7.7/10
5,704
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

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 »

Goofs

When Eben is outside at the top of the lighthouse near the end of the movie, two doors can be seen behind him. The one on the right is open then closed then open again in successive shots. See more »

Quotes

Eben Adams: [to Jennie] Night's over; it's tomorrow.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no credits at all at the beginning of the film; even the title is not disclosed until the end of the film. Furthermore, several credited workers on the film are not designated by their actual function on the movie, but simply as "staff executives". 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

Features The Whoopee Party (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

Arabesque No. 1 in E
(uncredited)
Music by Claude Debussy
Adapted by Dimitri Tiomkin
Heard as background music and during closing credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Eerie, magnetic and just incredibly lovely.
3 December 2008 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Eben Adams is a struggling artist who feels his work has no real substance, but one day as he mopes around Central Park, a beautiful young girl by the name of Jennie Appleton meets his acquaintance. Totally enchanting, Jennie engages Eben in a conversation that doesn't sit quite right with the time, then after singing him a haunting little tune she vanishes as quickly as she had appeared. From this point on, Eben's life will never be the same, both artistically and emotionally.

Portrait Of Jennie can be bracketed in the multi genre department, part mystery, part romance and certainly fantastical, it's a wonderfully put together picture that is ready made to lift the gloom on a dark winters night. It's the sort of picture that I personally believe you are better going into without any real sense of plot preparation, there are plenty of great reviews for this picture readily available, and all are justified, I can but merely concur with the many positives this delightful picture has garnered.

Directed with a very astute awareness of the theme by William Dieterele, the picture benefits from excellent technical aspects across the board. Joseph Cotten gives perhaps one of his greatest performances as Eben Adams, while the classically beautiful Jennifer Jones (Jennie Appleton) lights up the screen as each scene with her in becomes hauntingly emotional. Wonderful support comes from Ethel Barrymore & Cecil Kellaway, whilst Lillian Gish pops up for a crucial, and impacting piece of work. Joseph August's cinematography is simply brilliant, nominated for an academy award, the way he uses ethereal hues to influence the story is easy on the eye and fully forms the atmosphere. Dimitri Tiomkin takes up scoring duties, appealingly influenced by Claude Debussy, Tiomkin lays down a memorable score that has much to savour. And the final pat on the back goes to the special effects team who picked up the academy award for their excellent efforts.

Technically brilliant and with a story to match, Portrait Of Jennie is highly recommended viewing to those who want to be taken far away to some place rather nice, see it with someone you care about and give them a hug as the ending plays out. 8.5/10


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