Outliers in Hollywood Melodrama

Brent 2022-07-04 14:24:07

By Gem Wheeler (Little White Lies)

Translator: csh

The translation was first published in "Iris"

"The Picture of Jenny" should be a sad movie, and in many ways it is. The film's story revolves around the tragic fate of a woman doomed to perish in a violent sea storm. The film stars a pair of lovers who are separated from each other most of the time, but there are occasionally peculiar moments that bring them together for brief moments of happiness. In those quieter times, the film conveys feelings of loss and grief, as well as the throes of loneliness, all thanks to the brilliant performances of those brilliant actors.

Based on the 1940 novel of the same name by Robert Nathan, the film was also William Diattle's directorial debut and premiered in New York City on Christmas Day 1948. In April of the following year, the film was released in the United States. The film failed at the box office in its first run, however, it earned good reviews from critics. The film was re-released in 1950 under a more cynical title, "Tsunami," but this time around, it didn't do well at the box office either.

The production process of this work was fraught with difficulties and obstacles, and the film's original composer Bernard Herman was replaced by the new composer Demeter after a lot of arguments with the producer David O. Selznick. Replaced by Lee Timkin. The death of cinematographer Joseph H. August in 1947 also dealt a heavy blow to the film (his work was done by an uncredited cinematographer, Lee Galmes). In the end, the production cost and shooting time of "The Picture of Jenny" greatly exceeded the original plan, which also led to the end of Selznick's career.

It's not hard to understand that this eerie and melancholy film didn't find its audience when it first came out. Anyone expecting that kind of straight-forward melodrama will be disappointed when they watch this film. Beneath the veneer of romance, The Picture of Jenny is a deep meditation on passion, achievement, and the power of art to change things.

On a cold winter day in 1934, landscape painter Eben Adams (Joseph Cotton) makes a living by selling his mundane paintings, while he also attracts art dealer Miss Spinney (Ethel Barry). Moore) attention. She was moved not so much by this young man as by his lifeless works. She believes that if Eben can find the right inspiration, his name will go down in history.

One day, Eben meets Jenny Appleton (Jennifer Jones) by chance, which completely changes the trajectory of his life. This charming young girl, chattering about her parents and friends, mentions some long-disappeared New York landmarks, much to Eben's confusion. She vanished quickly, leaving him bewildered—though they would see each other later. Every time they meet on the road, she grows a few years older and ends up being a radiant woman

When Jeanne and Eben first met, she sang a haunting song (the film's soundtrack was largely composed of Debussy, and it was Hermann's only contribution) , the song declares the character's mystique: "No one knows where I come from, but everything has to go to my home." Eben explores the secrets behind her, but in the end, to his shock, The woman he fell in love with had been killed in a terrible sea storm a few years ago. As she walks towards her end, Eben is desperate to save her, but fate seems destined for them to forget each other.

Jennifer Jones -- the always underrated actor who gave the film's best performance -- shines just as well as the unfortunate Jennie. In her we can see the lovely clumsiness of a teenage girl, and the bewilderment of a grown woman, Jenny, so to speak, as complex as her artist lover. Jenny is not an idealized projection, but a dynamic, flesh-and-blood woman. This longing for the lost, and the long past, seems to haunt everyone around Eben, most notably his friend Gus (David Wayne), an Irish taxi driver. In Ai himself we can see both sensitivity and repressed passion, a trait so vividly illustrated by Joseph Cotton, which makes him an attractive object of desire, like his hapless lover That way.

The crux of this story, however, is its real "protagonist," and I'm not talking about the two obvious male and female protagonists. It was shortly after Aben met Miss Spinney that he met Jenny. When the two met in Central Park, he looked back to find Spinney behind him. At a pivotal point in the story, it was his older friend, the patron, who found Jenny's scarf. The scarf was used by Eben as a talisman and used to prove the incredible story. Barrymore's superb performance underpins the story while also propelling it forward. Her unspoken love for Eben is the most heart-wrenching one, as the witty and passionate conversations between them prove that there is actually a possibility between them.

In the cold winter, New York City is covered with snow and many lost souls wander, which provides an unforgettable backdrop for the entire film. Eerie greens and sepia seep into the black-and-white imagery, dizzying and disorienting at key moments. At the end of the film, the switch from black and white to color can be said to be a stroke of genius. Eben is among the celebrities, and we won't see him by the end of the film. And Miss Spinney was a different kind of genius, who ultimately defined what art really was. Her audience - interestingly, they were all girls - looked surprised. In the final moments of "The Picture of Jenny," the pain and loss are gone. All that remains is love, something that is captured by the canvas and tends to be eternal.

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Extended Reading

Portrait of Jennie quotes

  • Jennie Appleton: I wish that you would wait for me to grow up so that we could always be together.

  • Mrs. Jekes: I just can't understand a man fiddling away his time just painting things. Of course he did shovel some snow to pay part of last month's rent.

    Mrs. Bunce: Painting things? Women? Women in the...

    Mrs. Jekes: Mrs. Bunce, we agreed that he was a gentleman and gentleman just don't paint "women in the... "

    Mrs. Bunce: [flustered] No, of course not.