Portrait of Jennie (1948) Poster

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  • A mysterious young woman named Jennie Appleton (Jennifer Jones) enters the life of starving artist Eben Adams (Joseph Cotten). Jennie claims to be the daughter of highwire performers who are currently performing at the Hammerstein Victoria Theater, except that the theater was demolished years ago. When Eben first meets Jennie, she is schoolgirl-aged. Over the next several months, she grows up before his eyes. Because Jennie has become his muse and he is falling in love with her, Eben seeks to unravel her past.

  • Portrait of Jennie (1940) is a novella by American novelist Robert Natham. The book was adapted for the screen by Leonardo Bercovici, Paul Osborn, and Peter Berneis.

  • The story opens in the winter of 1934 and ends almost a year later on 5 October.

  • Eben is commissioned to paint a mural of Mick Collins over the bar at Moore's Alhambra, a very Irish eatery. Michael 'Mick' Collins [1890-1922] was a leading figure in Ireland's movement for independence from England, which led to the establishment of the major portion of Ireland being declared an Irish Free State (northern Ireland opted to remain under English rule). Collins was appointed President under the Provisional Government. He was shot and killed in August 1922 by anti-IRA supporters, during the civil war between the IRA and pro-treaty forces.

  • The 'Shan Van Vocht' [Irish: The Poor Old Woman'] is a traditional Irish song stemming from the United Irishmen's Rebellion of 1798.

  • No. The movie portrait of Jennie was painted by Russian-American artist Robert Brackman, known for his portraits of oil mogul J.D. Rockefeller, Jr and aviator Charles Lindburgh.

  • Eben drives up to Cape Cod on October 4th. He charters a sailboat to get out to Land's End. A storm starts to brew. The waves are huge, and his boat crashes on the rocks. He climbs up into the lighthouse looking for Jennie, but she's not there. He sees another sailboat approaching the shore and rushes out, calling Jennie's name. Jennie responds. They try to make it to the lighthouse, but the tidal wave hits. Cut to the next morning. Eben is lying in bed, attended to by Captain Cobb (Clem Bevans) and Miss Spinney (Ethel Barrymore). Cobb explains that he was found after the storm hit and brought back, but no other boats were found. Eben tells Spinney how he tried to hold on to Jennie but couldn't. He thanks her for believing that he really saw Jennie again, and Spinney replies, 'You believe it. That's all that matters.' Eben notices that Spinney is holding Jennie's scarf. She explains that it was found near him on the beach. 'I haven't lost her,' Eben says happily. Cut to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where three schoolgirls are viewing the portrait of Jennie. One of the girls wonders whether Jennie was real. Another replies, 'She must have been or she couldn't look so alive.' Spinney, who has just walked up behind them, compliments the girl for her wisdom. The final scene is a viewing of a Technicolor shot of the portrait and Jennie's voiceover saying, 'Is it really of me? I think someday it will hang in a museum and people will come from all over the world to see it.'

  • No. The scenes at the lighthouse were shot at the historic Graves Light, a lighthouse located on The Graves, the outermost island of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, nine miles offshore of downtown Boston, Massachusetts.

  • Nancy Reagan, the future wife of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, is the first girl on the left.

  • Very similar to Portrait of Jennie, except that it features a woman falling in love with a ghost, is The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) (1947). Another similar movie from the 40s, except that it features the ghost of a witch, is I Married a Witch (1942) (1942). Other movies that feature falling in love with a ghost include Somewhere in Time (1980) (1980, in which a man falls in love with the woman in a portrait and travels back in time to find her.

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