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The Song of Bernadette Reviews

Page 2 of 8
February 11, 2014
As it won Jennifer Jones the Academy Award for Best Actress in a leading role, The Song of Bernadette had sufficient recognition to warrant me viewing it.

The Song of Bernadette is not precisely my kind of film as it is a very religious project, while personally I identify as being an atheist. But still, I found that I was able to enjoy the film because of the passion in the story and the general spirit of it all.
Although The Song of Bernadette is a somewhat dated film and runs for a rather long time, the spirit of it is undeniable. Created with the best intentions, it tells the story of the life of Bernadette Soubirous as it happened and captures a lot of the depth of the woman and just what her relevance to the world was. Admittedly, her story can only go so far and the fact that the film runs for the extensive running time of 156 makes it a spectacle which may be a little too much of too little, but as a whole it is still a good film. The Song of Bernadette stands out because while certain aspects of it have faltered under the battle of age, the majority of its aspects remain positive. The effect of the story is not as likely to be felt too much these days, but it is interesting to look at as a historical piece for how it depicts the kind of religious society that was present in 1858. It makes for an interesting look back, and the script maintains the realistic language to take a trip back.
To further add to the realistic nature of the film, it is visually grand. Thanks to spot on art direction and great costumes, The Song of Bernadette both easily captures the visual nature of 1858 society and reveals director Henry King's eye for great imagery. Everything is captured with nice cinematography as well, and it all plays out against the backdrop of a well composed musical score which puts a lot of power into reinforcing the atmospheric nature of the film. The Song of Bernadette is both visually spectacular and has a nice soul to it thanks to the musical score, so it manages to get the legitimate atmosphere in many areas.
But like I said, The Song of Bernadette stands out because of the spirit in the story. Although the subject matter of the film is harsh and very dramatic as well as rather thin when you get down to it, it is kept within the reaches of a light hearted atmosphere. There is a lot of spirit in the story, an atmosphere which is compelling and nearly angelic as the tale unfolds, and it develops well, gaining strength from the performances of the cast and the musical score of the film. The Song of Bernadette is a good film because it has a memorable atmosphere which stays consistently heartfelt instead of falling into melodramatic territory or tedious sentimentality. The atmosphere in The Song of Bernadette is great, and is allows everything to unfold with passion as the story progresses through its complex territory and to the point of conclusion. The pace of the film is nice because it is consistently gentle without ever sinking down to a point of being especially slow or long and rather keeps itself consistent over the course of its running time. The Song of Bernadette is a classical styled film and has the visual style of one, and so its pacing and running time remain same to the norms of films that were commonly released at the time. The general feel of the film transcends the usual limitations of the genre, however, and so The Song of Bernadette proves to be a memorable film.
And thanks to a powerful cast lined up, the material is executed with firm strength,
Vincent Price dominates the screen in The Song of Bernadette when he is on it. In one of the best performances of his career, Vincent Price turns in a firmly dramatic performance where he supplies a certain sense of wisdom to the film. He delivers his lines with a firm understanding of the subject matter and without hesitation which shows him giving a powerful effort, and it is a performance so powerful that I would deem it worthy of an Academy Award nomination. Vincent Price is simply stellar in The Song of Bernadette because he sinks into the character so well and uses his powerful voice to grab the attention of viewers in a fashion similar to the way Orson Welles did. His performance was exceptional, and his lack of an Academy Award nomination is a prime example of one of the worst snubs in history.
Jennifer Jones is also excellent. The entire time in The Song of Bernadette she maintains a true level of passion both to the film and the character which she channels into the character's passion for her beliefs. She has a lot of determination within her but she keeps it as part of the subtext of her character as she maintains a certain level of stoicism the entire time. She has the quiet but reserved nature of a Nun inside her which makes her an easy religious figure for the story to revolve around, and the way that Jennifer Jones puts her heart and soul into the performance makes it a very compelling and sympathetic effort. Jennifer Jones is terrific in The Song of Bernadette, and her restrained line delivery is truly great.
The supporting performances from Charles Bickford, Gladys Cooper and Anne Revere are also powerful.

So although The Song of Bernadette is a rather old film which has relevance more important in its original release than it does today and it is long and somewhat thin, the passionate spirit in the film consistently keeps it entertaining, the style of the film is terrific and the performances from the cast and particularly Jennifer Jones and Vincent Price manage to make it compelling to watch and memorable as well.
July 7, 2014
very nice movie..... story of st bernardette.... very beautiful.... must watch !!!!
John B

Super Reviewer

March 31, 2014
Jennifer Jones' portrayal of a young woman encountering the Virgin Mary at Lourdes is meant to be inspiring but nowadays gives a performance that makes you think she is looking for the Great Pumpkinhead. Ultimately believers are going to believe and skeptics will be skeptics. This film won't change any of that.
March 23, 2014
A wonderful classic Hollywood film telling an amazing story. St Bernadette is my confirmation saint so I might be slightly bias.
February 15, 2012
good bio-pic & one of mom's faves
August 5, 2013
Overwhelmed by the true Virgin Mary in Lourdes incident, many praise this film for its manifestation of unshaken and determined faith to God, claiming it to be a masterpiece of religion cinema. Indeed, Jennifer Jones's resemblance of Bernadette Soubirous is highly commendable for she portrays the perseverance, innocence, fear-for-nothing attitude of the Saint marvelously. However, if faith shall guarantee joy, why should Bernadette undergo that many sufferings? Will there be more sufferings, in the name of tests, for her after she died? And after all, why should there be tests like that? The highly dichotomous characters make the film smooth and bring about the emotions of the audience easily. The hypocrisy of some church members are critically viewed and punished in the film, but how about the numerous ones in reality? As clergymen are allowed to be apathetic in the name of God, what's their use in saving mankind? When more people pursue sufferings, like the devilish Sister Vauzous in the film for eternal life, or maintain neutrality and speechlessness in predicament for protecting its own honour, are they still fulfilling their own duties. One more thing I don't understand: why the hell can that prosecutor be that pigheaded, and keep meddling with something that is none of his business? Fortunately, he's highly dramatized.
June 2, 2013
This movie does a wonderful job with presenting Franz Werfel's fictional account of the
story of St. Bernadette of Lourdes. I think the actors all, especially Jennifer Jones, Lee
J. Cobb, VIncent Price, and Charles Bickford did a great job in this movie. The movie
included and made a strong point of the greatest miracle of Lourdes: Bernadette's
identifying the beautiful lady she was seeing as "The Immaculate Conception." SInce
Bernadette had no idea what these words meant, were never told or taught to her, and
since she could not possibly have made them up herself, proves she got these words
from the Virgin Mary Herself, and from no place else.
May 2, 2013
Tremendous performance by Jones as the simple girl who saw the Virgin Mary at Lourdes.
March 18, 2013
Jennifer Jones' deeply prayerful performance silently touches the hearts of all who watched this beautiful film--Reverence with dignity!!
December 23, 2012
A well-directed and acted portrayal emphasizing the virtue of suffering for the achievement of heaven.
November 13, 2012
Beautiful in a simple David Lean-shooting-Dickens sort of way. The story drags a little bit, particularly near the end, but it is a good story of faith and miracles versus doubt and unbelief.
September 24, 2012
great movie, its not one of those old ones that doesn't keep you entertained
Robyn M.
July 31, 2012
The Song of Bernadette is a beautiful film told through the eyes of a young, innocent and gullable girl.

At a time when poverty plagues Bernadettes family and the entire village's faith is lost. Mother Mary who comes to Bernadette in a vision, promises hope, and helps bring restoration of belief back to the people. The film isn't a preaching lesson about God but simply a story based on actual events that supposively toke place to help inspire audiences in someway of another with there own problems. The films worth a look even if your not baptized Catholic or believe in god. The message is clear: when you have beliefs don't allow others to take that away from you. As Ceasar would say: "what you will not allow to let go- no one can ever take from you!".
June 22, 2012
Jennifer Jones is wonderful in this nice religious film that is a bit long. Nicely done but a bit over the top.
Adrian B.
May 5, 2012
Slightly dated, but still sporadically fascinating tale, taken place during the 19th century, of a peasant girl (Jennifer Jones) who believes she has direct connections to God. She spreads her belief to those in her town, which draws polarizing reactions from her family, friends, and many others. This includes a political and religious expert (Vincent); and a doctor (Lee J. Cobb), who both seems very interested in examining the behaviour of the young peasant girl. Odd and also a bit lengthy in terms of running time to say the least, but not usually boring. Since it was filmed in black and white photography, that helps the film age better with time, and the imagery is quite intriguing. Jones' performance is adequate as well (although I don't know if it was particularly worthy of the Best Actress Oscar).
January 8, 2010
Absolutely, positevilly, beautiful!
Personally, I hate Jennifer Jones *as a person* but she is lovely in this part.
March 4, 2012
it has been Allameh Jafari's favorite film
I have to watch it...:)
January 1, 2012
Whatever one's religious faith, this is a beautiful old Hollywood production to be enjoyed. No wonder it led all movies with 12 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, in 1943. The film owes a lot of its power to the Oscar winning performance of Jennifer Jones as Bernadette Soubirous, the young French peasant girl who saw a vision of the Virgin Mary in a grotto near the town of Lourdes.
December 10, 2011
Good acting and a strong leading lady makes this religious based film worth watching.
August 7, 2011
I cannot promise to make you happy in this world, only in the next.

In the small town of Lourdes, France a young girl named Bernadette Soubirous attends a Christian school and is considered one of the lesser students. One inauspicious day while doing her chores she sees a vision of the Virgin Mary. Initially, the people of France are skeptical of her claims; however, when she uncovers a stream that miraculously cures numerous people in France, even the Pope is forced to claim she is indeed a Saint. Those that appose Bernadette will stop at nothing to prove she is a phony.

"You can't handle people like this with silk gloves and fancy words."

Henry King, director of Carousel, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Untamed, The Gunfighter, Twelve O'clock High, The Black Swan (1942), and Hell Harbor, delivers The Song of Bernadette. The storyline for this picture is very interesting and unpredictable. The characters are fascinating and well written and the cast delivers remarkable performances. The cast includes Vincent Price, Jennifer Jones, Charles Bickford, William Eythe, and Lee Cobb.

"You must learn to expect nothing from god, so when you get nothing, you're not disappointed."

I am not a religious person at all; however, I found this religious storyline compelling and very entertaining. The underlining religious tone of the film did not detract from the characters and evolution of the picture. The conclusion was also solid and ends the film perfectly. This is definitely a worthwhile movie.

"To think that one stupid girl could cause so much trouble."

Grade: A
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