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Jezebel (1938) Poster

(1938)

Quotes

Dr. Livingstone: You might be interested in a bit of news I got today: Preston Dillard's coming back. Arrives Friday on the packet.

Aunt Belle: What brings him?

Dr. Livingstone: This yellow fever business. We two stand together on what ought to be done about it. Now it's busted loose, he's coming back.

Aunt Belle: It's high time. I suspect I know Julie like nobody ever will. Every crook and cranny of her.

Dr. Livingstone: You ought to, Miss Belle. She's more like you than you ever were.

Aunt Belle: Maybe I love her most when she's her meanest, because I know that's when she's loving most.

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Julie: Pres, why did you do it? Why Pres?

Preston Dillard: Because I love her.

Julie: But you had my love.

Preston Dillard: And lost it.

Julie: Wasn't that memory more real than anything she had to give to you?

[Preston walks away]

Julie: Oh, don't be cross with me, Pres. Just tell me. You must!

Preston Dillard: Please don't, Julie!

Julie: Shall I cry for you? Nobody ever made me cry but you... And that was only twice! Do you remember?

Preston Dillard: Yes.

Julie: How much do you remember?

Preston Dillard: Everything you ever said or did. But that's passed now, Julie. Done. Finished.

Julie: I ought to have come to you. I wanted to so terribly. It was because I wanted to so much that I couldn't. You do understand that, don't you, Pres?

Preston Dillard: I didn't understand. I just knew what you did.

Julie: But you had to come back home, didn't you? You had to come back to the country and the things you know, because you belong here! Nothing can change that. Pres, Listen... Can you hear them? The night noises? The mockingbird in the magnolia? See the moss hanging from the moonlight? You can fairly taste the night, can't you? You're part of it, Pres, and it's part of you. Like I am. You can't get away from us, Pres, we're both in your blood. This is the country you were born to, the country you know and trust. Your country, Pres! Amy wouldn't understand. She'd think there'd be snakes.

Preston Dillard: Julie, please!

Julie: Oh, it isn't tame and easy like the North. It's quick and dangerous, but you trust it! Remember how the fever mist smells in the bottoms, rank and rotten? But you trust that, too, because it's part of you. Just as I'm part of you and we'll never let you go!

[Julie kisses Preston, he pushes her away]

Julie: Pres, you're afraid!

[Preston glares at her angrily and walks away]

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Buck Cantrell: I like my convictions undiluted, same as I do my bourbon.

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Aunt Belle: Pres has always loved you in white. If he isn't simply bowled over by it, I won't know what to think.

Julie: [speaking to an assistant who carries off a red dress] Wait a minute. Bring that over here. Saucy, isn't it?

Aunt Belle: And vulgar!

Julie: Yes, isn't it? Come on, get me out of this.

Aunt Belle: Julie, what are you doing?

Julie: If it fits me, I'm gonna wear it to the Olympus Ball.

Aunt Belle: A red dress to the Olympus Ball? Why, you're out of your senses.

Julie: ...Mary Vickers couldn't possibly do it justice.

Aunt Belle: Child, you're out of your mind. You know you can't wear red to the Olympus Ball.

Julie: Can't I? I'm going to. This is 1852, dumpling, 1852! Not the Dark Ages. Girls don't have to simper around in white just because they're not married.

Aunt Belle: In New Orleans, they do. Julie, you'd insult every woman on the floor.

Mme. Poulard: Mademoiselle, your aunt, she's right. Look how beautiful this dress is.

Julie: Will you kindly get me out of this?

Aunt Belle: Julie, you can't be serious.

Julie: Never more serious in my life.

Aunt Belle: But Julie, think of Pres.

Julie: That's just exactly what I am thinking of.

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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 proving your love by laying down your life for Pres. Nothing so easy. Have you the knowledge and the human strength to fight for his life and for your own as one will have to fight? Amy, it's no longer you or me.

Amy Bradford Dillard: What do you mean?

Julie: I'll make him live, I will. Whatever you might do, I can do more, 'cause I know how to fight better than you. Amy, if you knew the horror of that place. It isn't a hospital. It's a desolate island haunted by death. They'll put Pres in an open shed with a hundred others. You must be there with him day and night, watching every breath he draws. You must bathe him, keep him clean, give him drugs, fight for his food and water. You must keep the living from him and the dead. Be there by him with your body between him and Death.

