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

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 »

Goofs

As Eben clings to Jennie on the rocks at the Land's End lighthouse, they speak to one another, but their lips either aren't moving or aren't in sync with what they're saying. See more »

Quotes

Jennie Appleton: How beautiful the world is Eben! The sun goes down in in the same lovely sky. Just as it did yesterday, and will tomorrow.
Eben Adams: When is tomorrow, Jenny?
Jennie Appleton: Does it matter? It's always. This was tomorrow once.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with a book entitled THE PAINTINGS OF EBEN ADAMS with the inside page headed PORTRAIT OF JENNIE

Dated 1934

H · 30: W · 25 INCHES 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

Jennie's Song
(uncredited)
Music by Bernard Herrmann
Lyrics by Gordon Burdge
Sung by Jennifer Jones
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

This film haunts me
21 September 2004 | by wforstchenSee all my reviews

"Portrait of Jeannie" ran again tonight on TCM and yet again I sat there mesmerized, and yes, admittedly in tears. It is a haunting film, one that once seen echoes in memory. It fulfills an ideal of love found and lost, with a promise that it will be found again, this time forever.

The use of Debussy is inspiring, as is the sepia tone shots which impressed me even more than the famed green tinted finale of the storm. I do wonder how that effect of sepia was achieved, as if a rough layer of burlap was draped over the lens to create a look of photographs from a lost age. It creates a sense of 19th and early 20th century images that is stunning. I was in NYC this summer for a couple of days and found myself at a bookstore on Columbus Circle doing a book signing. After I was finished there I wandered into Central Park, on a mission to find the locations of where the wonderful sequence of Jeannie, ice skating, meets Joseph Cotton and their first stunningly filmed encounter at night on a pathway. What a thrill to find those spot.

I grew up in NJ back in the 1950s and remember the stories about the great blizzard of 1948 and do wonder if that blizzard was used by the director for the incredible outdoor shots of Jeannie's first meeting with her lover born too late and the ice skating scene.

To any who have yet to see this film. You might be a cynic, jaded by all that our world tosses your way. This film can reawaken within you the dream, or memory of an ideal love, the bittersweet sense of loss and of promise. Believe me, I tend towards "guy" films, but with "Jeannie," cynic that I can be at times, I still pull out the box of tissues, sit back, have a good cry (something I don't admit to my macho friends) and marvel at the timelessness of this incredible film.


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