7.6/10
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88 user 39 critic

Jezebel (1938)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 26 March 1938 (USA)
In 1850s Louisiana, a free-spirited Southern belle loses her fiancé due to her stubborn vanity and pride, and vows to win him back.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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On TV

Airs Sun. Mar. 05, 8:00 AM on TCM

ON DISC
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ted Dillard
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General Theopholus Bogardus
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Mrs. Kendrick
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Jean La Cour
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Dick Allen
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Molly Allen
Theresa Harris ...
Zette
Margaret Early ...
Stephanie Kendrick
...
Huger
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Storyline

Set in antebellum New Orleans during the early 1850's, this film follows Julie Marsden through her quest for social redemption on her own terms. Julie is a beautiful and free spirited, rapacious Southern belle who is sure of herself and controlling of her fiancé Preston Dillard, a successful young banker. Julie's sensitive but domineering personality--she does not want so much to hurt as to assert her independence--forces a wedge between Preston and herself. To win him back, she plays North against South amid a deadly epidemic of yellow fever which claims a surprising victim. Written by Adam Brodsky <adam_brodsky@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The South's Greatest Romance See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 March 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jezabel  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bette Davis' father died during production on New Year's Day, 1938. With the production 24 days behind schedule, there was no question of her taking time off to attend the funeral. See more »

Goofs

Preston Dillard is seen entering a street level door, then going downstairs to the gentlemen's bar. New Orleans has a notoriously high water table, so buildings would not have had basements or lower levels. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Livingstone: You might be interested in a bit of news I got today: Preston Dillard's coming back. Arrives Friday on the packet.
Aunt Belle: What brings him?
Dr. Livingstone: This yellow fever business. We two stand together on what ought to be done about it. Now it's busted loose, he's coming back.
Aunt Belle: It's high time. I suspect I know Julie like nobody ever will. Every crook and cranny of her.
Dr. Livingstone: You ought to, Miss Belle. She's more like you than you ever were.
Aunt Belle: Maybe I love her most when she's her meanest, because I know that's when she's ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are blurred across the screen See more »

Connections

Featured in The 40th Annual Academy Awards (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz
(uncredited)
Music by Max Steiner
Played during Olympus Ball scene and often in the score
Danced by Henry Fonda with Bette Davis and other couples
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One Of Bette Davis's Most Memorable Performances - & Fonda Is Pretty Good Too
3 March 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

Bette Davis gives one of her most memorable performances in this atmospheric melodrama, and Henry Fonda, her co-star, is pretty good as well. They and the rest of the cast make good use of the opportunities in the story, which centers around Davis's turbulent character. William Wyler pieces it all together effectively with good story-telling.

The character of the headstrong Julie (Davis) could easily become a cliché, but Davis gives her depth and presence, while also effectively portraying her spirited nature. She's unpredictable, yet her nature remains consistent. She leaves you guessing as to exactly what she is up to and what her motivations are, especially towards the climactic scenes.

Henry Fonda should not be overlooked. He does not get as many chances for dramatics, but his role is important in providing a complement for Davis. The supporting cast, which includes George Brent, Spring Byington, and Donald Crisp, also helps out.

The atmosphere in the Deep South also works well, and it used effectively in the story. The climactic sequence ties the setting and characters together well, and it leaves a memorable impression when it is over.


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