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The year before there was GONE WITH THE WIND, Warner Bros. brought forth JEZEBEL ($25), a tale of another willful and headstrong southern belle. Bette Davis won an Academy Award for the role of Julie Marsden- a very spoiled and self centered young woman, who throws away her reputation and her chance at happiness in a single night. In the days prior to the civil war, an unmarried woman couldn’t appear at a major social function in any color other than white. Disregarding the conventions of the day, Julie has the audacity to appear at a ball in a shocking red gown. New Orleans’ society is scandalized by Julie’s actions, and her betrothed, Preston Dillard, is outraged.

In fact, Dillard (Henry Fonda) is pushed to the limits of his tolerance. He promptly breaks off his engagement to Julie and leaves New Orleans. When Dillard returns to New Orleans with a new wife one year later, Julie wants revenge. But instead, she sets in motion a chain of events that wrecks the lives of a number of bystanders. With blood on her hands, Julie seeks to redeem herself by selflessly walking into a yellow fever epidemic to look after the only man she ever loved. The cast of JEZEBEL features George Brent, Margaret Lindsay, Fay Bainter, Donald Crisp, Spring Byington and Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson.

MGM Home Entertainment has done a fine job transcribing JEZEBEL to DVD. The black and white film element is in very good shape and displays only minor blemishes. The transfer has some mild film grain, but is otherwise well detailed and displays good contrast. Digital compression artifacts were never a problem on this DVD.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack has respectable fidelity for an optical soundtrack of this vintage. Max Steiner’s Academy Award nominated score sounds fairly good on the track. Other soundtrack options include a Spanish language track. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus give one access to a theatrical trailer as well as the standard scene selection feature.

JEZEBEL is a rich rewarding Hollywood classic, which features one of Bette Davis’ finest performances. If you love Bette Davis or Hollywood classics, this DVD will make a worthwhile addition to your collection.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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