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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 Award®. Davis plays Julie, a New Orleans beauty whose constant attempts to goad fiancé 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 Oscar®-winning* performance and William Wyler's vivid direction, highlighted by a horrifying re-creation of a yellow fever epidemic. But the film's greatest strength is Davis, whose titanic talent has never been better displayed than in Jezebel.