Oscar Actors: Jones, Jennifer–The Song of Bernadette (1943)

Jennifer Jones won the Best Actress Oscar at her first nomination for the spiritual tale, The Song of Bernadette, a tribute to the values of faith, miracle, and innocence, as manifest in the life of the titular French saint.
The other Best Actress nominees in 1943 were: Jean Arthur in “The More the Merrier,” Ingrid Bergman in “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” Joan Fontaine in “The Constant Nymph,” and Greer Garson in Madame Curie.”
The film is nicely directed by Henry King from a screenplay by George Seaton, based on the highly popular 1942 novel by Franz Werfel, which was for over a year on the N.Y. Times Best-Seller List
The tale centers on Bernadette Soubirous, a peasant girl who claimed to have a vision of the Virgin Mary in a grotto at Lourdes in 1858.  Over a period of five months, from February to July, Bernadette claims to have had multiple visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This was her first major screen role of Jennifer Jones, who plays the simple, ordinary girl, whose family lives in the town prison because they do not own a home of their own.
In 1943, “”The Song of Bernadette” competed for the Best Picture Oscar with “Casablanca” (which won), “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “Heaven Can Wait,” “The Human Comedy,” “In Which We Serve,” “Madame Curie,” “The More the Merrier,” “The Ox-Bow Incident,” ” and “Watch on the Rhine.”





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