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Song of Bernadette

65 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: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Fox Video (Canada) Limited
  • VHS Release Date: May 20 2002
  • Run Time: 156 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300246981
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #978 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)

Product Description

Jennifer Jones plays the legendary French peasant who claimed to have dialogues with the Virgin Mary at a Lourdes grotto in 1858. The script handles the visitations as an article of truth (Linda Darnell plays the Virgin), which helps move the drama forward, though much of the story concerns the conflicts that arise in the community after Jones is told the grotto contains healing waters. Made by Henry King (The Snows of Kilimanjaro), the film is gorgeous to look at and sensitively directed; and Jones (who won an Oscar for Best Actress) is radiant in the lead. Whatever one's religious persuasion, this is a strikingly handsome Hollywood production to be enjoyed. The film also earned Academy Awards for cinematography and score. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAME on Dec 7 2003
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 20 2004
Format: DVD
"The Song of Bernadette", released in 1943 was defeated in the Academy Award department by an inferior film, "Casablanca". This film is far superior with one of the finest casts ever assembled for a Hollywood motion picture. The story is enthralling and Jones' deservedly won the academy award for her outstanding portrayal of the poverty stricken asthmatic peasant girl favored at Lourdes in 1858 with eighteen apparations of the Blessed Virgin.
The DVD is extremely high quality. The sound and picture have been restored beautifully. There are many extras also which merit high praise....An Audio COmmentary of the picture by Jones biographer Edward Epstein, the complete A&E biography of Jones, the original theatrical trailer, a movietone newsreel with Jones presenting American GIs an award, subtitles in English and Spanish and Audio in English and Spanish.
The only complaint I have is that in the Spanish Audio the orginal Oscar Winning Musical Score has been all but replaced by a modern musical score that detracts from the film. Why they did this I will never know!!!! There was absolutely no reason for it. Thank God, though, the English version has been kept intact.
Other than this, though, the DVD is extremely high quality and will disappoint no fan of this fine motion picture.
A beautiful film, lovingly made in during Hollywood's Golden Age. This film withstands the test of time and will remain a beacon of achievement for Hollywood filmmaking forever! Enjoy!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cyril Michaud on April 15 2014
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This is a BLACK and WHITE movie made by Hollywood in the days when actors/actresses had to act and writers had to write because
audiences had little to live on. It's a film about a humble girl afflicted by a malady. One day this young lady, who is minding her own
business and collecting firewood, is unexpectedly shown a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She tells the young Bernadette
Soubirous to come to this spot for 15 days. Following The Lady's instructions, Bernadette seeks out a source or spring near the
apparition. Many afflicted will be cured from that day forward by touching or drinking of this Holy Water. Later B. Soubirous will enter
a convent where her humbleness will guide her. She is offered a trip back to Lourdes to get cured but turns it down thinking she is not
worthy or that The Lady has not instructed her to do so. St. Bernadette represents all the brave afflicted children around The World
who don't complain and go about their lives. I bought this particular movie for Easter. It is a wonderful story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on April 26 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Called "The Sleeping Saint of Nevers", simple peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous gained the world's attention when on an excursion to collect firewood near her home in 1858 she claimed to see a vision of the Holy Mother in a sheltered Grotto. The world wide controversy and the birth of Lourdes as a sacred sight for pilgrims seeking salvation made her story a wonderful basis for a possible film about this puzzling occurence. While Bernadette received alot of ridicule during her lifetime, being labelled a liar and a madwoman by many, this beautiful movie from Twentieth Century Fox presents her story in a touching, non sentimental and objective manner.It not only treated her experience with reverence but produced a fine balanced and beautifully acted classic that is still one of the best religious films ever produced by Hollywood. Jennifer Jones as Bernadette is remarkable and her total grasp of the character, full of wide eyed innocence but inner strength in her beliefs is an astoundingly mature piece of acting for a girl so young at the time of filming.
Based on the novel by Franz Werfel, Fox adapted it into a beautiful screenplay dealing with Bernadette's vision of "a beautiful lady", near her home and the everlasting consequences of that for both herself and the world. The film starts off by filling us in with some of the background of this quite ordinary french peasant girl, who struggled to learn her catecism at school and was a good but not extraordinary daughter to struggling parents Francois and Louise Soubirous (Roman Bohnen and Anne Revere). The families lives are changed forever after Bernadette arrives home one afternoon strangely different claiming that she saw a vision of the Holy Mother in a nearby grotto.
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