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|Index||11 reviews in total|
This is a little movie that is very seldom seen, but is a joy to watch for both the piece of nostalgia it represents and for the many fine character actors and actresses that went on to other things, or had already done fine motion picture work....the plot is quite trivial involving typical (for that time) teen-age schananigans, and great pop music of the era, featuring Pat Boone singing the title tune, "Love Letters in the Sand," "Technique," etc.... There are many fine older character actors such as Janet Gaynor, Dean Jagger, Walter Abel, and younger lesser know ones of the time including James Drury (who went on to become the "Virginian") Richard Sargeant (Bewitched), and Ronnie Burns (the son of George Burns, who was currently on the Burns and Allen show)...The plot is thin, but just sit back and enjoy it for what it is....
The first time I saw this movie was 1999 on tv and I thought it was pretty good. I was 13 at the time and I didn't really like old movies (like this one) but this was was different. Pat Boone's character reminded me of an early Ferris Bueller or Zack Morris. He didn't really care about his grades, he was really popular and really cute. The story is about a group of friends that think there is one perfect girl out there named Bernardine. One of the friends finds his own Bernardine and the guys try to get those two together. Their plans flop and a whole bunch of things go wrong. But in the end everything is okay.
He is so handsome and adorable on his parents' TV show now running on Antenna TV, that I'd really like to see this movie. He mentions this picture in the episode entitled Ronnie Gets A Movie Role and it lead me to this site to see what I could learn about it. Ronnie is so affable and good-natured, I was sorry to learn that he passed away in 2007. But I can still see his movie Bernadine, which is based on a successful stage play by Mary Chase. The guy in the NY Times liked it a lot, stating "The original cutting edge of "Bernardine" is gone, but on the whole, you still couldn't find a nicer bunch of people." I can't wait to see it, and when I do I'll revise this review and post my actual opinion.
"Bernardine" was a vehicle for Pat Boone, a singer turned actor who was
at the height of his popularity then. Today, anyone breaking into music
would make a video to showcase whatever song was popular, but back in
those days they made full length features trying to cash in the teen
This film, directed by Henry Levin, was according to the credits a play before being adapted for the screen. This is above all, a piece of nostalgia. It says a lot about the way American teens of the era looked at life. It's hilarious to see a Terry Moore, who shows up as the main interest in the life of Dick Sargent wolf down a couple of hamburgers without any guilt at all! Everyone had such a wholesome look about themselves, reflecting the tastes of the times. Also in an era that was not as commercial as the present times, Coca-Cola probably did not have to pay to have the beverage displayed for it was the drink of choice.
Pat Boone gets to sing his big hit "Love Letters in the Sand" in dreamy fashion. The interesting thing about this movie is how a few of the actors went to establish themselves in television in popular series, which is the case of Dick Sargent and Natalie Schafer. Other familiar faces in the cast were Janet Gaynor, Walter Abel and Dean Jagger.
This is a trip in memory lane for many and it serves also as an observation about the fashions and the way Americans lived during that period of time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Other than the end and Pat Boone's rendition of Love Letters in the
Sand, this film was rather ridiculous.
Dick Sargent, of all people, is a teenager threatened with not graduating, unless he can pass his finals. Only in Hollywood style, Sargent passes. Giving over his girlfriend so that he could cram in 2 weeks to the brother of Pat Boone, leads to James Drury, an army person, falling for Terry Moore. This riles Sargent so he joins the army and surprisingly the film becomes somewhat poignant in the end, when Sargent, on leave, returns much more mature and reunites with the friends he had left behind.
Some real old-timers were in the movie. Ernestine Wade, Sapphire in Amos and Andy, appears as a maid as well as Janet Gaynor as Sargent's mom. She is in another world until her son signs up for the army and she speaks the truth. Dean Jagger is along for the ride as her gentleman friend. Natalie Schafer, as Boone's mother, once again shows that she had a niche in portraying upscale women.
The casts also boasted Isabel Jewell, who always got the small roles in the 1930s and 1940s. Remember her as the condemned seamstress in 1935's "A Tale of 2 Cities?"
Finally, Carole Ann Campbell appears as Christine. You could never forget her as Lillian Roth, in her childhood years, 2 years before,in the phenomenal "I'll Cry Tomorrow." Whatever happened to her?
