Blu-Ray Review: The Song of Bernadette

Today, Lourdes is one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in the world. The fortunes of the quiet, rural, non-descript town in the foothills of the Pyrenees was changed forever in 1858. It was a small community whose most notable feature was a garrison. The kind of place people passed through to get somewhere else. When its fortunes changed it suddenly became a beacon for the religious and faithful. Attracting millions of visitors every year. The Song of Bernadette tells the story behind this miraculous transformation.

A former miller, François Soubirous (Roman Bohnen), struggles to eek-out a living by doing odd jobs. Due to his situation, he lives with his wife (Anne Revere) and four children at the town jail. His fourteen-year-old daughter Bernadette (Jennifer Jones) suffers from asthma and with her religious education. One afternoon whilst collecting firewood outside the town of Lourdes she sees a vision of a beautiful lady (Linda Darnell) in a cave. At first, no one believes her but her weekly visitations soon attract a crowd.

The Song of Bernadette is a beautifully told tale of a girl whose quiet devotion and determination shines through. Whilst it’s quite lengthy, Henry King’s drama never feels slow or drawn out. It’s perfectly paced and there are some wonderful acting performances which really keep events both grounded and tense. The Song of Bernadette is a classic story of innocence, belief and faith.

Special features:

·         Limited Edition slipcase [2000 copies only]

·         1080p presentation on Blu-ray

·         LPCM audio (original mono presentation)

·         Watch film with 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

·         Original Theatrical Trailer

·         Limited Edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing by film journalist and writer Amy Simmons, alongside rare archival imagery [2000 copies only]

The Song of Bernadette is released on Blu-ray by Eureka Classics on 15 April.

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