The film traces the lifelong relationship between playwright Lillian Hellman and Julia, a wealthy girl who turns her back on her upbringing to follow her ideals. In the 1930s, while the adult Hellman (Jane Fonda) struggles to establish herself as a playwright with the help of her lover, Dashiell Hammett (Jason Robards), Julia (Vanessa Redgrave) battles the exigencies of the Nazi regime. Visiting Julia in Germany, Lillian realizes how much her friend’s idealism has cost her, both physically and financially. Lillian is asked by Julia’s friend Johann (Maximilian Schell) to smuggle a large sum of money from Paris to Germany, the better to combat the Nazis from within. Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and four acting awards, Julia won for Alvin Sargent’s screenplay and Robards’ and Redgrave’s performances, leading to Redgrave’s infamous “Zionist hoodlums” acceptance speech. (Hal Erickson – All Movie Guide)

Vanessa Redgrave, left, plays the title role in the movie based on a memoir by Lillian Hellman, played by Jane Fonda. (n/a)

Vanessa Redgrave, left, plays the title role in the movie based on a memoir by Lillian Hellman, played by Jane Fonda. (n/a)

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Cast:
Jane Fonda … Lillian Hellman

Vanessa Redgrave … Julia

Jason Robards … Dashiell Hammett
Maximilian Schell … Johann
Hal Holbrook … Alan Campbell
Rosemary Murphy … Dorothy Parker

Meryl Streep … Anne Marie
Dora Doll … Woman Passenger
Elisabeth Mortensen … Girl Passenger
John Glover … Sammy

Lisa Pelikan … Julia (younger)
Susan Jones … Lillian (younger)
Cathleen Nesbitt … Grandmother
Maurice Denham … Undertaker
Mark Metcalf … Pratt

Academy Awards, USA

Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1978 Won Oscar Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Jason Robards

Jason Robards was not present at the awards ceremony. Maximilian Schell accepted the award on his behalf.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Vanessa Redgrave


Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Alvin Sargent


Nominated Oscar Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Maximilian Schell


Best Actress in a Leading Role
Jane Fonda


Best Cinematography
Douglas Slocombe


Best Costume Design
Anthea Sylbert


Best Director
Fred Zinnemann


Best Film Editing
Walter Murch

Marcel Durham


Best Music, Original Score
Georges Delerue


Best Picture
Richard Roth


 

BAFTA Awards

Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1979 Won BAFTA Film Award Best Actress
Jane Fonda


Best Cinematography
Douglas Slocombe


Best Film


Best Screenplay
Alvin Sargent


Nominated Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music
Georges Delerue


BAFTA Film Award Best Costume Design
Anthea Sylbert

Joan Bridge

Annalisa Nasalli-Rocca


Best Direction
Fred Zinnemann


Best Film Editing
Walter Murch


Best Production Design/Art Direction
Gene Callahan

Willy Holt

Carmen Dillon


Best Supporting Actor
Jason Robards


 

British Society of Cinematographers

Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1978 Won Best Cinematography Award
Douglas Slocombe


 

César Awards, France

Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1979 Nominated César Best Foreign Film (Meilleur film étranger)
Fred Zinnemann


 

David di Donatello Awards

Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1978 Won David Best Foreign Actress (Migliore Attrice Straniero)
Jane Fonda

Tied with Simone Signoret for La vie devant soi (1977).

European David
Fred Zinnemann


 

Directors Guild of America, USA

Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1978 Nominated DGA Award Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures
Fred Zinnemann


 

Golden Globes, USA

Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1978 Won Golden Globe Best Motion Picture Actress – Drama
Jane Fonda


Best Motion Picture Actress in a Supporting Role
Vanessa Redgrave


Nominated Golden Globe Best Director – Motion Picture
Fred Zinnemann


Best Motion Picture – Drama


Best Motion Picture Actor in a Supporting Role
Jason Robards


Best Motion Picture Actor in a Supporting Role
Maximilian Schell


Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Alvin Sargent


 

Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists

Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1978 Won Silver Ribbon Best Director – Foreign Film (Regista del Miglior Film Straniero)
Fred Zinnemann


 

Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards

Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1978 Won KCFCC Award Best Supporting Actor
Jason Robards


Best Supporting Actress
Vanessa Redgrave


 

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards

Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1977 Won LAFCA Award Best Cinematography
Douglas Slocombe


Best Supporting Actor
Jason Robards


Best Supporting Actress
Vanessa Redgrave


 

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1977 Won NYFCC Award Best Supporting Actor
Maximilian Schell


 

Writers Guild of America, USA

Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1978 Won WGA Award (Screen) Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium
Alvin Sargent