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Dolores del Rio
Producer David O. Selznick initially considered filming this movie over a period of several years, casting a young actress in the role of Jennie and shooting portions of the film over time as the actress actually grew older in real life. (Shirley Temple, then under contract to Selznick, was reportedly intended for the role, had the movie been filmed that way.) In the end, however, Selznick abandoned the idea as too risky and difficult to film properly. See more »
While talking to Eke, Eben is standing on the left of the screen. After a close-up shot of Eke, Eben is on the right. See more »
There is no life, my darling, until you love and have been loved. And then there is no death.
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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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