Our favorite magnolia. A mesmerizing romantic melodrama with Bette Davis playing a southern belle so peverse she ruins her own chances, as well as shaking up the Olde South. Without Davis, who snared her second Oscar for the role--JEZEBEL was her consolation prize for losing
the plum role in GONE WITH THE WIND, and there was a rush to get it into theaters first--this would seem mildewed indeed. But because her nervy, edgy performance conveys so much rage it leads convincingly into the film's second half where raging fires and fever sweep through New Orleans.
We may never really know if Davis and director Wyler had a great, doomed love affair, but the film looks ...