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(DVD) (First Viewing, 10th Wyler film)

Bette Davis failed to get the snag the role as Scarlett O'Hara, so Warner Brothers made their own version of Gone with the Wind for the fiery actress. For her troubles she won an Oscar.

Though it's no Gone with the Wind, Jezebel is actually a great film. Much like the famous epic, the film features a headstrong Southern belle who fails to catch the man she has her heart set on. But unlike Scarlett, Davis' Julie looses her man by her own doing: by showing up to the Olympia Ball dressed in red. The scandal it causes creates one of the most breathtaking scenes in all of classic Hollywood- as Max Steiner's elegant waltz starts up the dance floor, Davis and her fianc
Very solid performance from Bette Davis. Very good story.
A superb Bette Davis film, she is well cast as the tempestuous Southern belle. She won an Oscar for her acting. Henry Fonda is fine, but as expected, Bette dominates the film. Good supporting cast, the art direction and costumes are magnificent.


For being a selfish, willful, spoiled brat, she sure manages to break your heart in one scene! Bette Davis (and Henry Fonda) is excellent, although I'm not sure if I like the ending. It's a wonderful portrayal of the traditional South and all the charming customs of its the past.
Bette Davis stars as Julie Marsden, temperamental Southern Belle who gets her kicks by defying the social conventions of the late 19th Century. Her shenanigans eventually drive her fianc
This is one of the movies in The Bette Davis Collection Vol. 2. Yes it is one of the reason I bought is collection. I had seen the movie on TV and knew it was one that I would have to own.

Jezebel is a movie that takes place in the 1850's south. So it's in line with Gone With the Wind except it's in black and white, much shorter (which in my mind is a good thing) and gave Bette Davis her second Oscar.

It gives you the idea of how change will happen but just who can make these changes and when might be the best time to try them. The two men fighting or should I say in conflict over Julie (Bette Davis) are Buck (George Brent) and Preston (Henry Fonda).

Buck is old school southerner. He has no problem getting into a dual to settle a dispute. Preston on the other hand is a bit more northern in thinking and knows the south must change if it is to keep up with the likes of New York.

Julie is use to getting what she wanted when she wants it. She will go out of her way to make people see things in her light. She tries to use Buck to make her point with Preston. Things really don't work out as she planned but then without a few twists and turns it would not be much of a movie now would it.

As in many old movie the Score is almost perfect. There is a scene where Julie is fanning Preston and if you watch the fan going up and down to the music it is so right !

So if you'd like to see a movie about the South in the 1850's and don't want to spend more then 103 Minutes doing so then this is a good movie to get out the popcorn to and enjoy the show.



I really enjoyed Dark Victory. Bette Davis ("Wicked Stepmother") stars as a young socialite diagnosed with a brain tumor. She then must decide how to live out the last days of her life. I couldn't take my eyes off Davis, she just lights up the screen, even when she's dying. Humphrey Bogart ("The Harder They Fall") has a cameo as a horse trainer and his scenes with Davis are some of the best. Though the plot description sounds depressing and I did end up crying, it's not necessarily a sad film. There's a lot to think about here. Also, a young Ronald Reagan ("The Killers") puts in an appearance.

Jezebel is another Bette Davis film, and though this is directed by William Wyler ("The Liberation of L.B. Jones"), Davis won an Oscar for her role and the film was nominated for best picture, I had some real problems with it. I know it's set in the Pre-Civil War South and Davis plays a Southern Belle, but really, the racism was hard for me to take. I know that slavery was not even part of the story, but it kept distracting me. It's really a love story/character study of Davis' character Julie and how she looses the man she loves and does many horrible things trying to win him back. Some of it was interesting, but in the end, this is just one of the classics that doesn't live up to it's reputation.

Little Children is one of the most perfect looking films. Each shot is well composed and lit and feels right. Good job director Todd Field ("In the Bedroom"). It's also well acted, I especially loved Kate Winslet ("The Holiday") and Jackie Earle Haley ("Semi-Pro"), one of the creepiest child molester characters ever. The stories just seemed a bit off. I know everything was supposed to tie together and make us uncomfortable and think. And I was uncomfortable, several times, I just didn't think the whole added up to the sum of it's parts. It seemed like I had seen this movie before.

I always hear people say that Zathura is just another Jumanji, and that may be true. But is it really a bad thing? Director Jon Favreau ("Iron Man") has a knack for creating a bright, vivid, fun world and still not skimping on the emotion. Brothers Danny (Jonah Bobo, "Choke") and Walter (Josh Hutcherson, "Firehouse Dog") fight constantly, and this continues throughout the film in a very realistic, amusing style. But the game brings them closer together, of course, in the end. I really enjoyed this film. It's not new, but it's a good way to pass a dull evening.

