7.8/10
4,809
115 user 44 critic

Portrait of Jennie (1948)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Fantasy | 22 April 1949 (USA)
A mysterious girl inspires a struggling artist.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Miss Spinney
...
Mother Mary of Mercy
...
Matthews
...
Gus O'Toole
Albert Sharpe ...
Moore
...
Eke
...
Mrs. Jekes (landlady)
...
Pete
...
Capt. Cobb
Maude Simmons ...
Clara Morgan
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Storyline

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 (a.moreno@mindspring.com) with correction by John Knoderer (GodLovesEveryone.org@mazes.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 April 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tidal Wave  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,041,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(1956) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The portrait of Jennie supposedly painted by Joseph Cotten's character, Eben Adams, was in reality created by noted portrait artist Robert Brackman. Jennifer Jones came in for more than a dozen sittings in Brackman's Connecticut studio. Actually Robert Brackman was obliged to paint not only one but two versions as the first one, described as "lush" and "opulent" by the artist, was scrapped after script changes necessitated a completely new and more simple one. A black-and-white photo of the first version can be seen in one of the books on Brackman. The painting was a prized possession of producer Selznick and hung in his home from 1946 until his death. See more »

Goofs

Although the movie opens in the winter of 1934, in the scene where Eben first meets Jennie in the park, several 1940s cars can be seen passing in the background. See more »

Quotes

Jennie Appleton: [singing] Where I come from nobody knows and where I am going everything goes. The wind blows, the sea flows, nobody knows. And where I am going, nobody knows.
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 »

Connections

Featured in Nothing Lasts Forever (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Arabesque No. 1 in E
(uncredited)
Music by Claude Debussy
Adapted by Dimitri Tiomkin
Heard as background music and during closing credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A surprisingly simple and wonderful gift!
25 December 1999 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

Years ago, during Christmas season, "It's A Wonderful Life" (1946) made a huge difference in an otherwise humbug seasonal experience, one all too typical for me. Today, Christmas 1999, "Portrait of Jennie" (1948) gave me the same renewal of spirit and belief in transcendant human values. Similar themes and techniques underlay both films. Hopelessness and a search for meaning and redemption is met in each by a mystical and transforming experience. Black and white photography artfully supports and enhances the plot, especially in "Portrait of Jeannie". Transcendence of monetary woes is another common thread. Unlike the Jimmy Stewart character in "It's A Wonderful Life", Joseph Cotton's struggling artist is doing what he wants to do, not lost in regrets over missed opportunities. Still he is lost, alone and unsatisfied. He finds his salvation in his work, when inspired by a ghostly acquaintance (Jennifer Jones). While there is a nod to traditional religion, the underlying theme of "I believe, if you believe" outweighs any mixed messages. The film unfolds steadily and predictably, but ultimately gives the gifts of hope and joy to any viewer. In my case I would add: despite the viewers original mood. Films like these don't come along too often. Without an ounce of traditional Christmas symbolism this film should be another holiday classic. The transition from humbug to hope is a classic holiday story and gift! As a perennial grouch at Christmas, I am surprised to find another one like it again. Just last night I said humbug to watching "It's a Wonderful Life Again." There must have been something in those post-war years when hope and optimism came rushing back filling the screen, replacing the fear and despair felt by so many. Whatever, give yourself a gift and watch this movie sometime, then pass it along. I'm glad I did!


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