Jezebel Overview:

Jezebel (1938) was a Drama - Romance Film directed by William Wyler and produced by William Wyler, Hal B. Wallis and Henry Blanke.

SYNOPSIS

The role perhaps most closely associated with Davis is an utter triumph. As a coquettish belle in the Civil War South, Davis taunts and teases the men who desire her (Fonda and Brent) until her options vanish and she's faced with life alone. She realizes her shallowness and the depth of her potential loss when Fonda becomes ill. Wyler and Davis were famous combatants, but the director was able to elicit her best work (here and in The Little Foxes, 1941). He was noted for endless takes and for allowing scenes to develop in one shot rather than by intercutting close-ups and reaction shots. This required discipline and concentration from actors. The results, as in this, were worth the effort.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).

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Jezebel was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2009.

Academy Awards 1938 --- Ceremony Number 11 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best ActressBette DavisWon
Best Supporting ActressFay BainterWon
Best CinematographyErnest HallerNominated
Best Music - ScoringMax SteinerNominated
Best PictureWarner Bros.Nominated
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BlogHub Articles:

The Colors of Contagion in JEZEBEL (1938)

By Jennifer Garlen on Jan 30, 2024 From Virtual Virago

Bette Davis won her second Academy Award for Best Actress for the Civil War melodrama, Jezebel (1938), which took advantage of the cultural mania over Gone with the Wind by using many of the same plot elements and beating the 1939 blockbuster to theaters. Like Gone with the Wind, Jezebel tells the s... Read full article


Jezebel (1938): A Bette Davis Southern Belle

By 4 Star Film Fan on Aug 22, 2019 From 4 Star Films

The oldest movie?theater near where I grew up was built in 1938 and by some?peculiar coincidence, Bette Davis is said to have driven by the establishment time and time again. Being the iron-willed personality that she was, the rising star demanded they open with her latest movie. (I?assume very few ... Read full article


TCM Classic Film Festival Day 1: 7 Seconds of Bette Davis in JEZEBEL (1938)

By Lara on Apr 6, 2017 From Backlots

This afternoon, classic film fans from around the country and the world descended upon the stretch of Hollywood Boulevard that runs from the Roosevelt Hotel?to the Egyptian Theater for the opening of the TCM Classic Film Festival. For much of the day, the street was completely blocked off for the re... Read full article


Jezebel (1938) (3)

By Beatrice on Nov 23, 2013 From Flickers in Time

Jezebel Directed by William Wyler Written by Clements Ripley, Abem Finkel and John Huston from the play by Owen Davis 1938/USA Warner Bros Repeat viewing #120 of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Julie Marsden: Can’t I? I’m goin’ to. This is 1852, dumplin’. 1852, not ... Read full article


Jezebel (1938) (2)

By Brandy Dean on Nov 21, 2013 From Pretty Clever Films

When the novel Gone with the Wind became a runaway best-seller, the office of independent producer and films rights holder David O. Selznick was flooded with fan suggestions for casting. They wanted Clark Gable as Butler (natch) but they also really, really wanted Bette Davis as Scarlett O’Har... Read full article


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Quotes from

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.


Julie Marsden: This is 1852 dumplin', 1852, not the Dark Ages. Girls don't have to simper around in white just because they're not married.


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


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Facts about

Jeffrey Lynn originally was cast in the Pres role, but the producers of the play he was appearing in refused to release him. Fonda was a last minute replacement.
Originally a flop play on Broadway starring Bette Davis' nemesis Miriam Hopkins. Hopkins assumed she was contractually set to star in the film adaptation, but the contract only specified she would be "considered" for the film version.
In order to minimize the impact of potentially going over budget (as this film did), director William Wyler shot all of the most expensive scenes first.
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Best Actress Oscar 1938






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National Film Registry

Jezebel

Released 1938
Inducted 2009
(Sound)




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Also directed by William Wyler




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Also produced by William Wyler




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Also released in 1938




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