7.7/10
5,705
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

Miss Spinney: Don't be soft, Matthews. I'm an old maid, and nobody knows more about love than an old maid.
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

During premiere engagements, the climactic storm sequence, along with being tinted green, was screened in Magnascope, an early widescreen format. The audio also changed from mono to an experimental multi-channel sound, to intensify the scene's overall effect. At the beginning of the sequence the curtains surrounding the screen would open, and the scene would fill the wider screen surface. At the end of the scene the curtains closed, and the remainder of the film was shown in its 1:1.37 ratio format, while the film's soundtrack reverted back to monaural. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Second Sight (1993) 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

 
The Enchanting Spirit of Central Park
22 March 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

It's the middle of the Depression, 1934, and struggling artist Joseph Cotten can't seem to find his muse. But one day he meets a strange, but enchanting girl while in Central Park. He resolves right then and there to paint a Portrait of Jennie.

Allowing for the fact that this is a fantasy, a whole lot of the story makes absolutely no sense. But you really don't care because Joseph Cotten and Jennifer Jones have an almost spiritual like chemistry. As Cotten investigates he finds there's real good reason for the girl's spirituality. Every time he meets her she seems to take some quantum leaps in her maturity.

The stars of Finian's Rainbow, Albert Sharpe and David Wayne, both appear in this film. This was David Wayne's big screen debut and I certainly did love the scene where he bamboozles Sharpe into commissioning Cotten to paint a mural of Michael Collins for his Irish pub. Cotten catches on and kind of goes with the flow.

Being this is a Jennifer Jones film by her husband David O. Selznick, this is still another vehicle for Selznick to exhibit the beauty that was Jennifer Jones. Every film she did, because Selznick interfered with all of them even if he wasn't directly producing, is a testament to his vision of her. Even when she's playing bad girls like Pearl Chavez or Ruby Gentry, you get a good idea what stirred David O. Selznick to devote the rest of his life to her career.

Ethel Barrymore as the society dowager and Lillian Gish as a Mother Superior are also well cast. Too bad those two had no scenes together, that would have been something.

Portrait of Jennie is an enchanting film about an enchanting girl played by one enchanting actress. What else can you say, but enchanting.


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