The biggest reason to see The Big Sleep is the chemistry between Humphery Bogart ("The Harder They Fall") and Lauren Bacall ("The Walker"). They are just burning up the film. It's also a really interesting story that's impossible to follow. I can't really even break it down except to say that Bogart plays Philip Marlowe, a detective investigating the involvement of a society girl in the death of a pornographer. (Thank you TCM). Just see it. I plan to watch it again. And possibly even again.
There's no doubt William Wyler was a first-class director. Jezebel is a successful love - drama story with a solid cast leaded by the wonderful Bette Davis (won Oscar for this performance) who plays a woman who dared to defy a strict society and suffered the consequences of her reasonable acts. Henry Fonda was a fine actor since those days but he definitely got a lot better later, besides he was just supporting Davis' main role. The art direction, the costume design, the screenplay written by John Huston, among others. The yellow jack is treated with an incredible realism, the edition and the cinematography are excellent, comparing Jezebel with Gone with the Wind, this film almost equals the quality and the greatness of GWTW. Although Jezebel isn't in the popularity level that GWTW is, Jezebel is undoubtedly, a glorious classic, recommendable to give a watch.
Continuing my study of the films of 1938, I move now to "Jezebel," another Best Picture nominee beaten by "You Can't Take It With You." Like "Robin Hood," "Jezebel" is good but not great. The Best Picture nominees from 1938 continue to disappoint.

Bette Davis, who won her second and final Best Actress Oscar for "Jezebel" (she won her first just a few years before for "Dangerous," a film that no one remembers), plays an upper-class southern woman in the 1850s who is so feisty and obstreperous that her fiance (played by Henry Fonda) is encouraged to give her a whipping. He does not.

Whenever she doesn't get her way, she throws a tantrum like a spoiled child. Her biggest stunt comes when she appears at a ball in a red dress, a color only worn by harlots. She so embarrasses her fiance that he breaks off their engagement and abandons her. The film then cuts to one year later, when he returns to visit accompanied by his new wife, and all hell breaks loose again.

I was moderately entertained throughout "Jezebel." The script is dignified and intelligent, as is the direction of William Wyler. The black-and-white cinematography is competent but nothing special. I cannot give the film more than a 7. I was not enraptured by a single scene and didn't care that much one way or the other whether Davis's character got what she wanted or not.

I'm quite amazed that I'm finding the Best Picture slate from '38 to be so mediocre.
Gunning for Scarlett

Last night, Gwen and I were discussing Scarlett O'Hara, and I realized, which I'd never done before, that the only thing which made her an acceptable character was that she'd lived during the Civil War. Her forceful nature couldn't have existed in a Clayton County untouched by those changes. She would have married someone--assuredly not Ashley, but someone--and probably dominated him completely as Mrs. Tarleton did her family, but she would have spent her whole life wishing she were more like Ellen. It's been pointed out that half the problem with her was that she was a '20s or '30s woman sixty or seventy years before her time. However, upon watching this movie, I can vouch for the fact that she wasn't the only one in the public eye and imagination in the '30s. "Feisty" was not encouraged at the real time and place, but it was a draw by the time these women existed.

Julie Marsden(Bette Davis)--the Academy says the character's last name is Morrison--is just that kind of feisty. She is, from what I can tell, an orphan under the care of a maiden aunt, Belle Massey (Fay Bainter), and she is engaged to wealthy banker Preston Dillard (Henry Fonda in silly facial hair). One day, in a fit of pique, she decides she won't wear the white dress she's supposed to for an upcoming ball. She wears a brazen red one, because she likes it better and is tired of the conventions. Only Pres isn't tired of the conventions, and the red dress ends up being the beginning of a break between them, which pretty much ends when she slaps him. He goes away North. She is ready to abase herself to him on his return, but he returns with Amy (Margaret Lindsay), a Northern woman whom he's married. And from there, things escalate until Julie's life is ruined beyond all recognition.

Contrary to popular belief, this was not a sop to Bette Davis for not getting Scarlett O'Hara; studio correspondence shows they'd never considered anyone else in the role, and she still felt she was in the running for the more desirable role. Indeed, she may well have expected that her performance here would put her over the top in the running for Scarlett; she was already a frontrunner with the public. There are quite a few similarities between the characters, no doubt on purpose. The original play predates the book of Gone With the Wind, but the choice to make the movie almost certainly did not. Scarlett was doubtless thought of as a bit of a Jezebel herself, and while I haven't read the book in a while, I would be shocked if the word didn't come up somewhere in there. Entertainingly, Margaret Mitchell may well have been inspired in part by the play!

Pres is, later in the movie, mocked for his "Northern" ideas of sanitation and so forth, but it's about the only thing during the whole Yellow Fever section of the film which would actually work. There are cannon fired leading up to the sequence, because "everyone knows" that disrupting the air currents will prevent the spread of the fever. There's a "fever line" which no one must cross, because mosquitos totally respect things like that. Quarantine works to a certain extent, but there are still those pesky mosquitoes not respecting any boundaries. We think of Yellow Fever (or Yellow Jack, as it's also called in the film) as a Southern disease, but the reason for all that sanitation up North was an outbreak in Philadelphia sixty-odd years earlier. Pres may not be a doctor, but it didn't take one to notice that New Orleans was more susceptible than any Northern city, and though they can't blame the mosquitos, there's obviously something different.

It is a simpler film than its 1939 cousin. Bette Davis gives a great performance--Oscar-winning--as she pretty much always did. In the end, though, better that she be Julie than Scarlett. Yes, all right, book-Scarlett was a lot less beautiful than Vivien Leigh, but she still just feels wrong. It's hard to picture Bette Davis putting up with Melanie as much as she does, and it's hard to picture her marrying Charles Hamilton out of spite or Frank Kennedy out of desperation. Yes, Julie sets a terrible sequence of events into motion when she realizes she can't have Pres, but that's just it--Scarlett dealt with Mellie the way she felt she must, unto not abandoning her in Atlanta to have her baby with the Yankees coming. Julie may well have done that, and it's why Bette Davis is better at playing her than she would have been as Scarlett.