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With Jezebel's box office success, Jack Warner agreed to give Bette Davis a new contract at decidedly better terms. He also offered her two terrible scripts in a row. She celebrated her new success by turning the films down and going on suspension for a month.

Jezebel launched a string of box office hits that made Davis one of the most popular actresses in the movies. It also started a record five year run during which Davis was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar® each year (only Greer Garson would match her). Among her later hits were Dark Victory (1939), The Letter (1940) and Now, Voyager (1942).

Independent producer David O. Selznick was so impressed with the film's score he hired Max Steiner to write the background music for Gone with the Wind (1939), which became one of the most famous scores in film history.

Jezebel may not have been the first film about a southern belle but it was certainly the first to feature one who was strong-willed and independent. Other films with similar heroines which followed in the wake of Jezebel was the much more famous Gone with the Wind with Vivien Leigh, and Elizabeth Taylor in Raintree County (1957).

by Frank Miller

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