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Aunt Belle: And expecting a man to go to a dressmaker's with you! I declare, I hope Pres doesn't come!

Julie: He will.

Aunt Belle: But, Julie!

Julie: Now, dumpling, don't you fret about Pres. I've been training him for years!

Aunt Belle: Like with that man-killing horse you bought!

Julie: Pres was outrageous! He had no right to tell me what I could ride and what I couldn't!

Aunt Belle: The horse showed you what you couldn't! You broke your collar bone and your engagement!

Julie: And they both mended, so I was right after all.

[smiles at Aunt Belle triumphantly]

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Preston Dillard: You haven't a partner you have to meet, Cantrell?

Buck Cantrell: Why, no. Came alone.

Preston Dillard: [they glare at each other] Pleasant evening, isn't it?

Buck Cantrell: Mighty pleasant. Nice and cool...

Preston Dillard: [pointedly] Do you find it cool in here? I don't find it particularly cool. Do you, Julie?

Julie Marsden: [looks up at Pres] Why... Why, no.

Preston Dillard: [steps towards Buck] I don't find it particularly cool. Miss Julie doesn't find it so.

Buck Cantrell: [stares at Pres] Why, no. Now you speak of it, it's just about right.

Preston Dillard: Seems so to me.

Buck Cantrell: [glares at Pres as a waltz begins] Your servant. Yours, Miss Julie.

[bows to Julie]

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Preston: [stands at the door] Goodbye, Julie.

Julie: [looks at Preston slightly shocked] Is that all you've got to say to me?

Preston: There's nothing more to say.

Julie: Evidently, you've made up your mind.

Preston: No, Julie. You've made up my mind.

Julie: [looks at Preston and smiles slightly] Goodbye, Pres.

[shakes his hand, eyes him carefully, frowns, and then slaps him]

Preston: Goodbye, Julie.

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Julie: [in reference to the flowers] Oh, Zette, aren't they beautiful!

Zette: Yas'm, Miss Julie! Right nice and pretty!

Amy Bradford Dillard: Right nice and pretty?

[bursts out angrily]

Amy Bradford Dillard: Pretty enough for Ted's grave!

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Julie: [before Preston walks away] Oh, Preston, you forgot your stick.

Preston Dillard: So I did.

[glares at Julie]

Preston Dillard: I forgot to use it, too.

Julie: [replies smartly] So you did.

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Buck Cantrell: To the very good health of the future Mrs. Dillard.

Julie Marsden: Buck, aren't you going to wish me happiness, too?

Buck Cantrell: What's the use? You won't get it, marrying a traitor and going up North.

Julie Marsden: Pres is a banker, not a traitor. I'll thank you to remember that.

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Julie: Why, Pres. Bangin' on a lady's door. I'm scandalized at you. Well, did you come up here just to stand there?

Preston Dillard: Julie, how long must we go on like this?

Julie: Like what, Pres?

Preston Dillard: Fightin', fussin' all the time, like a couple of children.

Julie: Why do you treat me like a child?

Preston Dillard: Because you act like one. A spoiled one.

Julie: You used to say you liked me like that once. You never wanted me to change. Remember?

Preston Dillard: Julie.

Julie: [after he kisses her] Why, Pres. In a lady's bedroom. Now you'll have to marry me.

Preston Dillard: What do you figure I aim to do?

Julie: Then kiss me again.

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Julie Marsden: Well, shall we go, Pres?

Preston Dillard: Not 'til you're properly dressed.

Julie Marsden: You're sure it's the dress? It couldn't be that you're afraid? Afraid somebody will insult me and you'll find it necessary to defend me?

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[after the duel between Buck Cantrell and Ted Dillard ends tragically]

Julie Marsden: Well say it. What are you thinkin'?

Aunt Belle: I'm thinkin' of a woman called Jezebel who did evil in the sight of God.

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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.

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Gros Bat: But, Miss Julie! Miss Julie, Miss Julie, ma'am! It's too risky for a white lady, Miss Julie. Me, I kind of mix in with the night. But them sheriff folks ain't fooling. They're shooting first and asking afterwards!

Julie: Bat, you hear me? We're going!

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Aunt Belle: Julie, child, I'm so sorry.

Julie: For heaven's sakes, don't be gentle with me now. Do you think I wanna be wept over? I've gotta think, to plan, to fight.

