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Jezebel Details


In 1938, Jezebel was widely regarded as Warner Bros.' "compensation" to Bette Davis for her losing the opportunity to play Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. Resemblances between the two properties are inescapable: Jezebel heroine Julie Marsden (Davis) is a headstrong Southern belle not unlike Scarlett (Julie lives in New Orleans rather than Georgia); she loves fiancé Preston Dillard (played by Henry Fonda) but loses him when she makes a public spectacle of herself (to provoke envy in him) by wearing an inappropriate red dress at a ball, just as Scarlett O'Hara brazenly danced with Rhett Butler while still garbed in widow's weeds. There are several other similarities between the works, but it is important to note that Jezebel is set in the 1850s, several years before Gone With the Wind's Civil War milieu; and we must observe that, unlike Scarlett O'Hara, Julie Marsden is humbled by her experiences and ends up giving of her time, energy, and health during a deadly yellow jack outbreak. Bette Davis won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Julie; an additional Oscar went to Fay Bainter for her portrayal of the remonstrative Aunt Belle (she's the one who labels Julie a "jezebel" at a crucial plot point). The offscreen intrigues of Jezebel, including Bette Davis' romantic attachment to director William Wyler and co-star George Brent, have been fully documented elsewhere. Jezebel was based on an old and oft-produced play by Owen Davis Sr. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:March 10, 1938


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Bette Davis Best Actress 1938 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Ernest Haller Best Cinematography 1938 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Fay Bainter Best Supporting Actress 1938 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Max Steiner Best Score 1938 Nominee


Bette Davis
as Julie Marsden
Henry Fonda
as Preston Dillard
George Brent
as Buck Cantrell
Margaret Lindsay
as Amy Bradford Dillard
Donald Crisp
as Dr. Livingstons
Fay Bainter
as Aunt Belle Bogardus
Richard Cromwell
as Ted Dillard
Henry O'Neill
as Gen. Theopholus Bogardus
Spring Byington
as Mrs. Kendrick
John Litel
as Jean La Cour
Gordon Oliver
as Dick Allen
Janet Shaw
as Molly Allen
Theresa Harris
as Zette
Margaret Early
as Stephanie Kendrick
Irving Pichel
as Huger
Lou Payton
as Uncle Cato
Edward McWade
as Second Director
Jesse Graves
as Black Servant
Trevor Bardette
as Sheriff at Plantation
Charles B. Middleton
as Officer
Georges Renavent
as De Lautrec
Ann Codee
as Mme. Poulard the Dressmaker
Frank Darien
as Bank Bookkeeper
George Guhl
as Fugitive Planter
Charles Wagenheim
as Customer
Louis Mercier
as Bar Companion
Maurice Brierre
as Drunk
Davison Clark
as Deputy Sheriff
Eddie "Rochester" Anderson
as Gros Bat
Jack George
as Orchestra leader
Frederick Burton
as First Director
John Harron
as Jenkins
Fred Lawrence
as Bob
Al Bridge
as New Orleans Sheriff
Sam McDaniel
as Driver
Philip Hurlic
as Erronens


William Wyler
John Huston
Robert Bruckner
Clements Ripley
Ernest Haller
Leo F. Forbstein
Musical Direction/Supervision
Harry Warren
Max Steiner
Composer (Music Score)
Johnny Mercer
Alexis Dubin
Warren Low
Henry Blanke
Associate Producer
Hal B. Wallis
Executive Producer
Costume Designer
Orry Kelly
Costume Designer