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Portrait of Jennie (1948)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance, Fantasy  |  22 April 1949 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 4,527 users  
Reviews: 114 user | 40 critic

A mysterious girl inspires a struggling artist.



(novel), (adaptation), 4 more credits »
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Portrait of Jennie (1948) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Miss Spinney
Mother Mary of Mercy
Gus O'Toole
Albert Sharpe ...
Florence Bates ...
Mrs. Jekes (landlady)
Felix Bressart ...
Capt. Cobb
Maude Simmons ...
Clara Morgan


Eben Adams is a talented but struggling artist in Depression era New York who has never been able to find inspiration for a painting. One day, after he finally finds someone to buy a painting from him, a pretty but odd young girl named Jennie Appleton appears and strikes up an unusual friendship with Eben. Written by Albert Sanchez Moreno ( with correction by John Knoderer (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 April 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tidal Wave  »

Box Office


$4,041,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(1956) (5.0) (L-R)


(green tint and sepia tone for final reel, excluding last shot)| (Technicolor) (final shot)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Feature film debut of David Wayne, Nancy Reagan (future First Lady) and Nancy Olsen. See more »


During the scene where Eben first meets Jennie in the park, the snow on the front of her coat comes and goes. See more »


Eben Adams: [to Jennie] Night's over; it's tomorrow.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Featured in Hollywood: The Selznick Years (1969) See more »


Jennie's Song
Music by Bernard Herrmann
Lyrics by Robert Nathan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the greatest stories of true love ever filmed
1 January 2005 | by (Mountains of Madness) – See all my reviews

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).

53 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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eeeeewwwww! stevezodiacxl5
A question for Americans. walkinginrain
Miss Spinney = Jennie? AndiB1986
I really enjoyed this movie, any suggestion ? antiquegirl12
I can't stop watching this movie... fsilva
Reminds me of Vertigo Hayes230
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