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The Song of Bernadette
2 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Henry King

William Eythe, Charles Bickford, Vincent Price, Lee J. Cobb, Gladys Cooper

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The Song of Bernadette (1943)
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Movie Review by James
September 12th, 2016

Having a religious belief in something, is nothing to be ashamed about. Everyone can believe in a faith, and accept it for what it is worth. But what happens when someone sees a religious entity, and cannot truly try to explain it? This is the basis for the 1943 film "The Song of Bernadette", a movie in which a young girl claims to witness seeing a religious figure, and all of the trials and tribulations that she encounters. And while the film was honored with wide praise and acclaim from both critics and audiences when it was first released, looking at the film now is just boring. Sure, there are some good things to say about the movie, but as a whole, the movie is slow and tiresome, and get get on some viewer's nerves. "The Song of Bernadette" is good, but it is far from perfection, and makes one lose interest in one's faith.

The story involves a young girl named Bernadette (Jennifer Jones). She is poor in 19th Century France, and has little education to her status. One day, Bernadette finds a cave near the river, and it is there that she comes upon the sights lady standing nearby. The only drawback is, only Bernadette can see her. Now, Bernadette believes that this lady is a highly religious figure, despite others not seeing her, and Bernadette soon continues to visit the cave more frequently. This, in turn, gets the attention of certain political and religious officials, who try to set up Bernadette as a fraud for concocting such a lively story.

"The Song of Bernadette" is a good movie, but there are some problems with it. Both the story and the pacing of the movie drag, making the entire production feel incredibly slow. At roughly two and a half hours, the movie's slow pacing makes the film feel monotonous and time consuming. Especially when one takes into consideration that there are moments that just feel forced; most notably scenes involving some of the political figures and the church. Also, the direction from Henry King involves all of the actors and actresses delivering their in this rather serious tone. Yes, this movie is considered a drama, but everything that the actors say is a little too dramatic. Also, while the music by Alfred Newman isn't bad, it kind of overtakes the action, and feels like it is the main star of the film. And speaking of the stars, most of the actors do a good job, but watching them feels like witnessing an extended soap opera.

But with that said, there are some good things about "The Song of Bernadette". The aforementioned acting may be stilted at times; yet the performances are quite good. Rom the main to the supporting cast, everyone does a good job in this religious drama. And speaking of, the subject matter presented here, is definitely for a more religious audience. Finally, the technical aspects, like the sound, costumes, etc., really stand out as they all grab some sort of attention to detail. This is especially true with the black and white cinematography complementing the overall tonal aspect of the movie.

In conclusion, "The Song of Bernadette" is an overlong religious drama, that's still good in some regards, but make sure you value your time and faith wisely.

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