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 »
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 »
Architect Peter Ibbetson is hired by the Duke of Towers to design a building for him. Ibbetson discovers that the Duchess of Towers, Mary, is his now-grown childhood sweetheart. Their love ... See full summary »
After the film flopped at the box-office, the film was re-released under the title "Tidal Wave" in 1950, marketing it to a different audience in the hopes of making a profit. The re-release also flopped. 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 »
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 »
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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