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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.

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

Clements Ripley (screen play), Abem Finkel (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:
Bette Davis ... Julie Marsden
Henry Fonda ... Preston Dillard
George Brent ... Buck Cantrell
Margaret Lindsay ... Amy Bradford Dillard
Donald Crisp ... Dr. Livingstone
Fay Bainter ... Aunt Belle Massey
Richard Cromwell ... Ted Dillard
Henry O'Neill ... General Theopholus Bogardus
Spring Byington ... Mrs. Kendrick
John Litel ... Jean La Cour
Gordon Oliver ... Dick Allen
Janet Shaw ... Molly Allen
Theresa Harris ... Zette
Margaret Early ... Stephanie Kendrick
Irving Pichel ... Huger
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Storyline

In one of her most renowned roles, Bette Davis portrays Julie Marsden, a spoiled Southern belle who risks losing her suitor with her impetuous behavior. Engaged to successful banker Preston Dillard, Julie pushes him away with her arrogant and contrary ways, leading to a scandalous scene at a major social event and his subsequent departure. When Preston eventually returns and Julie attempts to win him back, she discovers that it may be too late. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She asked all-she took all-she gave nothing! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

26 March 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jezabel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bette Davis came to the realization that William Wyler was a very special director when he insisted she come view the dailies with him, something she had never done with any other director before. They watched a scene where her character was coming down a staircase, a scene that had really irritated Davis as she couldn't understand why Wyler wanted to film it over 30 times. Watching the rushes however, she saw one of the takes in which he had captured a fleeting, devil-may-care expression that summed her character up perfectly. After that, she happily accepted however many takes Wyler wanted. See more »

Goofs

As Mrs. Kendrick and Stephanie go up the steps to the porch of Julie's house, we see a diagonal ray of light shine across the front door. Just before Uncle Cato opens the door, the light is gone. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Buck Cantrell: [to cabby] Boy, stop here.
[to Dick]
Buck Cantrell: Might as well get us a bottle.
Dick Allen: Julie'll have plenty to drink at the ball.
Buck Cantrell: Yes, pardon Dick - always messed up with cherries n' such. Come on.
[to cabby]
Buck Cantrell: Wait right here.
Driver: Yes sir, Mr. Cantrell sir.
[Buck and Dick enter the St. Louis Hotel]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are blurred across the screen See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Being There (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Etude in E Op.10 No.3
(1829-32) (uncredited)
Written by Frédéric Chopin
Played on piano by Fay Bainter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A first rate Davis/Wyler collaboration from the Golden Era
4 December 2008 | by kirksworksSee all my reviews

This was the film about deep Southern attitudes vs Northern attitudes that came out before "Gone With the Wind" and left Davis out of the running for the role of Scarlet O'Hara.  It was the second film she made with director William Wyler and the best of the three.  She also won her second Academy Award for the role.  Davis' character, Julie, is not all that unlike Scarlet.  She is very headstrong and full of bad decisions, but this is what makes the film work so well.  Her character is compelling in that you feel like you are watching a train wreck in action.  It's horrible but you can't look away.  This is the earliest of the films I watched from Davis' Golden Era and she is quite young, very attractive, with an array of beautiful costumes to wear.  Plus the cinematography and sets are thick with atmosphere.

"Jezebel" does have the somewhat same patronizing attitude towards blacks that "Gone With the Wind" had, but at least it wasn't as objectionable as it was in "Little Foxes," Davis' next and final collaboration with Wyler.  Aside from Davis, who really does give a great performance, Henry Fonda is quite memorable.  Yet on top of everything, the ending is so unusual for a film of this period that it just made my jaw drop.  Of all the Bette Davis films I've seen from this period of her career I rate this one the highest.  It's a classic for sure, and is far more than just a Bette Davis film, certainly well worth experiencing. 


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