It’s the hot summer of 1919. Visiting her cousin Marjorie (Veronica Cartwright), sweet-but-dull Bernice (Shelley Duvall) is transformed into a smooth-talking man-trap by her vampish kin. However, the “makeover” works too well and Bernice becomes the belle of the ball, captivating every boy’s interest . . . even Marjorie’s boyfriend Warren (Bud Cort). The now-worldly Bernice has the last laugh in a clever and ironic twist. One of the best screen translations of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary work, “Bernice” also includes the delightful supporting roles of Dennis Christopher (“Breaking Away”) and Polly Holliday (“Alice”).
In the early part of the 20th century, women were raised to be mild mannered, but as times changed so did the young women. They wanted to be more carefree and not so stuffy and boring.Bernice is an ordinary and boring young woman, according to her cousin Marjorie. But when Marjorie decides to teach her shy cousin the “new modern way” for young ladies, Bernice becomes all the rage with the fellows. Because of her popularity, Marjorie becomes jealous and goads Bernice into cutting her hair into a bob, which has everyone making fun of the young woman. But Bernice gets the last laugh before she leaves to return home. From the great author F. Scott Fitzgerald, this short story-turned-movie certainly portrays the events of the times. It was originally shown on PBS in “The American Short Story Collection.” We award the Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages 12 and older.