Oscar Movies: Jezebel

“Half-angel, half-siren, all-woman!” proclaimed the ads for the romantic melodrama in 1938. The Southern Belle has been a uniquely American literary and cinematic type.

Bette Davis won a second Oscar for “Jezebel, as the rich, spoiled and willful Julie Marsden, a role was originated on stage by Miriam Hopkins. A quintessential Southern Belle whose entire behavior is motivated by her failure to win the love of Pres Dillard, Julie does everything in her power to goad her fiance into jealousy. Her aunt Belle admonishes her wayward niece with the line: “I'm thinking of a woman named Jezebel who did evil in the sight of God!”

Oscar Nominations: 5

Picture, produced by Hal B. Wallis and Henry Blanke
Actress: Bette David
Supporting Actress; Fay Bainter
Cinematography: Ernest Haller
Score: Max Steiner

Oscar Awards: 2


Oscar Context

In 1938, William Wyler's “Jezebel” competed for the Best Picture with none other films: Capra's You Can't Take It With You,” which won, “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” “Alexander's Ragtime Band,” “Boys Town,” “The Citadel,” “Four Daughters,” “La Grande Illusion” (“Grand Illusion,” Renoir's French film), “Pygmalion,” and “Test Pilot.”

Oscar Records

Bette Davis became the second actress after Luise Rainer to win two Oscars (the first was in 1935, for “Dangerous”). Davis would be nominated 8 more times, but would not win for what's considered her best screen performance, Margo Channing in “All About Eve.”

Frank Capra became the first filmmaker to win three Director Oscars in such a brief period of time (1934, 1936, 1938).

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