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Jezebel (1938)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  26 March 1938 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 7,584 users  
Reviews: 81 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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Writers:

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

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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
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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:

A Fearless Feminine Creature with a heart full of love ! 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

On hearing that he was about to make a film with William Wyler, Humphrey Bogart (who had just made Dead End (1937) with the director and had not enjoyed Wyler's insistence on multiple takes) told Henry Fonda "Jesus, don't touch it. Don't go in there". 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

Julie: I'm askin' for the chance to prove I can be brave and strong and unselfish. Help me, Amy. Help me make myself clean again as you are clean. Let me prove myself worthy of the love I bear him.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are blurred across the screen See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Fletch Lives (1989) 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

Southern Discomfort
19 November 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

The American South has always had an aura of sadness around it. I don't know why exactly. This film tends to reinforce that perception. Characters start off with high hopes for the future, only to succumb to some unfortunate fate, as a direct result of their Southern roots.

In pre-Civil War New Orleans, Julie Marsden (Bette Davis) is a wealthy young woman, engaged to respected banker Preston Dillard (Henry Fonda). But Julie is strong-willed, independent, and impetuous, traits considered unwomanly by that era's Southern aristocracy. Against Preston's wishes, Julie wears a red dress, instead of the customary white, to a gala ball. This event sets up the rest of the story.

While the support cast in "Jezebel" is fine, especially Fay Bainter, the film would not be the same without Bette Davis. I just can't see anyone else in the role of Julie. Davis' performance and the film's setting are what make this film so memorable. The costumes, the production design, the cinematography, and the music combine to convey a genuine sense of the antebellum South, with its stately manners that conceal narrow-mindedness and barbaric "chivalry".

Normally, I don't care for films whose subject matter is long ago history. But "Jezebel" is an exception, because it is so well made. I guess it is the tone of the film that really got my attention. The stately beauty of that time and place masks an underlying sadness, as a prelude to tragedy. Some might call it melodrama. But to me, that's just good drama.


32 of 46 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
How does Julie betray Buck? bethanne558
Who's "Jezebel"? Chloe1939
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