Portrait of Jennie

Synopsis: Eben Adams is a talented but struggling artist in Depression era New York who has never been able to find inspiration for a painting. One day, after he finally finds someone to buy a painting from him, a pretty but odd young girl named Jennie Appleton appears and strikes up an unusual friendship with Eben.
Director(s): William Dieterle
Production: Selznick International
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
86 min

Since the beginning,

Man has looked into

the awesome reaches of infinity

and asked the eternal questions :

"What is time ?

What is space ?

"What is life ?

What is death ?"

Through a hundred civilisations,

philosophers and scientists

have come with answers.

But will doubt remains,

for each human soul

must find the secret of its own faith.

The tender and haunting legend

of a portrait of Jennie

is based on the

two ingredient of faith :

truth and hope.

There is such a portrait hung in

the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

And there was such a girl

named Jennie who sat for it.

So much is true.

For the rest, science tells

us that nothing ever dies,

but only changes.

But time itself does not pass,

but curves along us.

And the past and the future are

together on our side forever.

Out of the shadows of knowledge

and out of a painting hung on

a museum wall comes our story.

The truth of which lies

not on our screen,

but in your heart.

And now,

Portrait of Jennie.

New York is a cold place.

It was no warmer in

the winter of 1934.

Yet there is a type of

suffering for the artist,

which is worse than any

winter or part of it can do.

It is more like a

winter of the mind.

Dreadful feeling of the worlds indifference.

My courage had all run out.

Yes Sir, What can I do for you?

Well you can buy one of

my pictures perhaps

Yes, but we buy very very little,

almost nothing.

Times being what they are.

However, let me see what you have.

- Hmm, Hmm, landscapes.

Most like here, too bad.

These are the things

I did in Cape Cod.

These are the fisheries in North Truro.

Land's End.

Hmm, landscapes.

Theres some sketches of the city.

Thats the bridge.

There is a good bridge, but I

just don't happen to like bridges

They come everyday by a dozen

Miss Spinney, you stuffled me.

This is my partmer, Miss Spinney.

I don't think I caught your name.

I didn't say it.

My name is Eben Adams.

- What are you so dfensive about ?

- I'm not.

"I am Eben Adams."

Has to be better if you weren't.

You eat more.

Don't be in such a hurry.

Lets see what you got here.

Nothing that can interest

you and your partner.

You are probably right.

I like to see what interests you.

Sit down, Adams.

Maybe you do not sell anything,

but be sure rest.

I would advise you to sit.

- You paint nice flowers.

- Thank you.

- Have you read Robert Browning ?

- Long time ago.

Do you remember his poem

about Andrea del Sarto, the perfect painter ?

Proportion, anatomy, colour,

it had everything and nothing.

He painted a perfect hand

A Raphal

drew a famous claw.

Raphal loved his work.

Poor Andy del Sarto.

I think I get your point.

There isn't a proper

love in any of these.

- Come on Miss Spinney.

- Don't be soft, Matthews.

I am an old maid, nobody knows

more about love than an old maid.

Whats the matter with you, Adams ?

You have to learn to care

deeply to do something.

Now take the flower.

I have a weakness for flowers.

He doesn't do them too badly.

If its done 12,50 $ for.

Any arguement, there is no sales.

No arguements.

You pay him, Mr. Matthews.

Do you have a change for 1 $ ?

I haven't got a dime.

You lose 50 cents.

If you want more flowers,

I can't cower than a home.

I was afraid of that.

Good Day.

Thank you very much.

Good Day, Miss Spinney.

I don't think you really

wanted the picture.

If I hadn't wanted it,

I wouldn't have taken it.

You have beautiful eyes.

Good Bye.

Dear, I am afraid that the picture isn't

worth more than a couple of dollars.

I know, but Adams is.

Yes, but we are supposed to do

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Paul Osborn

Paul Osborn (September 4, 1901 – May 12, 1988) was an American playwright and screenwriter. Osborn's notable original plays are The Vinegar Tree, Oliver Oliver, and Morning's at Seven and among his several successful adaptations, On Borrowed Time has proved particularly popular. Counted among his best-known screenplays would be the adaptation of John Steinbeck's East of Eden and Wild River for his friend Elia Kazan, South Pacific and Sayonara directed by Joshua Logan, as well as Madame Curie, The Yearling, and Portrait of Jennie. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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