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Jezebel (1938)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 26 March 1938 (USA)
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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), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Anatole Litvak
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Amy
...
...
Aunt Belle
...
Ted
Henry O'Neill ...
General Bogardus
...
Mrs. Kendrick
...
Jean La Cour
Gordon Oliver ...
Dick Allen
...
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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After an advanced screening of the film, David O. Selznick wrote to Warner complaining about the film's similarities to Gone with the Wind (1939), particularly citing Julie's pinching her cheeks to give them colour, which Scarlett O'Hara does in the book, and a dining room scene in which the male characters discuss the differences between the North and the South and the possibility of war. Warner countered that the dining room scene was faithful to the scene in the original play, which had appeared a few years before Margaret Mitchell's novel. See more »

Goofs

When the sheriff shoots the "yellow jack" runaway at Halcyon Plantation, he uses a lever-action repeating rifle. This type of weapon was first patented in 1860; the action takes place in 1853. See more »

Quotes

Julie: Amy, of course, it's your right to go; you're his wife. But are you fit to go? Loving him isn't enough. If you gave him all your strength, would it be enough?
Amy Bradford Dillard: I'll make him live, or die with him.
Julie: Amy... Amy, do you know the Creole word for fever powder? For food and water? How to talk to a sullen, overworked black boy and make him fear you and help you? Pres's life and yours will hang on things just like that, and you'll both surely die.
Amy Bradford Dillard: Then it will have to be that way.
Julie: It's not a question of ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are blurred across the screen See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ben-Hur: The Making of an Epic (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Dreamer
(1862) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Foster
Sung and hummed by Bette Davis
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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.


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Does anyone have a problem with the ending? pwbri
talk about blaming the woman... shoequeen2713
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