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The Song of Bernadette (1943)

Jennifer Jones , Charles Bickford , Henry King  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (446 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jennifer Jones, Charles Bickford, William Eythe, Vincent Price, Lee J. Cobb
  • Directors: Henry King
  • Writers: Franz Werfel, George Seaton
  • Producers: William Perlberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: June 3, 2003
  • Run Time: 156 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (446 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008LDO7
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,246 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Song of Bernadette" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Jennifer Jones: Portrait of a Lady" from A&E's Biography
  • Movietone newsreel (American GIs award Jennifer Jones)
  • Restoration comparison

Editorial Reviews

The story of a peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous, a poverty-stricken, pure hearted adolescent, who saw a vision, of a "Beautiful Lady" near her home town of Lourdes in 1858. The wondrous news spreads rapidly throughout France, leaving in its wake a variety of consequences: adoration, suspicion and greed among the people of Lourdes skepticism from the town doctor (Lee J. Cobb) charges of insanity from the town prosecutor (Vincent Price) threats of physical punishment, then support and guidance from the Dean of Lourdes (Charles Bickford), who finally becomes convinced that the miracle has, indeed, taken place. Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Actress and Best Score, this true story is both first-rate filmmaking and an inspiring tribute to faith, courage and the human spirit.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
192 of 195 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
There are very few "religious" films that actually achieve a sense of spirituality that makes them work for believers and non-believers alike. "The Song of Bernadette" is one of those rare films, and owes a lot of its power to the Oscar winning performance of Jennifer Jones as Bernadette Soubirous, the young French peasant girl who in 1858 saw a vision of the Virgin Mary in a grotto near the town of Lourdes. While gathering firewood with her sister and a friend, Bernadette was told by the "beautiful lady" to return to the grotto every day for fifteen days. The common folk of Lourdes come to belief in young Bernadette's visions, while the authorities try to put a stop to the nonsense, and the church keeps its distance for the moment.
As Bernadette, Jones is the calm center at the heart of the storm. The scenes in which Bernadette sees the Lady (an unbilled and pregnant Linda Darnell) are presented by director Henry King with a elegant simplicity. Bernadette has a strong and simple faith, which is how she is able to endure the battering by those around her. It is in her victory over these opponents that make this story work, and Bernadette's opponents are a superb cast of supporting players. Charles Bickford is Peyramale Dean of Lourdes, who has to deal with the idea that this lazy and less than intelligent peasant girl has seen the Virgin Mother, Vincent Price the cold hearted local prosecutor Dutour, Lee J. Cobb as the reasonable and scientific Dr. Dozous, Anne Revere as Bernadett's mother, and Gladys Cooper as Sister Vauzous, the nun whose jealousy of Bernadette has quite an emotional payoff in the film.
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80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Film for Adults and For the Family October 1, 2004
Format:DVD
"The Song of Bernadette" led all movies with 12 Oscar nominations (including Best Picture and 4 acting nods) as the most predigious film of 1943. A stellar ensemble cast examines the conflict between faith and reason when Bernadette Soubirious (played by Jennifer Jones in her major screen debut) has visons of the Virgin Mary in the garbage dump of Lourdes, France in 1858.

Ridiculed, scorned and threatened by the ecclesiastical and political establishments, Bernadette must hold on to her integrity in order to survive. The realistic plotting and manipulations of the petty local politicians (led by Vincent Price) is worth the price of the DVD alone. Charles Bickford (nominated for best supporting actor) portrays the skeptical local priest who believes that he knows what is best for Bernadette in the end.

Gladys Cooper (nominated for best supporting actress) is the vitriolic nun who despises and persecutes the poorly educated, sickly and simple minded Bernadette. The shattering emotional climax where the nun realizes the enormity of her sin is a master class in acting.

This remains the most realistic religious film of the Studio era. Its hard hitting depictions of the poverty of Bernadette's family, of the blindness of the Church and of a town's small-mindedness is balanced by its literal depiction of the validity of Bernadette's visions.

As the big winner of its year with 4 Oscars for best actress (Jennifer Jones), cinematgraphy, art direction, and musical score, it was upset by "Casablanca" for the best picture and director awards. This B/W film rewards repeated viewings as something new is seen everytime. Bernadette was later canonized by the Roman Catholic Church in 1933.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bernadette gets the Fox dvd treatment June 9, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Finally, one of the greatest films from the 40s gets released on dvd and Fox has done a wonderful job here. I will skip the details about the film itself (which have already been written here) except to say that it is a very compelling film and features one of the best casts ever. You don't have to be religious to enjoy the film either (I'm not) and despite the length, it doesn't seem that long (it's that good). Jennifer Jones gives an inspired performance and is luminous in her Oscar winning performance.
The image quality is very good - there are a few noticeable nicks and scratches but nothing to be concerned about. A restoration comparison is provided and when compared with the older prints, it is excellent indeed.
Extras include a brief clip of a visibly nervous Jennifer Jones accepting an award from the GIs. Also, a superb A&E Biography titled "Jennifer Jones - Portrait of a Lady" which covers her life in detail and provides many excellent clips from her illustrous film career.
Commentary is provided by Jones biographer Edward Epstein, Hollywood historian Donald Spoto and Alfred Newman biographer John Burlingame. I was a tad disappointed with the commentary. Epstein is by far the most interesting with his commentary that discusses Jennifer Jones. Spoto is an expert on religion (as well as Hollywood history) and I found his thoughts on the relgious aspects of the film to be quite boring and seemingly pompous. Burlingame's comments on Newman are interesting but I would have rather heard about the film itself. What would have been wonderful - a commentary with Jennifer Jones! I wonder if Fox tried to contact her?
Overall, well worth the price and a valuable addition to your dvd library!
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The Song of Bernadette
The tape is correct...the dvd I just received is not...out of sequence.
May 30, 2014 by Help Me |  See all 2 posts
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