Portrait of Jennie

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Overview

William Dieterle's romantic drama Portrait of Jennie gets a second release on DVD with this title from MGM/UA. The film is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English, Spanish, and French subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence, but this DVD is offered at an inexpensive list price making it worthwhile.
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Overview

William Dieterle's romantic drama Portrait of Jennie gets a second release on DVD with this title from MGM/UA. The film is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English, Spanish, and French subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence, but this DVD is offered at an inexpensive list price making it worthwhile.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Romantic fantasies like Portrait of Jennie are remarkably hard to pull off. A children's fantasy, like The Wizard of Oz, is easier, because it's already one step removed from reality. But pictures like Jennie are grounded in the real world, and the tone has to be kept exactly right or else the project veers perilously off into whimsy or preciousness; even a slight detour can be fatal, and it is to Jennie's -- and director William Dieterle's -- credit that this never happens here. It's not that Jennie is perfect; the opening narration is ponderous and pretentious, and one does get a little tired of hearing the title character described as having such a mysterious, airy quality about her, to cite just two examples. But these flaws don't intrude on the reality/fantasy mix, and they're easy to forgive, especially given how on the mark the screenplay generally is. And Dieterle provides near perfect direction, full of beauty and sensitivity. Best of all, Jennie has Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten. Jones may have won her Oscar for The Song of Bernadette, but her work in Jennie is better and is arguably the finest of her career. She perfectly conveys the many different ages of the character, and though her appearances are sporadic and cover a range of time, she finds a through line for the character so that she creates a full portrait rather than bits and pieces. Cotten is sublime, capturing the moodiness and self-pity of his character, as well as the anger and bitterness underneath, but making him at all times likeable and someone whom we care for and about. The supporting cast is also strong, with Ethel Barrymore's lovely patroness, clearly in love with Cotten but aware that it's a no-win situation, especially noteworthy. Throw in cinematography and a score that are equals in atmosphere, and the result is a glorious romance.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/19/2004
  • UPC: 027616903846
  • Original Release: 1948
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:26:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joseph Cotten Eben Adams
Jennifer Jones Jennie Appleton
Ethel Barrymore Miss Spinney
David Wayne Gus O'Toole
Florence Bates Mrs. Jekes the Landlady
Lillian Gish Mother Mary of Mercy
Cecil Kellaway Mr. Matthews
Esther Somers Mrs. Bunce
Albert Sharpe Mr. Moore
John Farrell Policeman
Felix Bressart Pete
Maude Simmons Clara Morgan
Clem Bevans Capt. Cobb
Robert Dudley Old Mariner
Henry Hull Eke
Anne Francis Teenager
Brian Keith Ice-skating extra
Technical Credits
William Dieterle Director
Joseph H. August Cinematographer
Lucinda Ballard Costumes/Costume Designer
Leonardo Bercovici Screenwriter
Peter Berneis Screenwriter
Mel Berns Sr. Makeup
Mel Burns Makeup
Claude E. Carpenter Set Decoration/Design
Paul Eagler Special Effects
David Hempstead Associate Producer
Bernard Herrmann Score Composer, Songwriter
J. McMillan Johnson Production Designer, Special Effects
Anna Hill Johnstone Costumes/Costume Designer
William Morgan Editor
Paul Osborn Screenwriter
Joseph B. Platt Art Director
David O. Selznick Producer
Clarence Slifer Special Effects
Dimitri Tiomkin Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Gerard J. Wilson Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Faith/Main Title [6:09]
2. A Different Time [5:17]
3. Something to Live For [5:28]
4. "Up the Rebels" [5:18]
5. Growing Up Fast [5:39]
6. Sharing the Past [5:30]
7. Listening to the Stars [4:22]
8. Erin Go Bragh [5:21]
9. Convent Girl [6:04]
10. Unfinished Masterpiece [5:48]
11. Done [5:32]
12. Truth & Beauty [5:02]
13. Her Last Letter [4:48]
14. October Fifth [3:58]
15. The Great Wave [6:49]
16. Forever/End Credits [5:10]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Scenes
   Subtitles
      English
      Français
      Español
      Subtitles: None
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

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3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2011

    oh, yes, oh,yes

    I haven't seen Somewhere in Time yet, nor have I read the book. But those could only be rip-offs of this one. Can watch and re-watch and read and re-read "Jennie". Book and movie end differently, but no matter. Nathan also has written other books on the theme of the eternity of love and also on the beauty of death-but-love-not-dying. He's also a poet, which is why his prose is so gor-jus.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    An incredibly haunting movie

    Years ago, I saw this movie on television, and I was completely mesmerized by, not only the beauty of the black and white cinematography, but by the haunting film-noir style. The music is captivating. I know you will love this beautiful film, as much as so many of us did, when we first viewed it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    For every library!

    Yes, this is a 'classic', but evenaside from that, this is a moviefor everyone's library! I won't getinto the story except to say that itworks on various levels: a lovestory, a metaphor, psychological,mystical -- it's all of these. I sawthis movie for the first time manyyears ago in an art theater and ithas stayed with me ever since. ThisDVD doesn't have the bonus extraseveryone likes, but the quality isworthwhile all around. Numerousscenes in the movie are some of thefinest black-and-whites a fan willever find. The movie was purposelyfilmed to provide settings, shots,that in themselves look like paintings, artwork to lovingly display on walls. The story hasmeaning for artists, musicians,poets as well as for those intometaphysical and philosophicalleanings. 'Jennie' representsTruth; keep that in mind whenviewing it, and see what enfoldsin thought! It's great that Barnesand Noble is carrying this, and atan excellent price.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews