Action / Drama / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Bette Davis Photo
Bette Davis as Julie Marsden
Henry Fonda Photo
Henry Fonda as Preston Dillard
Spring Byington Photo
Spring Byington as Mrs. Kendrick
Margaret Lindsay Photo
Margaret Lindsay as Amy Bradford Dillard
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
894.02 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S 0 / 2
1.6 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S 1 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by zetes9 / 10

A fine film

Very good film from director Wyler, although it is its star, Bette Davis, upon whom its high quality mostly rests. This is perhaps Davis' best performance that I've seen. She plays a spoiled Southern belle whose fiancé (Henry Fonda) leaves her after a socially embarrassing event. As he leaves her, she swears that he will return, as he has in the past. And he does, one year later, with his new Northern wife in tow. The film does wonders with its historical setting, New Orleans a short while before the Civil War. A year before Gone with the Wind cooed over the fancy lives and manners of the Ante Bellum South, Jezebel was exploring them in more detail, and with a more intelligent eye. Also lurking about is the threat of Yellow Fever, which devastated New Orleans in the 1830s and is starting to grow rampant again. Another thing I really liked about Jezebel was its ending. Perhaps when it was released in 1938 there would be a feeling that Davis' character has turned a corner and has become more selfless, but to me her motives seemed awfully suspicious. That ambiguity is fascinating. Along with the leads, Donald Crisp and George Brent give fine supporting performances, and Max Steiner's score is one of the best of its era. 9/10.

Reviewed by MartinHafer9 / 10

an exceptional film marred by a poor ending

Up until the last few minutes of this film, this was a truly wonderful film. Bette Davis does an exceptional job playing an extremely manipulative woman who repeatedly overplays her hand. At the beginning of the film she is engaged to nice-guy Henry Fonda. But, time and again, she picks fights with him and tries to dominate him until he eventually tires of this and leaves her. A year later, Fonda returns and Davis is ready to apologize and pick up where they had left off--only to find out that Fonda is now married. True to her manipulative nature, she then schemes to have Fonda and the hot-headed gentleman, George Brent, get into an argument. What she didn't anticipate was that after Fonda was called away, that Brent would continue this argument with Fonda's wife until eventually Fonda's younger brother challenges Brent to a duel. Soon afterwards, Brent is dead and Davis sees that her scheming has gotten way out of hand. She loved manipulating others and making them miserable, but this death really shook her. So, a short time later when Fonda is stricken with Yellow Fever, she tries to redeem herself by volunteering to follow him into quarantine to nurse him back to health--at which time the movie ends.

So after that summary, let's talk about the good and bad of the movie. As for the good, there's so much to like about the film. The performances are wonderful--Davis received the Oscar for Best Actress and was THE standout performer in the film. Fonda and Brent give excellent support and are not overshadowed by Davis. Even the supporting actors are excellent, though I really did not think that Fay Bainter (playing Davis' aunt) deserved the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress (though she got it),as her role was pretty small and not particularly transcendent. I really think they gave it to her because of the overall movie, not her individual performance.

Also, a major plus to this movie was the incredible cinematography. This is simply the most beautiful black and white film I have seen and it's obvious the cameraman and director (Wyler) were tops in their fields. It's really amazing how despite being filmed in a sound stage, the film looked so good.

As for the bad, and this kept the movie from receiving a 10, it was the stupid conclusion to the film. Throughout the entire film, Davis played a self-centered manipulator. But, after seeing her plans go out of control, she repents and is willing to give her life to save Fonda!? This just isn't in character at all and seems like a "Hollywood" ending. I really wanted a more thought-out ending--maybe where she did go with Fonda into quarantine but only to try to win him back or perhaps him dying and her going about her merry way while hardly skipping a beat. THAT would have been more in character.

One other note: You will no doubt notice that this movie gives a VERY idealized view of slavery. The slaves seem universally happy and well-treated. For the sake of reality, I kind of wish they'd showed less of Bette hobnobbing with the slaves (something a society woman NEVER would have done in the Old South) and maybe ordering some of them to be whipped!

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird8 / 10

Very good, if not quite great

The main point of interest in Jezebel is that it's the film that garnered Bette Davis her second Oscar. Her performance is also the best thing about the film, although Jezebel still has more to it than Davis' performance.

Davis is superb here in a performance that ranks among her best as one of her most flawed but truly fascinating characters. Personally would have given her two Oscars (or at least two more than what she got) for her performances in Now Voyager and All About Eve but cannot deny that she commands the screen superbly, brings complete, blistering conviction to her lines and she is also at her most luminous. She is supported by an excellent cast, with the standouts being the compassionate also Oscar-winning turn of Fay Bainter, who provides the film's moral compass in a way, the always great Donald Crisp who is suitably humble and George Brent in the honourable but also arrogant sort of role. Spring Byinton similarly excels, and Richard Cromwell and Margaret Lindsay make the most of their secondary roles.

Jezebel does have more to it than great performances though. It is brilliantly directed by William Wyler, who not only immerses one into the setting but makes one feel like they're part of it. It's also beautifully shot in sumptuous black and white and the 1870s Southern setting is evoked very authentically and elegantly (who can't help love the gowns?). Max Steiner's music score is gloriously romantic and spirit-rousing, while the script is thoughtful, poignant and crackles with fiery tension and the story is completely absorbing in how it's told and how well done the atmosphere is. The characters are all well-written and with remarkable realism, they are flawed characters but with a number of good traits.

My only complaints with Jezebel are the ending, which felt out of character and too ambiguously resolved, and a wooden Henry Fonda in a role that was in need of a more formidable touch. Otherwise, it is a very good film indeed that had all the ingredients to be even greater. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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