Portrait of Jennie
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Top Customer Reviews
There's something with these people-meeting-from-different-times-theme-based films, that have this special, strange & weird effect on me, being this movie (in my opinion) the definite masterpiece of its kind. For those who are interested, besides the mentioned above, you can try both versions of "Smilin' Through" (1932 & 1941), "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" (1947), "Somewhere in Time" (1980), and although not strictly of the kind, "Peter Ibbetson" (1935).
Jennifer Jones does a very fine job in the difficult part of the ethereal Jennie, giving credibility at the character's different stages of her life. Joseph Cotten, a very fine actor, is absolutely believable as the obsessed artist, who learns (unknowingly) that until one really loves somebody, one hasn't really lived.
Ethel Barrymore, grand dame of the American Theater and an occasional character film actress, gives a great performance in a part worthy of her talent, as the owner of an Art Gallery who befriends Cotten, becoming sort of her mentor. Others in the exceptional supporting cast: Cecil Kellaway (as Barrymore's partner), sweet grand lady of the silent screen, the legendary Lillian Gish (as a Nun) and funny and very human David Wayne (as Cotten's pal).Read more ›
By 1948 David O. Selznick was fighting a losing war on a double front. His dreams of transforming his wife, Jennifer Jones into an actress, the stature of Garbo, had been met with increasing critical disdain. He was also by this point in his professional career well into a period of economic decline from which he and his studio would never recover. That "Portrait of Jennie" failed to find its audience at the box office suggests more of a post war cynicism for films with embellished romantic subplots - all of which had been highly successful and in great demand during Selznick's 30s tenure. However, at the time of its release it did nothing to alleviate Selznick's fiscal crisis.Read more ›
Cotten gives one of his best performances in this ethereal story. He's very convincing as the artist whose muse and love may very well be some sort of ghost. Jennifer Jones stars as the title character, and despite being given some heavy-handed dialogue, makes the character of Jennie quite believable at all stages of her life. The supporting cast is excellent, with particular praise going to a well cast Ethel Barrymore as the gallery owner who takes Cotten under her wing. She brings a weary, sad quality that matches the film perfectly.
The photography of the film is remarkable, having the quality of a painting throughout, with the last ten minutes very effectively filmed in Technicolor. The music also adds the other-worldly quality that permeates the movie.
The opening "lecture" of the film, however, is awkwardly done, hurt by some of the overbaked writing that occasionally plagues the dialogue. But the rest of the film succeeds admirably, creating a mood and romantic feeling that sustains the unusual story. It's unlike any other film you will see from that era.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed seeing Cotton and Jones but thought Cotton was a little old for the role. I like watching the classic movies, but this is a case of the book being better.Published 2 months ago by calalily
This is a great video, it appeals to so many people. A lovely romance and happy ending.Published 2 months ago by anonymous
This was a Christmas gift. Very pleased with product and delivery.Published 5 months ago by Cathi Berndt
Spiritual, haunting movie that's beautiful & sad yet eternally hopeful from an inspired tale about time & love everlasting brought so artistically to screen by David Selznick when... Read morePublished 10 months ago by J Maguire
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