1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oscar-Winning, Oscar-Deserving. Excellent.
Poor Jack Warner. Imagine having to be the man who denied Bette Davis the role of Scarlett O' Hara. Imagine Bette's rage at the success of that particular picture. Imagine poor Jack's mind working nineteen tot he dozen, desperately searching for something, ANYTHING, to appease the wrath of The Davis.
Happily, Jack Warner came up with this: a 1938 movie about a spoilt...
Published on March 11 2004 by Review Lover
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How did this end?
I would probably recommend this movie to a classic movie fan, but not your typical movie watcher. I thought Henry Fonda did a splendid job on his portrayal of Preston; he brought dignity and sense to his character. Bette Davis did a pretty good job as Julie. I just felt that the character of Julie lacked much reason. There were a few unreasonable things in this film, but...
Published on Nov. 2 2002
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5.0 out of 5 stars Redeemed by Yellow Jack,
This is an excellent film bolstered by superlative production values and above all an exceptional cast. However, make no mistake that this is Bette Davis' film all the way. Bette Davis is the complex Julie Morrison, the self-destructive Southern belle. The story takes place in pre-Civil War upper class New Orleans where gentlemen defended the honor of a lady's name over pistols. Bette Davis brilliantly flaunts these conventions in wicked fashion for mere amusement even though she realizes the abyss she is spiraling herself into. Henry Fonda is good as the very stoic and unbending Preston Dillard. He is the one man whom Davis will ultimately frustrate as he eventually refuses to be maneuvered as one of her pawns. William Wyler directed this film in grand fashion with cinematography by Ernest Haller, art designs by Robert Haas and a good score Max Steiner.
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful film!,
"Jezebel" is a really great classic film. I highly recommend it . Bette Davis is wonderful in her role, so is Henry
Fonda, her lover in the film. This film has some of the best acting in it I've ever seen. I'd give it more stars if I could.
I'm a big fan of Bette Davis' , and in this film, as in all her others, she always gave her absolute best performance.
5.0 out of 5 stars Campy potboiler with great acting,
By A Customer
Bette Davis is great, best actress ever. Only movie I like Henry Fonda... come on, Miss Julie (Davis) creates a scandel by wearing a red dress? Fiance leaves her because of it? But the acting is excellent and the stuff about Yellow Jack is quite good, creates a scary mood. I love some of the cat fight type stuff, especially like it when Miss Julie lets Southern friends berate Northerners at a dinner with people from each area, is scolded by her moma for allowing the conversation, demurely bats her eyelashes, and explains how she'd never restrict her guests' conversation.
4.0 out of 5 stars SHOT DAVIS TO SUPERSTARDOM,
JEZEBEL added yet another unsympathetic role to Bette Davis's lengthening list. The story of a perverse and selfish girl named Julie, the film takes place in the years just before the Civil War - 1852, to be exact. Miriam Hopkins played the role of Julie on Broadway, and while the plot is trite, Davis gave a knock-out performance; this undoubtedly started their legendary feud - you see, Hopkin's interpretation wasn't nearly as praised by the critics when they viewed her in the Owen Davis melodrama - which is ironic in a sense - Hopkins hailed from Bainbridge, Georgia! I appreciate Wyler's perfectionist direction which aids the basically trite plot immeasureably (without the zing Davis gave Julie, it would have been a very mossy affair indeed and probably a yawnable bore.) For her fine acting in JEZEBEL, Bette, in all fairness, earned her Oscar. A handsomely produced movie which withstands the passage of years due to the care and craftmanship given it; it was Davis's finest performance to date. Henry Fonda had to take time out in December of 1937 to be with his wife Frances during the birth of their child - a daughter named Jane. Wyler kept Bette's famous kinetic mannerisms in check and he encouraged her to explore uncharted depths of her acting ability. Davis fell in love with Wyler during shooting and instinctively knew he would make her a star of the first calibre due to his expertly inspired directing. As most classic movie buffs know, the dress Bette wore in the picture was russet brown; red photographed grey in black and white film! This is one film which would indeed be a good candidate for expert colorization!
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumphant performance by Bette Davis,
After winning the Oscar for best actress in 1936 for "Dangerous", Bette Davis began to complain that Warner Brothers was not giving her scripts that were worthy of her talent. In 1936, Warner suspended her without pay for turning down a role. She then went to England, in violation of her contract, with the intention of starring in a movie without Warner Brothers' approval. The studio stopped her, telling her that if she didn't work for them she wouldn't work anywhere. In defiance, she sued to break her contract. Although she lost the lawsuit, Warner Brothers began to take her more seriously and even paid her legal expenses. The part in "Jezebel" was thought to be an olive leaf offered by the studio to mollify her.
About that time, Davis made it known that she wanted the lead in David O. Selznick's upcoming production of "Gone With the Wind". She was actually considered for the role, but Warner told Selznick that they wouldn't agree to loan her out unless he also took Errol Flynn for the part of Rhett Butler. Davis refused to work with Flynn and angrily turned down the part, although Selznick did not intend to agree to Flynn regardless. Many believed that Warner Brothers purposely created an impossible deal to punish Davis for the lawsuit while making it appear they were trying to help her. It isn't clear whether "Jezebel" was offered to her before or after the negotiations for GWTW. Clearly, it didn't matter, because Bette Davis went out and gave one of the best performances of her career and won her second Oscar for best actress.
