‘The Song of Bernadette is reverent, spiritually forthright, dignified’
‘An absorbing, emotional and dramatic picturization
of Franz Werfel s novel’ Variety
One of the rare Hollywood studio films to address religious conviction in a serious and complex fashion, 1943’s The Song of Bernadette made a star of Jennifer Jones, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress, in addition to taking home a Golden Globe during those awards’ very first ceremony (the film also won Globes for Best Dramatic Film and Best Director).
Based on the 1941 historical novel by Franz Werfel, this moving portrait of faith chronicles the real-life story of 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous, who began seeing visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes in 1858. When news of her vision first spreads through the town, there are those who decry her as mentally unsound, while others wholeheartedly believe particularly when a spring that erupts near the grotto that housed the visitations contains water that seems to have miraculous healing properties…
Buoyed by outstanding supporting performances by Vincent Price, Gladys Cooper and Charles Bickford, and sumptuous cinematography by Arthur C Miller, The Song of Bernadette is a profoundly affecting drama no matter what one’s own personal beliefs. It is also one of the crowning achievements of director Henry King (Love is a Many-Splendored Thing).
As the Imperial Prosecutor, Dutour, Vincent Price plays it cold and cynical until his character discovers he has throat cancer, forcing him to turn to accept God. His final speech during the film’s final scene will haunt with you forever.
The Song of Bernadette is out on Blu-ray in the UK as part of the Eureka Classics range, presented in a Limited Edition slipcase (2000 copies only) with the following special features…
• Watch the film with the Overture [6.52]
• Optional English SDH subtitles
• Audio Commentary by Edward Z. Epstein (author of Portrait of Jennifer: A Biography of Jennifer Jones), John Burlingame (biographer of Alfred Newman), and biographer-historian Donald Spoto [Well researched and informative, this is well-worth visiting after first watching the film. There’s also an interesting story about Vincent’s marriage difficulties with his first wife Edith Barrett, who has a small role in the film. The audio commentary can be found in Set Up)
• Theatrical Trailer
• Collector’s booklet featuring new writing by film journalist and writer Amy Simmons, alongside rare archival imagery and viewing notes.