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 »
Special effects: Although almost the entire film is in black and white, the tidal wave sequence towards the end is shown in green tint, and the final shot of the completed portrait of Jennie is in full Technicolor. The original theatrical releases in Los Angeles (Carthay Circle Theatre), New York (Rivoli Theatre) and Boston (Esquire & Mayflower Theatres) presented the tidal wave sequence in Magnascope on the Cycloramic screen with Multi-Sound. The Cycloramic screen was claimed to be more reflective than regular screens with no distortion visible from any seat in the theatre, Multi-Sound was an early version of a Surround Sound-type speaker installation. Bosley Crowther, film critic for the New York Times, described it as "a howling hurricane that will blast you out of your seat." See more »
During Eben's conversation with Pete, it becomes clear that Pete's moustache is fake when it starts to come away from his face. See more »
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.
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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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