In 1858 France, Bernadette, an adolescent peasant girl, has a vision of "a beautiful lady" in the city dump. She never claims it to be anything other than this, but the townspeople all ... See full summary »
While husband Tim is away during World War II, Anne Hilton copes with problems on the homefront. Taking in a lodger, Colonel Smollett, to help make ends meet and dealing with shortages and ... See full summary »
Marriage broker Mae Swasey, who somewhat cynically arranges her loser clients' affairs, meets model Kitty Bennett and can't resist meddling in her life, by disentangling her from a married ... See full summary »
The life of spoiled rich Robert Merrick is saved through the use of a hospital's only resuscitator, but because the medical device cannot be in two places at once, it results in the death ... See full summary »
John M. Stahl
No credits at all are shown at the beginning except for the studio logo, not even the title of the film. Instead, we hear a narrator speaking the prologue, and then announcing, "And now, 'Portrait of Jennie'". The credits are saved for the end of the picture. See more »
One of the greatest stories of true love ever filmed
A bittersweet sense of melancholy permeates this stunning romantic fantasy, a film produced by David Selznick as a cinematic altar to his wife Jennifer Jones.
I adored Jones in Henry King's THE SONG OF BERNADETTE, but I love Jones (almost as much as Joseph Cotten did) in PORTRAIT OF JENNIE.
Cotten is Eben Adams, an artist who meets the enigmatic Jennie (Jones) in Central Park. Their time together is always limited for Jennie is compelled to return home to a place Cotten will never visit.
At first just a sweet schoolgirl, Jennie appears to have aged unnaturally every time she re-appears to Cotten -- eventually, she is old enough to acknowledge Cotten's romantic and carnal intentions towards her.
This unusual, unique studio pic epitomizes "dreamy" for it is exceptionally surreal and photographed in a strange, re-texturized black and white (von Trier's amazing BREAKING THE WAVES used a similar technique to introduce new scenes).
The climax, staged on a storm-swept island, is absolutely beautiful and immensely tragic.
Some have dismissed PORTRAIT OF JENNIE as amounting to nothing more than a series of pretty pictures. I passionately disagree. It is one of the greatest stories of true love ever filmed, and there is nothing false in its intensity or tone (not if you have loved like this).
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