Los Angeles: Selznick International Pictures / Vanguard Films, 1946-1949. An archive of 10 scripts and supporting materials for the 1948 film, "Portrait of Jennie," directed by William Dieterle, based on the 1940 novel by Robert Nathan, written for the screen by Peter Berneis, Leonardo Bercovici, and Paul Osborn, and starring Joseph Cotten, Jennifer Jones, Ethel Barrymore, and Lillian Gish. Painstakingly developed by Selznick International and then released under the auspices of Vanguard Pictures (to whom Selznick International was sold),"Portrait of Jennie" is a romantic fantasy so strange and concept-driven that it has always eluded mass popularity. Joseph Cotten portrays a struggling artist who becomes enamored with a little girl named Jennie who inexplicably begins to grow to womanhood over a period of weeks.
The archive includes 9 documents related to the film, 6 of which are pre-production, and 4 post-production:
Synopsis by Paul MacNamara. Stitched at the top right corner. 3 pages, mimeograph, Near Fine condition.
First Temporary Draft by Peter Berneis. Blue wrappers, rubber-stamped copy No.66, and dated October 29, 1946. 156 leaves, mimeograph. Principal pages white, with revision pages in pink, green, and blue, dated variously between 11/25/46 and 12/12/46. Pages and wrapper Near Fine.
Final Shooting script. Goldenrod studio wrappers, noted as FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT on the front wrapper, dated January 24, 1947. Credits on the front wrapper for director Dieterle, producer David Hempstead, and Selznick International Pictures. Distribution page present, with receipt intact. Title page integral to the first leaf of text as called for with Selznick scripts from this period. 152 leaves, mimeograph, with several pink and yellow revision pages inserted about one-third of the way through the text, all dated 2/12/47. Pages and wrapper just about Near Fine, bound with two silver brads.
Revised Final Shooting script by Peter Berneis. Goldenrod studio wrappers, rubber-stamped copy No. 121 and dated February 4, 1947. Credits on the front wrapper for novelist Nathan, screenwriter Berneis, producer David Hempstead and director Dieterle, with "A Selznick International Picture" across the bottom. Distribution page present, with receipt intact. An interesting chronological chart showing Jennie's age relative to actual time follows the distribution page. Title page integral with the first page of the script. 150 leaves, mimeograph, with a few undated yellow revision pages throughout. Pages and wrapper Near Fine, bound with three silver brads.
Revised script by Leonardo Bercovici. Plain brown studio wrappers. Bercovici's revision of the Berneis script, with the vast majority of the pages revised, with Bercovici's typed initials ("L.B.") at the top left, dated variously between March 5 and April 3, 1947. The unrevised pages do not have his initials, and are not dated. 150 leaves, mimeograph. Pages and wrapper Near Fine, bound with three gold brads.
Revised script by Paul Osborn. Green studio self-wrappers. 102 pages, rubber-stamped copy No. 4, dated June 16, 1947 (re-run June 24, 1947). 120 leaves, mimeograph. Pages and wrapper about Near Fine, bound with three silver brads.
Dialogue Cutting Continuity for the trailer. Green top-stitched studio wrappers, dated January 11, 1949. 5 leaves, detailing 1 reel. Pages and wrapper Near Fine.
Dialogue Cutting Continiuty for the film. Orange studio wrappers, bound with two brades at the top, dated February 1949. 89 leaves, detailing 5 reels, mimeograph. Pages and wrapper Near Fine.
Spotting List for the finished film, undated but circa 1949, with a synopsis, summary of characters, and timing for each scene, all on standard Selznick Releasing Organization printed forms. Tall self-wrappers. 96 leaves, pages and wrapper Very Good plus.
Combined 16mm Contnuity for the 1961 release of the film. Tall pink self-wrappers, top-stitched, dated May 16th, 1961. 83 leaves, detailing 3 16mm reels. Pages and wrapper about Near Fine.
Weldon (1996), p. 437.
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