This film is GWTW without Yankees. Instead, the enemy is yellow fever. The story takes place in New Orleans in the 1850's. Although there are references to the abolitionists and the prospect of war, the entire story takes place prewar. This story focuses on the southern lifestyle of the period, and in this way it is very similar to its more famous counterpart. It also follows the life and times of one very spirited woman named Julie Marsden (Bette Davis), who could have been Scarlet O'Hara's soul mate.
Julie shocks New Orleans society when she insolently comes to a ball wearing a red dress when it is the custom for all proper southern girls to wear white. (A production note of interest: The famous "red" dress was actually black satin, which was used because red didn't produce enough contrast in the black and white film, causing it not to stand out enough.) As a result, her beau Preston Dillard (a youthful Henry Fonda) is mortified and he breaks off their engagement. Included in the story are a couple of duels over points of honor, a stark depiction of the yellow fever epidemic, and the noble resurrection of a contrite Julie Marsden upon Preston's return.
As always, director William Wyler (with whom Bette Davis was romantically linked) does a fantastic job at direction, giving the film a genuine southern flavor and period feel. The black and white cinematography in this film is tremendous and procured the film one of its five Oscar nominations.
The acting is superb all around. This is certainly one of Bette Davis' best and most memorable performances and it helped secure her place in movie history as one of Hollywood's greatest stars. Though she never won another Oscar, she went on to be nominated eight more times with five straight nominations between 1939 and 1943. Ironically, in 1940 she lost to Vivien Leigh, who won in the role Davis turned down.
Fay Bainter is marvelous as Aunt Belle Bogardus garnering a best supporting actress Oscar. Henry Fonda shows a hint of his future greatness in a fabulous portrayal of Julie's no-nonsense beau. George Brent (with whom Davis also was rumored to have had an affair) also turns in a strong performance as Buck, the honorable gentleman who duels his best friend to defend Julie's honor.
This is a wonderful film with great acting and directing. Though not the epic that GWTW became, it contains certain elements that Selznick undoubtedly incorporated at Tara, since the similarities between the films are striking at times. I rated this film a 10/10. For anyone interested in seeing why Bette Davis is considered one of the great actresses of the Studio era, this film is a must.
5.0 out of 5 stars an inspiring performance by davis,
By A Customer
This movie ranks in all lists it involves as a masterpiece. Winning Davis her second oscar is is undoubtedly at her best in all categories, seductive (the scene in the garden with henry fonda) bitchy (the meal where Fondas wife is present) and above all inspiring to the unwary first timer. This movie sweeps through pre cival war america, as it includes several conversations where the @men folk@ talk about the @North@. most notabily highlighted as Preston dillons wife, amy who he marries having breaking his engagment to Julie (Davis) is a "northerner" I recommend this movie for any movie lover, of any taste, suspence romance etc, as it entails both thrilling scenes romance and will have you gasping at the consequences, this is one not to be missed
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Movie,
By A Customer
This is one of my all time favorite movies. Fonda and Davis are wonderful. Bette Davis as the spoiled Julie, is perfect for the role.
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable...,
A very odd, amusing movie...sometimes tightly and very effectively directed and sometimes hysterical to the point of camp. The ending is an absolute scream, and yet I remember being strongly affected by it after the first time I saw this movie.
Davis's characterisation is campy and often startlingly effective. She is a real and powerful star...just when you start to entertain doubts about her performance, you start to chide yourself for being so niggardly because she is just so damn marvellous. She is the sole reason to watch this movie. Her instincts and choices keep you on your toes. Her Julie manages to live in this movie in a way that the other characters do not. She appears to be thinking and reacting on her feet. At times, she overdoes it...but that appears to be both a part of her screen persona and her misperception of the character she plays. Everything about her performance is in big bold, primary colors. The rest of the cast cannot help but seem muted.
George Brent holds his ground and turns in probably his finest performance, and Fay Bainter is charming. Brent's performance really is exemplary. Fonda underplays, which is a wise choice when you are cast opposite a firecracker like Davis. Although one wonders if the choice doesn't render his marriage into more of a plot device than it is.
Worth buying...repeat viewings turn this movie into something very comfortable, entertaining and fun (rather like a good, old friend). It might seem like a peculiar thing to say about a movie...but I think in this case, it holds true.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bette Davis Fan, you must OWN it!,
By A Customer
This is Bette Davis at her best. If you are a fan of her's you must own it. Fonda and Davis give us a first rate performance, not to be missed.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a enjoyable "night at the movies" in our own home,
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This review is from: Jezebel (DVD)
Excellent viewing. The quality of the dvd was terrific! To view such wonderful classics in their glorius black & white production with such clarity is like seeing them for the first time on the big screen.
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Jezebel (Bilingual) [Import] by William Wyler (DVD - 2000)
CDN$ 21.44 CDN$ 9.98