In more than one respect, Franz Werfel's "Song of Bernadette" resembles Richard Llewelyn's recent best-seller and Academy award winner, "How Green Was My Valley." The same rural life, though this time in France, the same genuine sentiments of the peasantry, and the moral lesson can be found in each. However, a sullen resignation to the "Gilded Age' in Llewelyn's picture contrasts with a positive affirmation of a better life beyond this in the "Song of Bernadette."
Paradoxically enough, Miss Jones' inexperience on the stage has stood her in good stead. The unsophistication essential to an accurate portrayal of the inspired peasant girl comes easily to young Jennifer, who has none of the worldliness that might have vitiated th erole had a more experienced star undertaken it.
One of the qualities by which the California celluloid kings have redeemed themselves in this presentation, is the scrupulous regard for the accuracy of local color. All of the characters are really French, and the settings fit the average American's conception of French life. The irking tendency of Hollywood producers to create all sorts of inconsistencies of time and place has been meticulously avoided.
An appreciation of the "Song of Bernadette" does not depend on religious belief or orthodoxy; it is an emotionally stirring tale of faith and sacrifice.