"A dazzling romantic melodrama." -- Pauline Kael
While movie fans were abuzz over who might play Scarlett O'Hara in the upcoming Gone with the Wind, Bette Davis got another Southern belle role - and gave a fiery performance that won the 1938 Best Actress Academy AwardÂ®. Davis plays Julie, a New Orleans beauty whose constant attempts to goad fiancÃ© Pres Dillard (Henry Fonda) to jealousy backfire. Angry and disgraced, Pres breaks their engagement and leaves town. Julie endures a year of remorse until Pres comes home - married. Then her vengeance explodes.
Jezebel is also noted for its sumptuous sets and costumes, Fay Bainter's OscarÂ®-winning performance and William Wyler's vivid direction, highlighted by a horrifying recreation of a yellow fever epidemic. But the film's greatest strength is Davis, whose titanic talent has never been better displayed than in Jezebel.