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Jezebel (1938)

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

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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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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Aunt Belle Massey
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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

An early 1940's "Lux Radio Theater" adaptation of "Jezebel: starred Loretta Young, Jeffrey Lynn, and Brian Donlevy. See more »

Goofs

At the dressmaker's shop Julie holds up the red dress in front of her to see how it looks. It has sleeves. She takes it home with her and shows it to Preston. The next day is the ball and when she appears in it,the dress is now sleeveless. See more »

Quotes

Preston Dillard: [tasting Uncle Cato's mint julep] You haven't forgotten how.
Uncle Cato: Me, sir? The head might forget, but the hand remembers. Anyhow, Miss Julie, she's right in behind me all day to fix them just the way you used to like them.
Preston Dillard: Uncle Cato, how is Miss Julie?
Uncle Cato: Miss Julie? Why, she's just Miss Julie.
Preston Dillard: Just the same?
Uncle Cato: Well, I reckon princesses, they just naturally grows up to be queens, that's all.
Preston Dillard: Uncle Cato, we've known each other a long time. I'm back now. Home. It's a special occasion.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are blurred across the screen See more »

Connections

Featured in American Masters: Directed by William Wyler (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Gwine to Rune All Night (De Camptown Races)
(1850) (uncredited)
Music by Stephen Foster
Played at Belle's party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
That red dress..
14 March 2004 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

I recently saw this magnificent film after not having seen it in quite a number of years. William Wyler's extraordinary direction makes this movie a classic that will live forever.

Mr. Wyler had at his disposal the best of what his studio could give him. In this film, based on the play by Owen Davis, he was at the top of his form. With the help of the great cinematographer, Ernest Haller and that fabulous costume designer, Orry-Kelly, he gives us a movie that will stand as one of the best of that period melodramas. The great Walter Huston was an assistant director under Wyler.

There are some people who have written comments about Jezebel expressing how much better it could have been, had it been done in color. Personally, I don't think so. Just look at the closing scenes of the picture to witness the master camera work of Mr. Haller showing a close up of Ms Davis. The effect of light and shadow is almost comparable to a painting. Bette Davis reacts to the camera with an economy of gestures, and yet, she speaks volumes of what is going on inside her soul.

Technicolor would have been the ruin of this film. At the beginning of its invention, this new process was too harsh. The film wouldn't have kept the glorious look it still possesses, had it been shot in color. As far as the red dress being more visible, in sharp contrast with the white costumes of the other young women at the ball, the black and white effect is more dramatic.

William Wyler was very lucky with the amazing cast he assembled for the film. Bette Davis and Henry Fonda were at their prime when they appeared in Jezebel. Bette Davis is what holds the film together with her magnetism and star performance. It's almost impossible to think of another actress of that period giving as good a performance, as Ms. Davis'.

There are also people that have compared Jezebel with Gone with the Wind. The only thing they had in common is the fact that both take place in the period before the War between the States, but that's as far as the similarities end. This was a stage play, which by the way, was not very successful when Miriam Hopkins and Tallulah Bankhead appeared in it.

This is a film to be treasured thanks to William Wyler.


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Does anyone have a problem with the ending? pwbri
talk about blaming the woman... shoequeen2713
Dont yell at me but I wish they would colorize caymancic
Who did Preston really love? roseytrebles
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How does Julie betray Buck? bethanne558
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