Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge and predictable complications result.
When lovely and virtuous governess Henriette Deluzy comes to educate the children of the debonair Duc de Praslin, a royal subject to King Louis-Philippe and the husband of the volatile and ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Because the original Broadway production was a flop, Warner Bros. was able to buy the rights to the film at a very low price. See more »
As Julie hurries through the room arranging flowers, one flower falls out of the vase, but she doesn't bother with it or even seem to notice it, continues arranging them, and then moves the vase to another table. See more »
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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