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Jezebel (1938)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  26 March 1938 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 7,302 users  
Reviews: 80 user | 37 critic

A haughty headstrong Southern Belle in Antebellum Louisiana loses her fiance due to her stubborn vanity and pride and vows to get him back.

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(screen play by), (screen play by), 4 more credits »
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Title: Jezebel (1938)

Jezebel (1938) on IMDb 7.7/10

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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:
...
...
George Brent ...
...
Amy
...
Dr. Livingstone
Fay Bainter ...
Aunt Belle
Richard Cromwell ...
Ted
Henry O'Neill ...
General Bogardus
...
Mrs. Kendrick
...
Jean La Cour
Gordon Oliver ...
Dick Allen
Janet Shaw ...
Molly Allen
Theresa Harris ...
Zette
Margaret Early ...
Stephanie Kendrick
...
Huger
Edit

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bette Davis credited William Wyler for making her a box office-star after he directed her Oscar-winning performance in Jezebel (1938). See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, Preston storms up to Julie's bedroom and knocks hard on her door several times with his cane. The head of the cane seemingly leaves numerous dents in the wood. When Julie finally opens the door (inward into the bedroom), the dents have disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Aunt Belle: Pres has always loved you in white... If he isn't simply bowled over by it, I won't know what to think.
Julie: [speaking to an assistant who carries off a red dress] Wait a minute. Bring that over here. Saucy, isn't it?
Aunt Belle: And vulgar.
Julie: Yes, isn't it? Come on, get me out of this.
Aunt Belle: Julie, what are you doing?
Julie: If it fits me, I'm gonna wear it to the Olympus Ball.
Aunt Belle: A red dress to the Olympus Ball? Why, you're out of your senses.
Julie: ...Mary Vickers couldn't possibly do it justice.
Aunt Belle: Child, you're out of your mind. You ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are blurred across the screen See more »

Connections

Referenced in Confederate Honey (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

An der schönen, blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), Op. 314
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauß
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Bette Davis-Legend
11 February 2010 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

Bette Davis is a legend. I'd always heard that growing up, but felt some disconnect from it . When I became aware of her it was late in her career after she had developed into a boozy, smoke belching, caricature of her on screen persona's. So, if the "Bette Davis/Legend" concept rings a little hollow with you as it did me, watch this film. I just saw "Jezebel" for the first time on DVD. Wow! I haven't seen a lot of movies from the 1930's but I'm pretty sure that no one else was doing then what Bette Davis was doing. It is an acting style, and skill level, that isn't seen often.

She is brilliant throughout but one scene in particular made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It happens in the scene where Henry Fonda escorts Jezebel home after the ball and breaks off their engagement. When he tells her, "goodbye" and not "goodnight", a look of puzzlement and humiliation comes over her face. She starts to turn away to leave, but decides instead to extend her hand in Southern feminine cordiality to wish him well. As she does this something inside her wells up. Her expression changes, and as they say, if looks could kill... With the speed of a cobra, and unable to restrain herself, she slaps him in the face. Unlike a cobra however, which recoils after it strikes, she lurches slightly closer and you think she might just rip his throat out. William Wyler lets the camera linger on her and it's a powerful, and slightly disturbing, moment. I don't think anyone else could have pulled it off like Davis did.

The film is great although the depictions of slavery as a genteel Southern quirk are more than a little cringe worthy. To see this movie though is to understand how Bette Davis became a legend. And to see this movie is to see one of the most powerful screen performances ever. Who knew... After all 1938 was a long time ago and I've been busy with other stuff.


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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talk about blaming the woman... shoequeen2713
Does anyone have a problem with the ending? pwbri
Dont yell at me but I wish they would colorize caymancic
Who did Preston really love? roseytrebles
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Who's "Jezebel"? Chloe1939
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