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The Bishop's Wife (1947)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 8,660 users  
Reviews: 108 user | 33 critic

A bishop trying to get a new cathedral built prays for guidance. An angel (Cary Grant) arrives, but his guidance isn't about fundraising.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Monty Woolley ...
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Sara Haden ...
Karolyn Grimes ...
Tito Vuolo ...
...
Sarah Edwards ...
Mrs. Duffy
Margaret McWade ...
Miss Trumbull
Anne O'Neal ...
Mrs. Ward (as Ann O'Neal)
Ben Erway ...
Mr. Perry
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Storyline

An Episcopal Bishop, Henry Brougham, has been working for months on the plans for an elaborate new cathedral which he hopes will be paid for primarily by a wealthy, stubborn widow. He is losing sight of his family and of why he became a churchman in the first place. Enter Dudley, an angel sent to help him. Dudley does help everyone he meets, but not necessarily in the way they would have preferred. With the exception of Henry, everyone loves him, but Henry begins to believe that Dudley is there to replace him, both at work and in his family's affections, as Christmas approaches. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bishop | fund | angel | christmas | prayer | See All (72) »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

16 February 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jede Frau braucht einen Engel  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Near the end of the film, when David Niven is giving the sermon, he mentions Uncle Harry, when Cary Grant dictates the sermon earlier in the film, the name is Uncle Henry. See more »

Goofs

When Dudley first composes the Christmas sermon he mentions the gift of a tie before a book, but when the bishop gives the sermon, he reverses the order and mentions the book before the tie. See more »

Quotes

Henry Brougham: I was praying for a cathedral.
Dudley: No, Henry. You were praying for guidance.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Robert Montgomery Presents: The Sheffield Story (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
(uncredited)
Music by: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1840)
Lyrics by: Charles Wesley (1839)
Sung by the children chorus in the opening scenes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Touched by an angel
17 June 2004 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Dudley, the angel, comes to earth to teach a thing or two to the people of this town, or so it seems. He touches everyone he encounters in a positive way. The message is how we humans get so involved in things that are so unimportant that we miss the big picture.

This film, directed by Henry Koster, is a classic. In fact, I am surprised it doesn't play more during Christmas, or maybe I have missed seeing it around that time of the year that is the setting for the angel's appearance. It seems as though Dudley is pointing to the arrival of Christmas at a time, perhaps, when the season had still a non-commercial aspect and it was, after all, a family affair.

The cast was exceptional. Cary Grant is Dudley, the man/angel who turns everything he touches into a lesson on how to be kind. Julia, the bishop's wife, plays the neglected woman with conviction. David Niven plays the preoccupied bishop who is trying to bring the moneyed people of town to his side in order to erect his monument to his own ego.

Gladys Cooper is also a distinguished face in the film. She is Mrs. Hamilton who learns a thing or two about humility. Elsa Lanchester was a happy figure in whatever film she appeared. Monty Woolley, as the professor is also effective. James Gleason was one of the most prolific character actors of his generation. He is excellent as Sylvester, the taxi driver who befriends Julia and Dudley. Their ice skating sequence is one of the best things of the film.

This is a film to treasure.


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