Synopsis: This Oscar-winning drama, based on the writing of Lillian Hellman, depicts the relationship between two friends and its unexpected consequences. After Lillian, a renowned playwright, reunites in Russia with her childhood playmate Julia, the writer is recruited to smuggle funds into Germany to aid the anti-Nazi movement. Waiting in the wings is Lillian's lover and mentor, Dashiell Hammett, who is unaware of her dangerous assignment.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Fred Zinnemann
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
  Won 3 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 24 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
117 min

[Bird Squawking]

[Woman Narrating]

Old paint on canvas, as it ages...

sometimes becomes transparent.

When that happens,

it is possible in some pictures...

to see the original lines.

A tree will show through a woman's dress.

A child makes way for a dog.

A boat is no longer on an open sea.

That is called pentimento...

because the painter repented...

changed his mind.

[Squawking Continues]

[Train Whistle Blaring]

I'm old now, and I wanna remember...

what was there for me once...

and what is there for me now.


It's not working again, Dash.

It's falling apart again.

Put on your sweater.

Bring some whiskey.

I'll build a fire, and we'll start dinner.

Don't forget the smokes.

I'm not here to take orders. I want advice.

You're a big-shot writer.

[Shouting] You're not a general,

Hammett, and I ain't the troops.!

If you really can't write,

maybe you should go find a job.

Be a waitress.


What about a fireman, eh?

You could be chief.

It's not a bad idea, you know?

Little town somewhere...

find yourself a little fire station, a hat.

- I'll be the mayor.

- Why should you be the mayor?

Well, someone has to appoint you if...

I'm in trouble with my goddamn play,

and you don't care!

Just because you stopped writing doesn't...

[Liquid Pouring]

Tell you what, Lilly.

I'll send you on a trip to Paris.

I don't wanna go to Paris.

Why not? I hear it's a swell town.

Finish the play there.

Have a little fun. Visit your friend Julia.

You know damn wellJulia's not in Paris.

Well, wherever she is.

Go to Spain. There may be a civil war

in Spain. You'd help somebody win it.

- [Laughs] You're scrappy.

- I'm not scrappy. Don't call me scrappy.

You make me sound like

a neighborhood bulldog.

You are the neighborhood bulldog, Lilly!

'Cept you got some cockeyed dream

about bein' a cocker spaniel.

- I can't work here.

- Well, then don't work here.

Don't work anyplace.

It's not as if you've written

anything before, you know.

Nobody'll miss you.

It's a perfect time to change jobs.

You're the one who talked me

into being a writer, Dashiell.

You're the one who said,

"Stick with it, kid. You got talent, kid."

You soft-soaped me with all that crap!

- And now look at me.

- If you're gonna cry about it,

go stand on a rock.

Don't do it around me.

If you can't write here, go someplace else.

Give it up. Open a drugstore.

Be a coal miner.

Only just don't cry about it.

[Lilly's Voice] I think I have

always known about my memory.

I know when the truth

is distorted by some drama or fantasy.

But I trust absolutely

what I remember about...


[Clock Ticking]

[Clock Tolling]

Happy New Year, Grandmother.

Happy New Year, Julia.

- Happy New Year, Grandfather.

- Hmm?

Why did we have sherbert

in the middle of the meal?

It clears the palate

between the fish and the meat.

- Who's that?

- It's my mother.

- [Lilly] My God.

- [Julia] Shejust got married again.

- Where does your mother live?

- In Scotland.

- My mother owns a very fancy castle.

- Have you been there?

- Once.

- What's it like?

Full of fancy people with fancy titles.

- Who were they?

- I don't remember. They didn't interest me.

They're all very rich and famous.

They just said hello to me,

and I don't remember.

[Orchestra. ; "My Blue Heaven"]


- Happy New Year, Julia.

- Happy New Year.


I am... Paris.

I am Paris, and I am a string of beads.

