This is classic Bette at her best.
Some people say she only got the oscar as a consolation for not being cast a Scarlett O'hara, but this is much more her kind of character, ignoring the similarities to Gone With Wind, it is a superb piece of story telling.
The story is one of jealousy and manipulation, as is usual in many of her films, set against a backdrop of the deep southern states preparing for a coming war with the North, and trying to cope with an keeping yellow fever at bay.
She portays Julee, a spoiled indulged heiress engaged to Clem (Henry Fonda)who demands undivided attention from him and all around her.Flouting convention, in a fit of pique against Clem she attends the Olympus Ball dressed in a Bright red gown, knowing that unmarried girls were expected to wear white. She realises she has gone too far and begs to be taken home but Clem forces her to dance with him, shaming them both.
Clem leaves her, and New Orleans sortly after, and despite her conviction that he will call to see her as he usually does when she's been wilfull, he is gone for nearly a year.
On hearing of his return Julee invites him up to her plantation and plans to beg him to forgive her and take up where they left off. Her plans are spoiled however when he arrives with a new "Yankee" wife. Not deterred she tries to seduce him and is rejected. Now as a woman scorned she sets in motion a scenario which ends in a duel and a death. Added to this is an outbreak of yellow fever and you have all the ingredients for the kind of dramatic ending Bettes films are famous for.
A must for any Bette Davis lover