Portrait of Jennie (1948)

Approved   |    |  Drama, Romance, Fantasy


Portrait of Jennie (1948) Poster

A mysterious girl inspires a struggling artist.


7.7/10
5,731

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  • Portrait of Jennie (1948)
  • Joseph Cotten and Jennifer Jones in Portrait of Jennie (1948)
  • Jennifer Jones in Portrait of Jennie (1948)
  • Joseph Cotten and Jennifer Jones in Portrait of Jennie (1948)
  • Joseph Cotten and Jennifer Jones in Portrait of Jennie (1948)
  • Portrait of Jennie (1948)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


31 October 2003 | Boyo-2
9
| Very interesting, very hard to forget
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.

Critic Reviews


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Did You Know?

Trivia

The quotation from Keats during the opening narration "Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." are lines 49-50 of the poet's Ode on a Grecian Urn (written 1819).


Quotes

Narrator in prologue: Since time began man has looked into the awesome reaches of infinity and asked the eternal question: What is time? What is life? What is space? What is death? Through a hundred civilizations, philosophers and scientists have come together with ...


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.


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".


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.


Soundtracks

The Girl With The Flaxen Hair
(uncredited)
Music by
Claude Debussy
Adapted by Dimitri Tiomkin
Played often in the score

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama | Romance | Fantasy | Mystery

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