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 ...
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John M. Stahl
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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 <email@example.com>
Henry King himself directed the screen tests, instructing his actresses to look beyond the camera at a shining light. Jennifer Jones was the immediate front runner, as - according to King - she didn't just look, she saw. See more »
When the Lady asks Bernadette to wash herself in the spring, Bernadette digs a hole and smears her face and hands with dark black mud. Moments later as the onlookers mock her, her aunt and mother take her away and the mud is gone from both her hands, while only slight fingermarks of mud remain on her cheeks. See more »
There was something about her that precluded laughter. Her exaltation was so genuine that the observer almost had the impression that he saw what the child saw.
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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 probably the best film on a religious topic ever made. Whereas many other films of this type wallow in sentiment which is a substitute for genuine reverence, this film is able to underplay the emotions and thus gives its subject a great deal of dignity. Jennifer Jones is totally convincing as the naive innocent who has an incredibly extraordinary experience which changes her life as well as the lives of everyone she touches and the lives of everyone who hears of her. The rest of the cast is also superb, including Lee J. Cobb as the careful doctor, Vincent Price as the petty politician, Charles Bickford as the stern priest, and Gladys Cooper as the envious nun. The FX are tender instead of dazzling, and thus they convince in a way that many FX totally miss. The settings, atmosphere, music, and cast add up to a truly moving and profound experience that few other films have achieved.
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