Jezebel

103 minutes 1938

They wouldn't let Bette Davis be Scarlett O'Hara, so Warners cooked up this 1938 antebellum epic for her—and her performance, as the fiery southern belle who marries a banker (George Brent) though her heart belongs to a dandy (Henry Fonda), was good enough to win her an Oscar. As usual with director William Wyler, the film is far more interesting for its actors than for its direction; but some of the set pieces—the ball where Davis appears in a scandalous red dress and the yellow-fever epidemic (shades of the burning of Atlanta)—are still impressive.

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