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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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
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 »
This is truly one of the all time classic treasures of film making!
I have read where several people claim that there are flaws and imperfections in this film. But that is just not so. Even if you do not agree with the subject matter, and I do not come down on either side here, even though a catholic, it is simply a matter of capturing the emotional perfection of the story. Jennifer Jones had many fine roles in her career, but, as is all to often not the case, she honestly deserved the Best Actress Oscar for this her finest screen moment. Guided under the very skilled hand of one of Hollywood's often unsung but greatest director's Henry King this motion picture shines with a divine radiance all its own.
The performances of the other cast members were also on a par with the lead role. I will here only mention a few. Charles Bickford as the priest who first scoffs and eventually becomes a firm believer was his very best. Vincent Price, who is always able to play a villainous role to perfection was excellent as the doubting prosecutor who cannot be convinced. And Lee J. Cobb turns in an excellent performance also. But the second kudos of the film go to Gladys Cooper, who should have won a best supporting award as the old nun, who cannot accept Bernadette for who and what she is.
Finally, a note for the person who said the was no song in the movie and questioned the title. The whole film was a song or more correctly a psalm of faith, and the psalms were never sung but spoken. The music of ALfred Newman again underscores the action of this film perfectly. It is high on my top twenty-five films of all time.
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