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Jezebels at the movies: Bette Davis, Ann-Margret and a dog voiced by Fergie.

Jezebels at the movies: Bette Davis, Ann-Margret and a dog voiced by Fergie. (photo)

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“Marmaduke,” currently pulling an 8% freshness rating at Rotten Tomatoes, still isn’t managing to inspire the critical ire that followed “Sex and the City 2.”

But while reading Michelle Orange’s review at Movieline (“it’s not the kids or the Marmaduke fans (?) I worry about — neither is known for their discriminating taste — it’s the parents”), I became aware of something I’d never suspected, something of terrible importance: there’s a dog named “Jezebel” in this movie, and she’s voiced by Fergie.

As Orange notes, Jezebel is “a backlit Collie,” which we know is no good; Marmaduke should really be gunning for Mazie, as voiced by Emma Stone (who’s a better choice in real life as well).

06032010_jezebel.jpgAre the six-year-olds who are the target audience for “Marmaduke” so up on their Biblical allusions they’d grasp why this dog is named Jezebel? The original Jezebel was eventually eaten by dogs. Is giving the name to a dog some kind of weird joke?

“Jezebel” as a character name is historically loaded in several directions. The best-known manifestation was probably Bette Davis in 1938’s “Jezebel” — though the movie didn’t have the gall to name her character that (she was just plain old Julie Marsden). Paulette Goddard actually was Jezebel in in 1953’s “Sins of Jezebel,” which kicks off with a freakishly dull, nearly four-minute recap of the Book of Genesis’ highlights, but eventually gets around to Goddard vamping it up in true Biblical bad girl fashion:

Then there’s Ann-Margret in “The Cheap Detective” (“Jezebel Dezire. Accent on desire.”):

There’s also a sexploitation movie (“The Joys of Jezebel”), a character of that name in “Four Rooms” (she’s a witch, natch), and Batman villainess Jezebel Jet — former supermodel and someone who ran “a small African country,” and happened to be black, placing her in the uneasy Jezebel tradition.

But Jezebel as a villainous talking dog? Ladies and gentlemen, this is a first. Treasure this moment, and be prepared to someday answer awkward questions from your kids.

[Photos: “Marmaduke,” 20th Century Fox, 2010; “Sins of Jezebel,” VCI Entertainment, 1953]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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