7.7/10
5,522
118 user 48 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
Edit

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

Bernard Herrmann was hired to write an original background score and did compose several themes, but due to various production delays as well as the fact that Herrmann was tiring of David O. Selznick's demands, he dropped out and was replaced by Dimitri Tiomkin who, at the insistence of Selznick, ended up using themes by Claude Debussy. At the time Tiomkin was condemned by his colleagues for his adaptations. All that remains of Herrmann's contribution is the haunting song sung by Jennie entitled "Where I Come From, Nobody Knows". 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

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


Soundtracks

Nuages
(uncredited)
Music by Claude Debussy
Adapted by Dimitri Tiomkin
Heard over opening narration
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Very interesting, very hard to forget
31 October 2003 | by Boyo-2See all my reviews

This movie has quite a lot going for it.

First of all, it is beautifully photographed - at times it looks as though you are watching a portrait moving. The acting is all terrific - Joseph Cotten is perfect as a down-on-his-luck artist who begins by selling a print to Cecil Kellaway and Ethel Barrymore. They encourage him to draw people rather than the still life pictures he'd been doing. He eventually runs into Jennie in Central Park and she intrigues him, to say the least. She mentions places and times that have long passed and sings a song that he cannot forget. The next time he runs into her she's grown up a little, then every time they see one another she'd matured more and more. They normally see each other in Central Park but he does her portrait and its a masterpiece.

Movie is very unconventional for its time - there are no opening credits, the end credits are listed as "The actors are Jennifer Jones, etc., The Supporting Actors are Ethel Barrymore, etc."; a black woman is used as an actual character rather than some sort of domestic; and its not all wrapped up in a pretty bow at the end. It might seem wordy and silly to some, but I really loved it.

I've admired Jennifer Jones since seeing "The Song of Bernadette" as a kid. Aside from that movie and "Beat the Devil", unfortunately I haven't seen a lot of her movies that seemed up to her talent. In this, she is exceptionally good and its not just a showcase for her talents put on screen by David O. Selznick - in reality, she's in it far less than Cotten.

I understand the movie won an Oscar for the special effects, which are good but I didn't need them to love the movie. 9/10.


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