Priam Farrel is a celebrated artist but a social recluse. When his valet dies of a sudden illness, a mix-up leads to the body being identified as Farrel's. The timid artist then assumes the... See full summary »
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.
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on Halloween night, October 31, 1949, with Joseph Cotten reprising his film role and Anne Baxter as Jennie. See more »
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 »
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 answers, but the bewilderment remains... Science tells us that nothing ever dies but only changes, that time itself does not pass but curves around us, and that the past and the future are together at our side for ever. Out of the shadows of knowledge, ...
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The film's opening has the usual Selznick mansion over which is "IN A TRADITION OF QUALITY". See more »
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 »
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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