Song of Bernadette, The Repackaged
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- "Jennifer Jones: Portrait of a Lady" from A&E's Biography
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I saw this movie when I was a child unfortunately VCRS weren't even invented back then, now I can see it when ever I want.Published 4 days ago by John T. Miller Jr.
Enjoyed this movie, the last 10 minutes is heart wrenching and I actually cried with her last words spoken.Published 15 days ago by Janette Pellas
I always loved this movie. Now that I have it I still do. Too bad Hollywood does not make movies like this.Published 23 days ago by Tom Streppone
Moving account of Bernadette Soubirous, a young French peasant girl who saw the Blessed Virgin Mary over a period of two weeks near her home town of Lourdes. Read morePublished 1 month ago by John Corley
Best Movie ever if only the people of today would Belive and say the Rosery we can have world peacePublished 2 months ago by kathy luksch