Aunt Belle: But you can't fight marriage.

Julie: Marriage, is it? To that washed-out little Yankee? Pres is mine. He's always been mine. And if I can't have him...

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Julie: Your wife?

Amy Bradford Dillard: And you're, may I say, "Julie"?

Julie: Pres's wife? You're funning.

Preston Dillard: Hardly.

Julie: Married? My felicitations, Pres.

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Buck Cantrell: Look here, Miss Julie. You were out here a mighty long time with Pres Dillard.

Julie: Oh, please, Buck. Pres had just been punishing the brandy, and...

Buck Cantrell: My back teeth! Did he lose his capacity to drink like a gentleman in the North, too? What does he think a lady's house is? A riverboat bar? What did he do?

Julie: Oh, Buck. I wouldn't have some silly thing I said be the cause of anything.

Buck Cantrell: Miss Julie, you won't be the cause of anything. Depend on me.

Julie: Thank you, Buck.

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Preston Dillard: [tasting Uncle Cato's mint julep] You haven't forgotten how.

Uncle Cato: Me, sir? The head might forget, but the hand remembers. Anyhow, Miss Julie, she's right in behind me all day to fix them just the way you used to like them.

Preston Dillard: Uncle Cato, how is Miss Julie?

Uncle Cato: Miss Julie? Why, she's just Miss Julie.

Preston Dillard: Just the same?

Uncle Cato: Well, I reckon princesses, they just naturally grows up to be queens, that's all.

Preston Dillard: Uncle Cato, we've known each other a long time. I'm back now. Home. It's a special occasion.

[asking him to have a drink]

Preston Dillard: Will you join me in one?

Uncle Cato: [flustered] Why, why, Mr. Pres, it ain't hardly proper, but I'll kindly take one out in the pantry and bless you and Miss Julie.

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General Bogardus: [warning Cantrell about dueling] Cantrell, you're a fool! De Lautuc's an old hand. Been out a dozen times.

Buck Cantrell: 13's liable to be unlucky for De Lautruc. You know, these French. They shoot for the head and, like as not, miss. I'm gonna shoot for the body and bust his tripes.

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Julie Marsden: Don't stand there with your eyes bulging out like that!

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Julie Marsden: [about Preston] What does it matter who he loves? It's his life that matters.

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Julie Marsden: [Preston returns after breaking their engagement] Pres, I can't believe it's you here. I dreamed about it so long. A lifetime. No, longer than that. I put on this white dress for you to help me tell ya how humbly I ask you to forgive me.

[She drops to the floor]

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Julie Marsden: Would you like to see my new dress?

Preston Dillard: That's what I wanted to do all day!

Julie Marsden: Well, let me go. There it is.

Preston Dillard: For the Olympus Ball?

Julie Marsden: Isn't it lovely?

Preston Dillard: Julie, it's red!

Julie Marsden: It's gorgeously red!

Preston Dillard: You can't wear red to the Olympus Ball!

Julie Marsden: Why not?

Preston Dillard: You never saw an unmarried girl in anything but white!

Julie Marsden: Well, you're going to see one tomorrow night.

Preston Dillard: Julie, you can't be serious!

Julie Marsden: Are you afraid someone will take me for one of those girls from Gallatin Street?

Preston Dillard: Julie!

Julie Marsden: Oh, I'm sorry! I forgot: I'm a child. I'm not supposed to know about things like Gallatin Street. I'm just supposed to flutter around in white.

Preston Dillard: You're supposed to know better than to scandalize the whole town!

Julie Marsden: [sarcastically sincere] It might be bad for the bank. Of course! Will you please hold another directors' meeting and ask them to decide what I can wear?

Preston Dillard: Julie, for heaven's sake! Will you be reasonable?

Julie Marsden: Were you reasonable this afternoon?

Preston Dillard: So, that's it! You're just nursing a spite. Well, I'm not going to let you. You've made your point. For once, you're going to do as I say. I'm calling for you tomorrow night at ten, and you're going to be dressed properly for the ball, in white!

Julie Marsden: Am I? Oh, but, of course, Preston. If you say so.

Preston Dillard: Don't be absurd! Your own good sense will say so!

Julie Marsden: And if it doesn't?

Preston Dillard: Then, my sweet, you and I will sit at home quietly with our embroidery.

[He kisses Julie]

Preston Dillard: Good night. Tomorrow night at ten.

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Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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