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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 »

Director:

Henry King

Writers:

George Seaton (screenplay), Franz Werfel (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:
Jennifer Jones ... Bernadette Soubirous
Charles Bickford ... Father Peyramale
Vincent Price ... Prosecutor Vital Dutour
Lee J. Cobb ... Dr. Dozous
Gladys Cooper ... Sister Marie Therese Vauzous
Anne Revere ... Louise Soubirous
Roman Bohnen ... François Soubirous
Mary Anderson ... Jeanne Abadie
Patricia Morison ... Empress Eugenie
Aubrey Mather ... Mayor Lacade
Charles Dingle ... Jacomet
Edith Barrett ... Croisine Bouhouhorts
Sig Ruman ... Louis Bouriette
Blanche Yurka ... Aunt Bernarde Casterot
Ermadean Walters Ermadean Walters ... Marie Soubirous
Edit

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 town, and transforms their lives. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Miracle of Motion Picture Achievement! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

April 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Franz Werfel's The Song of Bernadette See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jennifer Jones became very close friends with actor Charles Bickford, who also co-starred with her in Duel in the Sun (1946). An hour after hearing about his death in 1967, she attempted suicide with an overdose of seconal. 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

Father Pomian: [speaking metaphorically] Last night when I came here, it was very dark. It's much lighter now.
See more »

Crazy Credits

And Introducing (by arrangement with David O. Selznick) Jennifer Jones as Bernadette See more »

Connections

Referenced in EWTN Live: Word on Fire's Catholicism Miniseries (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Jennifer Jones' deeply prayerful performance silently touches the hearts of all who watched this beautiful film...
3 December 1999 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

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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