"Julia" is an old movie (1977) starring Jane Fonda as Lillian Hellman and Vanessa Redgrave as her lifelong friend Julia. I had always been curious about it so I ordered it from Netflix.
The movie also stars Jason Robards as Lillian's long-time off-and-on lover Dashiel Hammett. They appear to be an older man and younger woman in the movie but in reality she was 12 years older than him. They met in Hollywood when she was a screenwriter for a studio. The star power in the movie was enough to draw me in, but the story is an edge-of-the-seat scary one that I loved.
Actually there was no Julia, although Hellman and Hammett always claimed the story was true. It is based on a chapter of Hellman's book Pentimento. In the movie they are girlhood friends with Julia as the leader and Lillian as devoted follower. As adults, gossip spreads that they are lovers, an assumption that is maddening to Hellman. Then Julia goes abroad to study and ends up in medical school in Vienna as the Nazi's are taking over. Nazi youth swarm the medical school, kill many of the men, and beat Julia almost to death. She loses a leg, and then is whisked off to another hospital and Lillian can't find her.
The best part of the movie is when Jewish Hellman delivers money to Julia in Berlin to help get people out of Germany. She goes from Paris to Moscow by train with a stop in Berlin. I was a nervous wreck; so was she of course.
I've told too much of the story but there is more and if you haven't seen it, I do recommend it. The coincidental fact that I'm reading a novel about Nazi Germany just added to my tension while watching the movie but this is well worth watching.