A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Song of Bernadette -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

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    Once again, The Song of Bernadette is a beautiful nitrate production from Fox in a slightly "challenged" format, based upon secondary elements.

    Photographed by Arthur C. Miller, I'd have loved to have seen what this might have looked like from the original negative, or a high end fine grain master.

    Mr. Miller began his career in 1909, working for Bison, and quickly moved on to Pathe, Keystone and Astra, before joining Famous Players / Paramount in 1919.

    Along the way, he photographed the original Perils of Pauline (1912), The Cheat (1923). Those interested can research him further, but he ended up at Fox in 1932, and stayed there. A short list of him accomplishments:

    The Little Colonel
    Pigskin Parade
    Wee Willie Winkie
    Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
    Little Miss Broadway
    The Little Princess (3-strip)
    Submarine Patrol
    Young Mr. Lincoln
    The Rains Came
    The Blue Bird (3-strip)
    Johnny Apollo
    Brigham Young
    The Mark of Zorro
    Tobacco Road
    How Green Was My Valley
    The Ox-Boy Incident
    The Song of Bernadette
    Lifeboat
    Dragonwyck
    Anna and the King of Siam
    The Razor's Edge
    Gentlemen's Agreement
    A Letter to Three Wives
    Whirlpool
    The Gunfighter

    You see where this is going.

    All of them.

    Destroyed in the mid-1970s.

    With apologies, I see these things, and I get angry.

    The Song of Bernadette is not some Bible-thumping melodrama. This is a quality film that will have it's way with the viewer.

    Great film, in it's roadshow form. Great performances and direction.

    And it look very decent.

    Image - 3.5

    Audio -4

    Recommended.

    RAH
     
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  2. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    When I was attending parochial elementary school in Katonah many years ago I saw The Song of Bernadette in the old school auditorium once a year for several years. I'll have to take another look at it.
     
  3. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    The Song of Bernadette has been a favorite in our family for years. I first fell under its spell when watching it on the old ABC Sunday Night Movie. Jennifer Jones never gave a better performance, although it's a testament to her range that audiences accepted her in roles such as Madame Bovary and Duel in the Sun's Pearl Chavez after being introduced here as Bernadette. I'm glad to hear that the roadshow overture has been included, as it's one of Alfred Newman's finest works.
     
  4. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    I too first saw this film on that ABC Sunday Night Movie slot. I was completely placed under the spell of this fine film that holds the distinct honor of being one of a handful of pre-50's films that first saw broadcast on a national network rather than sold to local stations in a package. Wonderful to have the isolated score and the long forgotten overture that adds a special feeling to this presentation. I too feel disappointment in that a stellar image will never be seen due to the loss of the original negative, but I found this transfer to be a couple notchs above the DVD. A very enjoyable film with excellent acting, wonderful cinematography, and that luscious Alfred Newman score.
     
  5. lukejosephchung

    lukejosephchung Screenwriter

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    Have this in my possession now and will be viewing it during Holy Week...fell in love with this movie while attending parochial school as a kid and am grateful to have this to experience in my later years...thank you for your favorable assessment regarding its picture and sound quality presentation, Robert!!! :wub:
     
  6. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    It's a nice touch to include the Overture track as a way of duplicating the roadshow version. I must say though, that as much as I'm glad to have the Blu-ray, the picture quality isn't much of a step-up from the DVD - at least not on my 47" screen.
     

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