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Jezebel Blu-ray Review

Jezebel.jpg

Bette Davis carries “Jezebel.”

Directed by William Wyler, “Jezebel” is a costume drama/period piece set in 1852 New Orleans that focuses on socialites and southern belles. More specifically, one such southern belle named Julie who breaks social norms and is seen as improper, selfish, scandalous and even rebellious. Her behavior and games wind up pushing away her lover Preston (a banker). Years later, Preston returns and Julie hopes to make amends with him, but he has a new wife. Can Julie win back Preston? Can she redeem herself? Will Jezebel turn to Buck who has an interest in her? What will she do?

1938’s “Jezebel” is the definition of a melodrama. There’s romance, a shattered romance, tragedy, heartfelt moments, and a plot about a yellow fever spreading across the land. Truthfully, the story isn’t particularly engaging as it feels like just another costume drama melodrama only with some mildly subplots about male and female roles and societal norms. The movie also waters down history and suffers as a result of it with its shameful depiction of African-American slaves being seemingly content.

The lone bright spot of the movie is, of course, Bette Davis herself who rightly won an Oscar for her role as Julie. She lights up the screen and carries the movie on her own. Sure, there’s quality supporting performances from the likes of Henry Fonda, Fay Bainter and George Brent, but Davis is the star who is single handedly creating the on screen drama that makes the movie watchable.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? Expect a beautiful B&W transfer.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A pretty standard Mono track but it’s still a quality one.

Extras:

* “Jezebel” trailer

* “Daffy Duck In Hollywood” cartoon

* “Rambling ‘Round The Hollywood Studio With The Candid Cameraman”- A cameraman talks to Bette Davis about “Jezebel.” A few clips of the movie are also shown.

* “Melody Masters: Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra”- Performances of the musicians.

* “Jezebel: Legend of the South”- A 24 minute featurette about the film.

* An informative commentary by film historian Jeanine Basinger.

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October 8, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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