Moscow by train, gets off the train for an hour to hand Redgrave the money and gets back on it.
Second, this occurs in 1937, before Kristallnacht and before the camps. So it's not as if she's entering Germany during the height of the holocaust. Jews and communists were able to travel in Germany, including but not limited to, German Jews and German communists. It is before war began in Europe, before the occupation of Poland, the Netherlands and, of course, France (as shown by the fact that Lillian leaves unoccupied Paris for Moscow).
Third, Hellman was not a member of the communist party until 1938 ( she remained in the party for only two years). She was publicly known as an anti-fascist but not until at least that time.
Fourth, this is two years before the beginning of Stalin's and Hitler's non-aggression pact. Germany and the Soviet Union maintained diplomatic relations during this period.
For all her faults, Hellman was a great playwright - The Children's Hour and The Little Foxes are among the best American plays ever written - and survived McCarthyism without compromising herself, unlike many.
Was Streisand afraid of dramatic roles? Why turn down good stuff like Klute and Julia.
Was "Nuts" are only flat out drama (with no songs or comedy?)
her not are^....before the grammar trolls freak out!
[quote] her not are^
Lil was a big old Stalinist.
[quote]Far from regretting it, Hellman clung to Stalinism. To lover Blair Clark, she confessed that she “could not get it out of her head that Stalin was right.” Criticizing Roger Strauss, a “malefactor” who dared to publish Solzhenitsyn, she said that “if you had seen American prisons the way I had you’d be a good Stalinist too
[quote]But Budd Schulberg’s hostility toward her wasn’t based on her sexual success but her Stalinism (her Watergate-era reply to his stating that Jews suffered under Stalin was “prove it").
[quote]Hellman’s continuing image as a rigid Stalinist also included a class element. Hellman typified the limousine communist, one who, like Schulberg said, parroted the Party line and then hopped on a ferry back to Martha’s Vineyard.
Jane Fonda described Hellman as "a homely woman who moved and acted like she was Marilyn Monroe". I guess some men like that
I love this >> 'A memorable scene'.
I usually love Delerue's music but his music for Julia is blah and very unmemorable.
Over the years whenever I've had eggs for breakfast in a good Paris hotel, I think of Maximilian Schell in Julia.
& over the years whenever I've stayed in a cheap old fashioned hotel,in Paris, I think of Julia. As recently as 1985, I stayed in a hotel in which the room phone was just a handle on a hook and the bath was a shared one down the hall.
The Streisand trolls should be locked up.
"How exactly does "Julia" support an anti-war cause? It's a movie which heroizes a woman fighting against the Nazis and losing her life doing so. It's hardly anti-war. Quite the opposite."
Wow. You're kind of dumb.
R72, no your remark is unmemorable thick-skinned gay male bimbo
[quote]no your remark is unmemorable thick-skinned gay male bimbo
You're not getting it...because you're dim.
Remember the episode where Julia and Mary Jo got into a fist fight?