I guess the film shows that the army makes men and that Pat Boone always didn't have to portray a saint.
I think it was 1957, or maybe 1958 (too far back to remember) I had the
pleasure of watching the movie Bernadine, I can say I WAS IN LOVE (I
was 12 years old at that time), I have since followed Pat's music
and have many of his original records at home until today.
In recent years, I went back to my old hobby of building radio controlled model airplanes and boats, the last boat I made, I named BERNADINE, as a thank you to all the years of pleasure I have had from his singing, please say thank you to Pat for me.
If there is a way, I would like to email him the photo of this boat
Alex Evans, Melbourne - Australia
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Bernardine" is a relic of a bygone era, with a cast of well-scrubbed
high school students (played mostly by actors in their mid-20s), a
trite plot, and endless singing by Pat Boone. The plot is about pitiful
high school student Sanford Wilson (played by Dick Sergeant) who is a
pathetic failure with the ladies, his attempts to woo a beautiful
telephone operator (Terry Moore), his friends including Arthur Beaumont
(Boone), and Wilson's parents. Janet Gaynor, Dean Jagger, and Natalie
Schafer play some of the adult characters.
Instead of being entertained, I found myself extremely irritated by this movie. I'm not sure exactly what irritated me the most. Maybe it was Pat Boone's incessant singing. Maybe it was the bland plot. Maybe it was Sergeant's incredibly pathetic and maddening character. Whatever irritates you about the film, after you watch it it's a sure bet that you'll never want to hear the song "Bernardine" again in your life.
The big screen debut of one performer and the farewell role of another.
That's how Bernardine will go down in cinema history. Certainly for not
any great merit of its own.
I took note that Bernardine was a play on Broadway and was written by Mary Chase who had written the wonderful and whimsical Harvey. I was thinking it would be something like that. Just an average comedy where some of the jokes don't quite come off.
Pat Boone who was the clean cut answer to Elvis Presley back in the day made his debut on the screen in Bernardine. The real lead is Dick Sargent and Boone is one of his pals and both have conceived of their ideal woman as someone they've named Bernardine.
Sargent is really quite the Mama's boy and Mom is Janet Gaynor who made her farewell big screen appearance here. Sargent hooks up with Terry Moore, but later Boone fixes her up with his older brother James Drury of the United States Air Force
When Bernardine was on Broadway circa 1953 rock and roll had not arrived. By 1957 the kids already seemed dated. Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Bill Haley were quite the seismic event musically.
On the plus side Pat Boone revived the 30s hit Love Letters In The Sand in this film, had a hit record and to this day the song is identified with him.
If you're a Pat Boone fan Bernardine will be fine. But definitely don't expect another Harvey.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
SYNOPSIS: College students make up an imaginary, ideal girl whom they name, "Bernardine". COMMENT: This was Fox's 82nd CinemaScope feature. It marked the film debut of Pat Boone. On the other hand, it turned out to be Janet Gaynor's last movie appearance. Based on a play by the author of "Harvey", it's a pleasant but rather stage-bound comedy of teenage mores. In his first screen role, Pat Boone displayed an amiable personality, sang his songs with ease and now seems light-years removed from the current crop of bobbysox singing idols. It's nice to see Janet Gaynor too. Production credits are okay, but undistinguished. The film was obviously made on a small budget to cash in on Boone's astonishing disc sales. P.S. The stage play opened on Broadway at the Playhouse on 16 October 1952 and ran a surprisingly number of no less than 157 performances. Guthrie McClintic directed a cast that included John Kerr, Johnny Stewart, Warren Berlinger, Michael Wager, Beverly Lawrence and Peggy Cass.
I am amazed at the 'good reviews' given to this movie. I saw it in 1957 when it came out and the whole audience in London yawned their way through it. I saw it again in 2000 on TV just to see if it really was as hopelessly bad as I remembered it. Believe me, it was. In fact, it was worse than I recalled. It is PAINFUL to watch Dick Sergant and the others. The film was advertised as a vehicle for Pat Boone - all he did was sing a few songs alone on screen and utter a couple of words. I still do not understand the point of this movie. American white middle class kids could NEVER have been this dumb - I think that this is what the executives wanted them to be - stupid and willing to watch this rubbish. How on earth did Janet Gaynor and Dean Jagger get themselves involved in it? I am only giving it ONE out of TEN since there is no zero or a negative number.
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