Portrait of Jenny

Eben Adams (Joseph Cotten) is a struggling artist. He meets a 10 year old girl, Jennie. Jennie talks about places and things from long ago, as if they were current. Jennie seems strangely obsessed with him. She tells him to wait for her, she is growing up as fast as she can. Adams makes a sketch of Jennie, which he is able to sell. A few days later, he sees her again. Now she is about 14. When he sees her a few weeks later, she is about 18. Inspired by her, he becomes successful as a painter.

Jennie (Jennifer Jones) is moving through time on her own. She somehow knows that she and Adams are meant to be together. She is able to visit him briefly through time, although she does not realize she is in a different time. Adams becomes obsessed with tracking her down and learning her story. He visits the convent college that Jennie attended. There he learns that Jennie drowned sailing off Cape Cod years ago. He becomes convinced that if he goes to that same spot on the same date, he will be able to go back in time and save her.

Ironically, Jennie is sailing to that lighthouse because she had seen it in his paintings. There is a bad storm, but he sails out to the lighthouse anyway. He sees her boat approaching, and is able to call her to shore. Huge waves pound the lighthouse. He tries to hold her, but she is carried away by a wave.

He is rescued from the lighthouse. His friend, Mrs Spinney (Ethel Barrymore), brings him a scarf which was found next to him, Jennie's scarf. Adams takes the presence of the scarf to mean that somehow he and Jennie will be together again.

Thanks Joseph C!