I am Paris,

and I am a string of beads on a hot dancer.



I am Paris,

and I am a string of beads on a hot dancer...

and a romantic Frenchman

comes into my room.

And he carries me

off into the dark Parisian night.

- [Laughs]

- And takes me to his villa.

[Speaking French]

- What happened?

- [Laughing]

- Oh, I'm in ecstasy!

- What happened?

You'll have to learn French.

[Both Laughing]

- [Adult Lilly] I am Paris.

- [Laughter]


I am Paris, and I am a string ofbeads.

No, wait a minute. No.

I am Paris,

and I am a string of beads on a hot dancer.

I am Paris. I am a string

of beads on a hot dancer...

and outside it is Renoir and Degas.

I am Paris, and I am a string

of beads on a hot dancer...

- and outside it is...

- Renoir.

Renoir and Degas...

and inside it is hard and hot.

- [Giggling]

- I don't care.

- [Clock Tolling]

- I don't care.

- Happy New Year, Julia.

- Happy New Year, Lilly.

[Tolling Continues]

[Lilly's Voice] I cannot say now

that I had ever used the words...

gentle or strong...

or delicate.

But I did think that night...

that it was the most beautiful face...

I had ever seen.

Maybe I could do better work someplace else.

- Dash?

- [Mutters]

If I were to go to Paris and work...

- Are you awake?

- Uh.

Dash, do I keep you from writing?

No. Sleeping, Lilly.

You keep me from sleeping.

[Young Lilly]

But what about Paris? What about Rome?

- [Young Julia] You aren't listening.!

- I am listening.!

[Horn Blaring]

[Horns Blaring]

[Brakes Squealing]

[Greetings, Indistinct]

Please tell me what's the matter.

I don't want to be here, not with them.

- I hate them.

- Why?

[Horse Whinnies]

They took me to see Cairo.

They told me how beautiful

Cairo would be, but it wasn't.

I said to my grandfather,

"Look at those people. They're hungry.

They're sick.

Why don't we do something?"

And he said, "Don't look at them."

I said, "But they're sick."

He said, "I didn't make them sick."

What about Paris?

What about Rome?

- You aren't listening!

- I am listening!

Where my mother lives,

the servants live under the ground...

no windows, one bathroom.

It's wrong. It's wrong, Lilly.

Do you understand?


I heard from Oxford, from medical school.

- I was accepted.!

- [Lilly] When will you go?

At the end of the summer.!


- All ashore that's going ashore.

- You'd better go.

[People Shouting Farewells]

When are we gonna see each other again?

It'll be so long.

Think of it this way... when we do

we'll have everything to talk about.

- All ashore that's going ashore.!

- Please write me.

You know I will.

Work hard. Take chances.

- Be very bold. Do you hear me?

- [Bell Clanging]

- All ashore that's going ashore.!

- Good-bye.


[Lilly's Voice] I wasn't to see her

again for a very long time...

until I went to visit her at Oxford.

There are women who reach

a perfect time oflife...

when the face will never again be as good...

the body never as graceful or powerful.

It had happened that year toJulia.

- Do you have lots of friends?

- Not many.

- Do you get to the theater?

- No, there isn't time.

But we always went to the theater.

When you write your play, then I'll go again.

- How is your writing?

- Oh, I'm still at the publishing house.

I wish I could write full-time.

- Do you have a beau?

- No. Do you?

Well, I think maybe I found somebody.

- And you?

- I did, but it didn't work out.

- What are you reading now?

- Darwin, Engels...

Hegel, Einstein.

Rate this script:3.0 / 1 vote

Alvin Sargent

Alvin Sargent (born April 12, 1927) is an American screenwriter. He has won two Academy Awards in 1978 and 1981 for his screenplays of Julia and Ordinary People. His most popular contribution has been being involved in the writing of most of the films in Sony's Spider-Man film series (The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the first exception to this). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Julia" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 Jul 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/julia_11450>.

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