Jezebel

Half angel, half siren, all woman.

Drama Romance
103 min     7.073     1938     USA

Overview

In 1850s Louisiana, the willfulness of a tempestuous Southern belle threatens to destroy all who care for her.

Reviews

CinemaSerf wrote:
This starts off really strongly with the arrival, on horseback, of the feisty "Miss Julie" (Bette Davis). She is the rather proud orphaned daughter of a wealthy southern family whom everyone wants to know and be seen with - even if she is a bit of a pain in the neck. It's "Dill" (a rather charmless Henry Fonda) who is the front runner for her rather vain affections but he is no push-over. Her desire to inappropriately wear a red gown to a formal ball initially elicits his reluctant support as he escorts her, but then the ensuing fallout ensures he flees leaving her alone and determined - to get him back. The onset of the plague forces her to flee to their plantation and he ends up there too - but with a significant complication. With her normally ordered life all askew, "Miss Julie" has to think, perhaps for the first time, not just about herself. I'm afraid, though that this film was just bit too much of a soap for me. Though Davis has loads of beans at the outset, the story rather manoeuvres us into a rather predictably sentimental cul-de-sac that's slightly cluttered up by the rather obnoxiously cocky "Buck" (George Brent). Donald Crisp and Spring Byington provide a bit of ballast now and again, but I just found this all rather disappointingly flighty and thin. A frustrated love story, yes - but I just needed much more of our original "Jezebel" and less of what her character became. I saw this very recently on a big screen and it is still, despite my reservations, a fine example of thoroughly well presented and opulent cinema with a star who very much owns the screen.

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