7.7/10
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120 user 49 critic

Portrait of Jennie (1948)

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

Director:

William Dieterle

Writers:

Robert Nathan (from the book by), Paul Osborn (screen play) | 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:
Jennifer Jones ... Jennie Appleton
Joseph Cotten ... Eben Adams
Ethel Barrymore ... Miss Spinney
Lillian Gish ... Mother Mary of Mercy
Cecil Kellaway ... Matthews
David Wayne ... Gus O'Toole
Albert Sharpe Albert Sharpe ... Moore
Henry Hull ... Eke
Florence Bates ... Mrs. Jekes (landlady)
Felix Bressart ... Pete
Clem Bevans ... Capt. Cobb
Maude Simmons 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

Taglines:

ARE YOU IN LOVE THIS WEEK? If you are - you'll get a double thrill from this most romantic of all love stories about a man who was in love with a girl who lived twenty years before his time. If you aren't - it may change your ideas on the subject for the rest of your life.


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tidal Wave See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,041,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (1956) (5.0) (L-R)| Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original Robert Nathan novella Jennie was visible to other characters beside Evan. In the film she was not. See more »

Goofs

Whilst 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 »

Quotes

Narrator in prologue: Since time began man has looked into the awesome reaches of infinity and asked the eternal question: What is time? What is life? What is space? What is death? Through a hundred civilizations, philosophers and scientists have come together with answers, but the bewilderment remains... Science tells us that nothing ever dies but only changes, that time itself does not pass but curves around us, and that the past and the future are together at our side for ever. Out of the shadows of knowledge, ...
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 »

Alternate Versions

Originally, all television prints were completely in black-and-white, but by the 1980s the shot of the portrait at the very end was again shown in color. More recently, though, the greenish tint used in the storm scene (lasting about ten minutes) was also restored. Numerous sources, most notably "Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide," have stated that the final reel, save for that color shot, was green, but it was the storm sequence alone, regardless of where it falls on the reels. While the 1990 Fox Video VHS release returned to black-and-white for the two scenes between the storm sequence and the painting-shot, the version currently shown on Turner Classic Movies has them in sepia tint. Which accurately reflects the original theatrical prints is undetermined, but both have the end titles in sepia. See more »

Connections

Version of Boy Meets Girl: Portrait of Jennie (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

The Girl With The Flaxen Hair
(uncredited)
Music by Claude Debussy
Adapted by Dimitri Tiomkin
Played often in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
PORTRAIT OF JENNIE -- beauty, fantasy and tears
7 August 2008 | by e_hoffmanSee all my reviews

This is my first comment for this site, so be gentle. The history of PORTRAIT OF JENNIE is fairly well known...a love letter from producer David O. Selznick to Jennifer Jones...and it shows by giving her, in my opinion, one of the best showcases for her talents at that time. I have read the pros and cons about this film, but each time I watch it, which isn't often, being the romantic that I am, I can sense it in the way she was treated in the film.

Why don't I watch it that often? Because it touches me in personal ways in terms of the loneliness of the two main characters, the yearning to find someone and not be alone. But most importantly, the music score arranged by the great Dmitri Tiomkin from the works of Claude Debussy. I am sorry that nobody has ever issued a track LP or CD of Tiomkin's score. To me it is a beautiful, sometimes haunting arrangement, with the theme used for Jennie touching me...I believe it is called THE GIRL WITH THE FLAXEN HAIR...I could be wrong. At points it became painful for me to watch as the film touches certain personal pains (the loneliness part particularly, more so since I lost my parents recently after caring for them and have no family to speak of). When the final scene occurs, showing the portrait itself in the museum in full color and Tiomkin's music plays over it, I am in tears. It sounds stupid, doesn't it...

The film itself is not the perfect movie that Selznick had wanted but the flaws are minor to the final result. It is a film not just for those with a romantic streak still in them, but also for the lonely, maybe giving them a message of hope.

I am glad that, unlike many classic films, this one has been preserved and is available on video. Well, that's my rambling on the subject. It may not be film criticism but its how I feel about PORTRAIT OF JENNIE.


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