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The Song of Bernadette (1943)

Approved | | Biography, Drama | April 1945 (USA)
In 1858 France, Bernadette, an adolescent peasant girl, has a vision of "a beautiful lady" in the city dump. She never claims it to be anything other than this, but the townspeople all ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Won 4 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Roman Bohnen ...
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Charles Dingle ...
Edith Barrett ...
Croisine Bouhouhorts
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Louis Bouriette
Blanche Yurka ...
Ermadean Walters ...
Marie Soubirous
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Storyline

In 1858 France, Bernadette, an adolescent peasant girl, has a vision of "a beautiful lady" in the city dump. She never claims it to be anything other than this, but the townspeople all assume it to be the virgin Mary. The pompous government officials think she is nuts, and do their best to suppress the girl and her followers, and the church wants nothing to do with the whole matter. But as Bernadette attracts wider and wider attention, the phenomenon overtakes everyone in the the town, and transforms their lives. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

girl | visions | peasant | church | france | See All (168) »

Taglines:

A Miracle of Motion Picture Achievement! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

April 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Franz Werfel's The Song of Bernadette  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Imperial Prosecutor Vital Dutour (played by Vincent Price) who investigates Bernadette's visions, is portrayed in the movie as an atheist and anti-religious persecutor. In real life, however, Dutour was a devout Catholic who thought that Bernadette Soubirous's visions were hallucinations. See more »

Goofs

When Bernadette and the other girls go to gather wood, the other girls cross the stream after removing their shoes and socks, at the same time telling Bernadette not to wade in the stream because the water is too cold and she is sickly. Later, she does, and the water is warm. All three are barefoot. However, when they grab their bundles of wood to run home, Bernadette has her shoes and socks back on. See more »

Quotes

Mother Superior: Well, Doctor?
Dr. St. Cyr: Well, in addition to the large tumor on the knee, she has tuberculosis of the bone. She has never complained of pain?
Mother Superior: No. Sister?
Sister Marie Therese Verzous: [stunned by the news] She never mentioned it.
Dr. St. Cyr: I can't understand it. She's had this affliction for a long time, and the constant pain and suffering associated with this disease is almost too horrible to describe.
Sister Marie Therese Verzous: [Sister Marie Therese looks as if she had been struck a violent blow and walks off as if under a trance]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits say "Introducing Jennifer Jones as Bernadette", even though Jones had already appeared in several films under her real name, Phyllis Isley. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Jennifer Jones' deeply prayerful performance silently touches the hearts of all who watched this beautiful film...

Religious figures became big success in distinguished films like "Going My Way," "The Keys of the Kingdom," "The Bells of St. Mary's," and "The Song of Bernadette."

The film is the story of a simple peasant girl who wins the quality of a 'Saint.' Bernadette was born in an isolated French village called Lourdes, in January 7, 1844...

Jennifer Jones, in a well deserved Academy Award as Best Actress, performs Bernadette Soubirous, the eldest of 9 children from a poverty-stricken family, who would not find happiness in this world, but only in the next...

In 1858, at the age of 14, while gathering firewood, the pious Bernadette had numerous visions of a 'beautiful Lady' on a hillside, on the left bank of a stream... She reveals her identity with the words: "I am the Immaculate Conception."

Bernadette, faithfully, takes great care that her statements never exceed precisely what she has seen... The entire region is soon in an uproar over the events... Bernadette stands firmly defending the 'genuineness' of these visions despite strong opposition from her frightened parents (Anne Revere and Roman Bohnen), the local clergy (Charles Bickford) and civil authorities as the Imperial prosecutor, Vital Dutour (Vincent Price).

Events have become more stressful... Interrogations and prison are a constant threat... The small town is also put under strain... Swelling to several times its population, tensions increase as expectations on one poor child carrying the residents and visitors on an emotional roller coaster...

To escape public attention, Bernadette goes to a quieter life... She is granted admission into the novitiate in the Convent of the Sisters of Nevers... There she completes her religious instruction and passes her remaining years in prayer and seclusion... She was happy and loved for her kindliness and wit, despite almost constant sickness and pain, and despite Sister Marie-Thérese (Gladys Cooper) repeated harassment... This nun couldn't believe in her... She always wanted a proof...

Jennifer Jones is superb as the honest girl who declares that she is not very brilliant, but who never hesitates from her insurance of a miraculous contact...

Henry King's sensitive direction is marked by energy and interest, maintaining a steady clear vision on the heart of the story and its characters...

Alfred Newman's highly music is tender and spiritual...

I highly recommend this beautiful movie... And for the readers who are interested in Bernadette's story, I add that the town of Lourdes, situated at the foot of the Pyrénées, southwest of Toulouse, becomes a pilgrimage town... The underground spring in the grotto, revealed to Bernadette, was declared to have miraculous qualities... And since then this 'healing place' becomes a major pilgrimage center for sick or disabled multitudes...

Bernadette was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1933... Her feast day is February 18, in France and the chapel of the St. Gildard Convent at Nevers, contains her holly body...


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