Sunday, December 27, 2009

Jennifer Jones 1919-2009

I tried to watch The Song of Bernadette last night on Youtube, but the only available copy looked like it had been videotaped right off the TV, and the sound was even worse. Instead of haphazardly paraphrasing wikipedia, I am going to point you to some other stellar posts about her from people who know what they're talking about.
CK Dexter Haven is, like me, not really in to miss Jones.
Glamour has seen quite a few of her films and offers insight to them.
The best one I have read is from the Styled Siren. They not only look at her films, but her somewhat tumultuous love life and its connection. After all, her producer husband David O Selznick influenced her career more than I can say.
Now for some pictures. Miss Jones and I are from the same home town, Tulsa, Oklahoma. It's a fairly large city that boomed after oil was discovered here in the late teens. For a while it was a very stylish city for oil barons and their fur-wrapped wives. It is also a mecca for art deco architecture. I have a feeling that my being brought up around the best surviving examples of art deco, from skyscrapers to fire houses has heavily influenced my preference for the look and feel of the 1930s. We even have a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Jones' childhood home is in a very rich part of town, both then and now. It is less ornamented than some of the other homes in the area, but is still very nice and would have cost a pretty penny in the early 20s. It is a very nice home on a corner lot with a large back yard.

She went to school at Monte Cassino, a private catholic school about 2 1/2 miles from her home. When she won an Oscar for her first film, The Song of Bernadette, Monte Cassino dedicated a statue of her as Bernadette on the grounds. Here it is:

It is aptly facing a small grotto modeled after Lourdes. There is, unfortunately, no plaque to tell the young MC students the significance of this statue or the legacy that Jennifer Jones leaves behind. Some of my friends and I will be contacting Monte Cassino in the coming weeks to encourage them to add a plaque in her memory.


  1. That is a great idea, Maggie; a plaque of some sort ought to be placed there. You have my support. I would even send in a donation to help raise the funds for it.

    P.S. Did you try this link to watch the movie? This is better quality clip.

  2. Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing those photos! Tulsa sounds like a splendid area. It's great that there is a statue of Jennifer at her private school, but I agree with you that a plaque would be a nice addition.

  3. Maggie, can I send you an e-mail about this project? I have some ideas.