(Review originally written at 16 September 2008)

This was not a movie that I particularly liked watching (perhaps it's just not my favorite genre) but it simply was one fine made movie, that is effective in basically everything it tries to achieve. There is no denying it that this is a great movie.

It features a strong dramatic story, in which Bette Davis plays the central character. It's a strong and independent woman for her time (the movie is set in the 1850's), yet also spoiled and stubborn, who of course eventually has to pay for her deeds.

Bette Davis plays a role in which she could had easily gone over-the-top with, since its a very stubborn and spoiled character but instead she plays her role more humane and realistic, which also keeps her likable. She even won an Oscar for her role in this movie. Western expert actor Henry Fonda also plays one fine role and I especially liked the work he did with the accent within this movie. The movie further more among others also features the always great Donald Crisp. Donald Crisp was never an actor who played the main lead in a movie but he always played small and humble but great roles, which also should be a reason why he got cast in so many fine and well known movies throughout his career. The same somewhat also goes for George Brent, who plays Buck Cantrell in this movie. It's a well cast movie with fine acting performances, which mostly also carries the movie.

Max Steiner also delivers one fine Oscar nominated musical score for this movie. Steiner was one of the big composers from the early days of film-making for a good reason.

Like basically every period movie at the time, it's a fine looking movie with some impressive sets and costumes. It's often being compared to "Gone with the Wind" due to its story, themes, time period the movie is set in and it got shot around the same time but this really ain't fair in my opinion. "Jezebel" isn't even nowhere close in the same league and epic proportions as "Gone with the Wind" and "Jezebel" is a more light and less complicated one, that has a totally different style and breaths a total different atmosphere, not in the least also since "Gone with the Wind" is a movie in color of course.

A fine multiple Oscar nominated and winning movie from William Wyler.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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