Portrait of Jennie (1948)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance, Fantasy  |  22 April 1949 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 4,550 users  
Reviews: 114 user | 41 critic

A mysterious girl inspires a struggling artist.



(novel), (adaptation), 4 more credits »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Love Letters (1945)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Allen Quinton writes a fellow soldier's love letters; tragedy results. Later, Allen meets a beautiful amnesiac who fears postmen...

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Ann Richards
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Beautiful half-breed Pearl Chavez becomes the ward of her dead father's first love and finds herself torn between her sons, one good and the other bad.

Directors: King Vidor, Otto Brower, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Charles Bickford, William Eythe
Gone to Earth (1950)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A beautiful, superstitious, animal-loving Gypsy is hotly desired by a fox-hunting squire...even after she marries a clergyman.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Jennifer Jones, David Farrar, Cyril Cusack
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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 »

Directors: John Cromwell, Edward F. Cline, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten
Madame Bovary (1949)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A provincial doctor's wife's romantic illusions about life and social status lead her to betray her naive husband, take on lovers and run up ruinous debts.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Jennifer Jones, James Mason, Van Heflin
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In 1900, a young widow finds her seaside cottage is haunted...and forms a unique relationship with the ghost.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A serial killer (circa 1916) is targeting women with 'afflictions'; one night during a thunderstorm, mute Helen feels menaced.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Dorothy McGuire, George Brent, Ethel Barrymore
Pinky (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A light-skinned African American woman falls in love with a white doctor, though he is unaware of her true race.

Directors: Elia Kazan, John Ford
Stars: Jeanne Crain, Ethel Barrymore, Ethel Waters
Humoresque (1946)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A classical musician from the slums is sidetracked by his love for a wealthy, neurotic socialite.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Joan Crawford, John Garfield, Oscar Levant
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ex-bomber pilot is suspected of murdering his unfaithful wife.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A man and his wife decide they can afford to have a house in the country built to their specifications. It's a lot more trouble than they think.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Melvyn Douglas


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

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?


This was cinematographer Joseph H. August's last film. He died in late 1947 from a heart attack before the long and tumultuous production was completed, and was posthumously nominated for an Academy Award for Best Black & White Cinematography in 1949. Lee Garmes finished shooting the film, uncredited. See more »


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 »


Jennie Appleton: [to Eben] The strands of our lives are woven together.The world nor time can part us.
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 »


Referenced in Biography: Jennifer Jones: Portrait of a Lady (2001) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

1940's Classic
2 November 2003 | by (Overland Park, KS) – See all my reviews

Although it is a story that no doubt stands on its own as a cinema classic, this film for sure reminded me of Somewhere In Time, which came along a generation later. Both stories dealt with men of artistic temperament with perhaps too vivid imagination, (Was it imagination, or something more?), that met extraordinary women out of their respective places and time. But, Portrait of Jennie is unique for several reasons. Joseph Cotten has never been given his due as one of the excellent actors of his generation and it is truly a pity that he and female lead Jennifer Jones as Jennie are not well known as one of screendoms great male/female screen teams. As always, it is not only the enchanting story that makes this film a classic, but just as important are the presence of the capable players. Players such as Ethel Barrymore, Cecil Kellaway and Lillian Gish are only a few of the many who appeared and made this a very unique and excellent film. In 1934 New York City, starving artist Eben Adams (Cotten) is having trouble selling his paintings. It seems there just isn't enough emotion in them. However, all of this changes when befriended by a pair of sympathetic art dealers (Kellaway and Barrymore), but more importantly, when he meets Jennie for the first time. Jennie appears to him first as a young girl, but promises to `grow up quickly.' Each succeeding time that Adams encounters her, she is older and the relationship deepens. Adams is disturbed by her comments and realizess that, if statements concerning her past and family are true, she should be perhaps 20 years older. In the meantime, Adams is inspired to begin a portrait of her, the `Portrait of Jennie.'

By film's end we have the final encounter between Adams, who has gone to great lengths to determine if Jennie's past is as she says it is, and Jennie on a rocky seashore during a violent storm. I will not divulge the ending. I'll say Adams survives the storm and, with new found emotion and compassion, becomes a highly successful artist. The very last scene shows the portrait, classified a masterpeiece, hanging in a museum. There are excellent location shots of 1940's New York City and it's various areas of interest. The Portait of Jennie, which we see in all it's glory at film's end, could well be a masterpiece in itself as a painting of the beautiful Jennifer Jones. As the saying goes, they don't make ‘em like this anymore but, in this case, `they' don't have to. We have our Portrait of Jennie, a film which transcends time and has withstood the test of time very, very well.

53 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
Discuss Portrait of Jennie (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: