The Song of Bernadette (1943)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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The Song of Bernadette is a reverent recounting of the life of St. Bernadette of Lourdes. As a teen-aged peasant girl growing up in the tiny French village of Lourdes in the 19th century, Bernadette (Jennifer Jones) experiences a vision of the Virgin Mary in a nearby grotto. At least, she believes that she did. The religious and political "experts" of the region cannot accept the word of a silly little girl, and do their best to get her to renounce her claims. Bernadette's vision becomes a political hot potato for many years, with the authorities alternately permitting and denying the true believers' access to the grotto. No matter what the higher-ups may think of Bernadette, there is little denying that the springs of Lourdes hold some sort of recuperative powers for the sick and lame. Eventually, Bernadette dies, never faltering in her conviction that she saw the Blessed Virgin; years later, she is canonized as a saint, and the Grotto of Lourdes remains standing as a permanent shrine. The 20th Century-Fox people knew that The Song of Bernadette would whip up controversy from both the religious and the agnostic. The company took some of the "curse" off the project with a now-famous opening title: "To those who believe in God, no explanation is necessary. To those who do not believe in God, no explanation is possible." Jennifer Jones's performance in The Song of Bernadette won her the Best Actress Oscar. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Classics , Drama , Faith & Spirituality
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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Jennifer Jones
as Bernadette Soubirous
Vincent Price
as Dutour
Charles Bickford
as Peyremaie
William Eythe
as Antoine
Lee J. Cobb
as Dr. Dozous
Gladys Cooper
as Sister Vauzous
Anne Revere
as Louise Soubirous
Roman Bohnen
as Francois Soubirous
Mary Anderson
as Jeanne Abadie
Aubrey Mather
as Lacade
Patricia Morison
as Empress Eugenie
Charles Dingle
as Jacomet
Edith Barrett
as Croisine
Sig Rumann
as Louis Bouriette
Blanche Yurka
as Bernarde Casterot
Ermadean Walters
as Marie Soubirous
Fortunio Bonanova
as Louis Napoleon III
Marcel Dalio
as Callet
Pedro de Cordoba
as Le Crampe
Jerome Cowan
as Emperor Napoleon
Charles Waldron
as Bishop of Tarbes
Moroni Olsen
as Chaplain
Nana Bryant
as Convent Mother Superior
Manart Kippen
as Charles Bouhouhorts
Merrill Rodin
as Jean Soubirous
Nino Pipitone Jr.
as Justin Soubirous
John Maxwell Hayes
as Father Pomian
Jean Del Val
as Estrade
Tala Birell
as Mme. Bruat
Charley Bates
as Bouhouhorts' Boy
Eula Morgan
as Mme. Nicolau
Frank Reicher
as Dr. St. Cyr
Linda Darnell
as Blessed Virgin
Dorothy Shearer
as Mother Superior
Nino Pipitone
as Mayor's Secretary
Edwin Stanley
as Mr. Jones
Lionel Braham
as Baron Massey
Ian Wolfe
as Minister of the Interior
Irina Semochenko
as Bernadette's Schoolmate
Marie Carrozza
as Bernadette's Schoolmate
Joyce Ann Miller
as Bernadette's Schoolmate
Alicia Nicolas Diaz
as Bernadette's Schoolmate
Alan Napier
as Psychiatrist
Eugene Borden
as Gendarme
Edward Clark
as Hospital Attendant
Frank Leigh
as Cleric
Charles Bates
as Bouhouhorts' Boy
Connie Leon
as Woman
Mae Marsh
as Woman
Ruth Warren
as Woman
Marie Pope
as Woman
Harry Denny
as Priest
Curt Furberg
as Franciscan Monk
Armand Cortez
as Franciscan Monk
Louis V. Arco
as Franciscan Monk
George Sorel
as Franciscan Monk
Jean De Briac
as Dominican Monk
Davison Clark
as Dominican Monk
Antonio Filauri
as Dominican Monk
Julian Rivero
as Dominican Monk
Edward Keane
as Policeman
Hooper Atchley
as Policeman
John Dilson
as Doctor
Tom Stevenson
as Doctor
Fred Essler
as Minister of Justice
Harry Cording
as Stone Mason
Pat Dillon
as Bouhouhorts' Boy
Louis Mercier
as Huckster
Dickie Moore
as Adolar
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Critic Reviews for The Song of Bernadette

All Critics (10)

Jennifer Jones won the Best Actress Oscar for this stodgy spiritual biopic of the French girl who saw visions of Virgin Mary in 19th century France.

Full Review… | March 19, 2011

If your spiritual tuning fork doesn't already hum to The Song of Bernadette's sentimental religiosity, this is an overlong (156 minutes), overpious, and often kitschy hagiography.

Full Review… | April 5, 2006

Over-produced, quasi-religious historical drama.

November 24, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Based on the historical novel by Jewish author Franz Werfel, the beloved classic The Song of Bernadette stands head and shoulders over most religiously themed fare from Hollywood’s golden age.

Full Review… | July 17, 2003
Decent Films Guide

The Song of Bernadette is not a great film, but it is a very good film. It is characteristic of the kind of earnest prestige or super-spectacle picture that was always a stumbling block for an art form built on commerce and exploitation, but it is

Full Review… | July 9, 2003
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Like most DVD offerings in this very fine series from Fox, the transfer is pristine.

June 26, 2003
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Audience Reviews for The Song of Bernadette


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.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


I loved this movie, it's one of my favourite movies about saints. Jones gives a fantastic performance, and you get to see Vincent Price in an early small role. It's such a great story, and it's true!

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Great Spiritual Film.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith

Super Reviewer

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