7.6/10
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Jezebel (1938)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 26 March 1938 (USA)
Trailer
1:58 | Trailer

On TV

Airs Thu. Feb. 28, 10:00 AM on TCM

ON DISC
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 »
Reviews
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:

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:

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

The birth of Henry Fonda's daughter Jane Fonda was the cause of some interruptions during his filming of Jezebel (1938). See more »

Goofs

Preston Dillard is seen entering a street level door, then going downstairs to the gentlemen's bar. New Orleans has a notoriously high water table, so buildings would not have had basements or lower levels. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Rocketeer (1991) 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

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User Reviews

One Of Bette Davis's Most Memorable Performances - & Fonda Is Pretty Good Too
3 March 2005 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

Bette Davis gives one of her most memorable performances in this atmospheric melodrama, and Henry Fonda, her co-star, is pretty good as well. They and the rest of the cast make good use of the opportunities in the story, which centers around Davis's turbulent character. William Wyler pieces it all together effectively with good story-telling.

The character of the headstrong Julie (Davis) could easily become a cliché, but Davis gives her depth and presence, while also effectively portraying her spirited nature. She's unpredictable, yet her nature remains consistent. She leaves you guessing as to exactly what she is up to and what her motivations are, especially towards the climactic scenes.

Henry Fonda should not be overlooked. He does not get as many chances for dramatics, but his role is important in providing a complement for Davis. The supporting cast, which includes George Brent, Spring Byington, and Donald Crisp, also helps out.

The atmosphere in the Deep South also works well, and it used effectively in the story. The climactic sequence ties the setting and characters together well, and it leaves a memorable impression when it is over.


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