Jack Warner optioned GONE WITH THE WIND as a possible Bette Davis vehicle before Margaret Mitchell's novel was published. But then Davis and Warner became involved in a protracted legal battle over her contract. Warner won in court but, not satisfied, in revenge also dropped his option on GONE WITH THE WIND. David O. Selznick quickly snapped up the rights. When the book became a bestseller and Selznick generated enormous publicity with his nationwide search to discover an actress to play Scarlett O'Hara, Warner decided to produce his own southern-belle movie. He acquired Owen Davis's play JEZEBEL and planned to release it before Selznick's movie appeared. Then, in order to persuade Davis to play the part of Julie Marsden, Warner paid the legal costs that she had incurred in their court battle.
When the filming of JEZEBEL began, its director and star often clashed. On the first day of filming, Wyler made Davis go through 48 takes of the scene in which she hoists up her skirts with her riding crop before entering her home. She thought she played the scene in exactly the same way each time, but after demanding to see the rushes, she found that in the later takes, when she had become progressively more annoyed with Wyler, she was in fact more vibrant. As the filming continued, they understood each other better, to the point where they had an affair before the filming was complete.
Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress 1938 Fay Bainter American Actress
Academy Awards Best Actress 1938 Bette Davis Oscar winning american actress, JEZEBEL, DANGEROUS