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Julia (1977) Poster

(1977)

Trivia

The shadowy person sitting in the fishing boat at the beginning and end of the film is actually Lillian Hellman. Jane Fonda did the voice-over.
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Early on, director Fred Zinnemann actually considered casting Meryl Streep in the title role. However, as Streep was almost totally unknown as an actress - she had only one play to her credit, and never appeared in a film - Zinnemann decided to cast Vanessa Redgrave instead.
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Meryl Streep's movie debut.
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Jane Fonda was originally cast as Julia. However, when the producers had trouble casting the role of Lillian Hellman, they decided to recast Fonda in the lead.
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During the casting process, both Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave's names were mentioned as possible stars for the film. The producers initially vetoed both actresses on the advice of the publicity department, fearing that the absolute worst option would be to cast Fonda and Redgrave, both of whom were known for their outspoken political beliefs, in a film together. In the end, of course, both actresses were cast and the film went on to great critical and box office success.
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Jason Robards won his second Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor category for this film, but was nowhere to be seen when his name was called during the Academy Awards ceremony. Due to a scheduling conflict with a theater play he was suppose to be in that night he was unable to attend the Oscars.
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The final cinema film of Cathleen Nesbitt
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When Jason Robards failed to appear at the 1978 Oscar ceremony, host Bob Hope quipped that " he must be off playing poker with George C Scott and Marlon Brando ", who both had famously rejected their Oscars in the early 70's.
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It was during her Best Supporting Actress Oscar acceptance speech for this movie that Vanessa Redgrave incurred the wrath of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) when she declared: "... and I salute you, and I pay tribute to you, and I think you should be very proud, that in the last few weeks you have stood firm, and you have refused to be intimidated by the threats of a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums, whose behavior is an insult to the stature of Jews all over the world, and to their great and heroic record of struggle against fascism and oppression. And I pledge to you that I will continue to fight against anti-Semitism and fascism. Thank you." (Dorothy Chandler Pavilion - 3 April 1978)
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Jack Nicholson was offered the role of Dashiell Hammett, and was actually keen to take it. Fred Zinnemann later retracted the offer, however, when he felt put off by the amount of time it was taking Nicholson to read the script - just under a week.
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Fred Zinneman originally wanted an American actress to play Julia, but having worked with Vanessa Redgrave 10 years earlier on " A Man for all Seasons ", he knew she was right for the part.
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The film cast includes five Oscar winners: Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards, Maximilian Schell and Meryl Streep; and one Oscar nominee: Hal Holbrook.
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Jane Fonda previously worked with Lillian Hellman on The Chase (1966) for which Hellman wrote the screenplay.
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Barbra Streisand turned down the role of Lillian Hellman.
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Alvin Sargent was initially quite reluctant to write the script, but eventually relented after much persuasion from producer Richard Roth. He admitted that he finally got interested in the work only after when he wrote the flashback sequence of Lillian and Julia playing together as children.
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Julie Christie turned down the role of Julia.
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Faye Dunaway turned down the role of Julia.
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee of the year to be also nominated for Adapted Screenplay.
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Ronee Blakley hot off her Oscar nominated role in Nashville was approached by Zinnemann to play Julia- she has confirmed this via her personal Facebook page
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Director Fred Zinnemann was unaware that screenwriter Alvin Sargent had appeared in Zinnemann's earlier film, From Here to Eternity as the man who tells Prewitt of Maggio beaten to death by Fatso, until Sargent told him about it when both of them met in London before filming began. Zinnemann chose Sargent largely because his script, originally as a work sample, being the most impressive of all the samples sent by potential screenwriters that would be chosen for his supposed-to-be project. After reading the first 10 pages of an early draft, Zinnemann decided to abandon his earlier project and moved into this film instead.
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This was the second of two films to team Jane Fonda, Jason Robards and Rosemary Murphy. Their first collaboration was the 1966 sex comedy "Any Wednesday". A year after "Julia", Fonda and Robards collaborated for the third and final time, for the western "Comes a Horseman" (1978).
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Fred Zinnemann chose Walter Murch to edit the film after seeing his work on The Conversation. Fortunately, Murch became available when production for The Black Stallion was put on hold (it was only restarted in summer of 1977). According to Murch, on the day he was on a phone call with producer Richard Roth and his friend Matthew Robins, they overheard Zinnemann asking for Murch's availability loudly in the office next door of Roth's in New York.

"They said, 'Quick! Write a letter to Fred to say that you overheard about the project!' So I sharpened my pencil, wrote a letter, luckily got a letter back and then flew to New York to meet him. He was casting in New York in April of 1976. We hit it off, and four months later, Aggie, myself and the four kids were in London. It was my first film working outside the American Zoetrope bubble." (From the Cinema of Resistance discussion organized by the Getty Research Institute, April 2012)
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This is the first film that Meryl Streep has appeared in that has the name "Julia" in the title. The second is Julie & Julia (2009) in 2009.
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One of about half a dozen American politics movies / politically themed pictures featuring actress Meryl Streep. The films are Julia (1977), Suffragette (2015), The Iron Lady (2011), Lions for Lambs (2007), The Manchurian Candidate (2004), and The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979).
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