Monday, April 26, 2010
Movie Review Monday~'Jezebel' (1938)
Directed by: William Wyler
Starring: Bette Davis, Fay Bainter, and Henry Fonda
I can't watch a William Wyler movie and NOT review it. He's one of my favorite directors of all time and his catalogue is next to none. This movie is not one of his best movies but it is undoubtedly the one that made Bette Davis a formidable screen presence. It is no wonder that she was so requested for the part of Scarlett O'Hara after having pulled this off, since she too portrays a spoiled, rebellious southern belle. Though this film will never live up to Gone With the Wind's 'technicolor' payoff, it carries alot of weight on it's own and is worth watching if for no other reason than to revel in the power of Bette's oscar winning role. Her somewhat surprising transformation, from the daring and impulsive flirt that dared to wear red to the Liberty Ball into the strong and self sacrificing lady she becomes, is a joy to behold. Henry Fonda is a bit deadpan here, leaving us to wonder why Julie was so enamoured of him. However, the story resonates and it is a film that will stand the test of time.
My rating: 8/10
Style Factor: The costumes in this film are astonishing, especially when you consider the black and white cinematography. The men are dressed impeccably and the women are hoop-skirted to the extreme. That famous red dress that Julie wears to the Liberty Ball is still effective, in spite of the lack of color. So kudos to costume designer Orry Kelly, and all those wonderful UNCREDITED hair and makeup artists who made this film ten times better than it otherwise would have been.
Style Factor: 8