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IMDb 7.2 117 min
Meryl Streep, Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards, Hal Holbrook, Maximilian Schell, Maurice Denham, John Glover, Lambert Wilson, Mark Metcalf
Fred Zinnemann
United States
9.2 / 5 times
American playwright Lillian Hellman recounts a story from the mid-1930s leading into WWII concerning her best childhood friend, the wealthy Julia, who was raised by her maternal grandparents. At the time of this story, Hellman is just starting her writing career, and is in a relationship with older novelist Dashiell Hammett who's also her mentor. Julia's a medical student, living in Vienna where she hoped to study under luminaries such as Sigmund Freud. Visits between Lily and Julia are infrequent due to the Nazis rising to power in Both Germany and Austria. Lily discovers that Julia has been hospitalised from beatings revived from the Nazis, due to her assisting her school colleagues. This action by Julia only strengthens her resolve towards activism against anything she sees as being socially or politically corrupt. Lily's career begins to blossom, albeit with its own obstacles. Afterwards, she's invited to attend a conference in Russia, but she plans on stopping in Vienna en route to see Julia if she is still there. In spite of her attempts to contract Julia, she not heard from herempts. Lillian learns through a friend of Julia's that she is making a request of her friend; Julia wants Lillian to smuggle $50,000 of Julia's money into Germany to help the resistance. Despite not seeing herself as a heroic-type, and despite the added personal risk of being Jewish in Nazi Germany, Lily agrees. En route, Lilian has to learn who she can and cannot trust, reading those cues incorrectly which could lead to her and Julia's demise. Lily will also learn of another request from her friend, one of a more personal nature, and as such perhaps more important to Lily to achieve.
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