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At the behest of an old and dear friend, playwright Lillian Hellman undertakes a dangerous mission to smuggle funds into Nazi Germany.
- Fred Zinnemann
- Lillian Hellman
- Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
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 meeting with Julia on this trip in Berlin, Lillian learns that Julia has had a child who is called Lilly. While in Moscow, Lillian learns of Julia's murder. The details of her death are shrouded in secrecy. Lillian sadly travels to London and then to Alsace to search for her namesake, the child she had promised Julia to care for.