Charles Bickford received his first Oscar nomination for portraying Father Peyramale in The Song of Bernadette.
Charles Bickford plays the local priest who is very skeptical of Bernadette's sightings of a divine woman. Bickford's performance is not a particularly complex character. He is at first very hard on Bernadette since he does not believe her story. Bickford I suppose is appropriately strict at the begining of the film. Later on he shows his faith though when he eventually comes around to believing Bernadette.
There really is not any sort of transition to be seen in Bickford's performance nor is there one written though. The priest's change is almost instant. Bickford never becomes that interesting though after he becomes on her side he becomes a passionate supporter, and Bickford is appropriately passionate. When Bickford is suppose to be tender though Bickford seems always a little too rough still to really bring the right emotions to the situations near the end of the film. Bickford overall really is not bad but his part is too limited to ever really be compelling.