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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John M. Stahl
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 <email@example.com>
Lee J. Cobb (Dr. Dozous) and Roman Bohnen (Bernadette's father) were both members of the famous Group Theater (1931-1940), the first ensemble in America to put Konstantin Stanislavski's acting theories into practice. They often performed together, most notably in the plays of Clifford Odets. Both actors were accused of being members of the Communist Party. Bohnen was blacklisted, but Cobb named names and was eventually exonerated by the House Un-American Activities Committee. See more »
One of the reports to the Commision is dated February 31,1860. See more »
I asked her 'Do you know what a sinner is?' And she answered, 'Certainly, Monsieur. A sinner is one who loves evil'. That's quite a good answer. What pleased me is that she said 'loves', and not 'does'.
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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 »
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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