Portrait of Jennie

  • Film
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A companion piece to the Dieterle/Selznick Love Letters, also starring Jones and Cotten; but where the earlier film remained rooted in superior romantic hokum, this one takes wing into genuine romantic fantasy through its tale of a love that transcends space and time as Cotten's struggling artist meets, falls in love with, and is inspired by a strangely ethereal girl (Jones) whom he eventually realises is the spirit of a woman long dead. Direction and performances are superb throughout, but the real star is Joseph August's camera, which conjures pure magic out of the couple's tender odyssey, from the gravely quizzical charm of their first encounter in snowy Central Park (when she is still a little girl, strangely dressed in clothes of bygone days) through to the awesome storm at sea that supernaturally heralds their final parting. Buñuel saw it and of course approved: 'It opened up a big window for me'.

Release details

Duration: 86 mins

Cast and crew

Director: William Dieterle
Screenwriter: Paul Osborn, Peter Berneis
Cast: Jennifer Jones
Joseph Cotten
Ethel Barrymore
Lillian Gish
Cecil Kellaway
David Wayne
Henry Hull
Florence Bates

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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1 person listening
Alan

I've loved this film for many years. I saw it first when I was a child on English TV and fell in love with Jennifer Jones. But the whole cast is perfect, I have a soft spot for the great Ethel Barrymore as Miss Spinney. It's an incredibly romatic film and weaves a seductive web on timlessness, and enchantment, to its tragic end. If you've never seen it give it a shot and allow the whole experience to just draw you in.

Alan

I've loved this film for many years. I saw it first when I was a child on English TV and fell in love with Jennifer Jones. But the whole cast is perfect, I have a soft spot for the great Ethel Barrymore as Miss Spinney. It's an incredibly romatic film and weaves a seductive web on timlessness, and enchantment, to its tragic end. If you've never seen it give it a shot and allow the whole experience to just draw you in.