7.6/10
10,218
122 user 37 critic

The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 16 February 1948 (USA)
Trailer
2:38 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
An angel in human form enters the life of a bishop in order to help him build a new cathedral and repair his fractured marriage.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A high school girl falls for a playboy artist with screwball results.

Director: Irving Reis
Stars: Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A man and his wife decide they can afford to have a house in the country built to their specifications. It's a lot more trouble than they think.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Melvyn Douglas
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A food writer who has lied about being the perfect housewife must try to cover her deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas.

Director: Peter Godfrey
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Missing for seven years and presumed dead, a woman returns home on the day of her husband's second marriage.

Director: Garson Kanin
Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott
Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Captain Henri Rochard is a French officer assigned to work with Lieut. Catherine Gates. Through a wacky series of misadventures, they fall in love and marry. When the war ends, Capt. ... See full summary »

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Cary Grant, Ann Sheridan, Marion Marshall
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A fairly well-to-do family takes in 2 troubled orphans since no one else will take them.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Cary Grant, Betsy Drake, Lurene Tuttle
Topper (1937)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A fun-loving couple, finding that they died and are now ghosts, decide to shake up the stuffy lifestyle of a friend of theirs.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Roland Young
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An escaped prisoner and a stuffy law professor vie for the hand of a spirited schoolteacher.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Ronald Colman
Father Goose (1964)
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During WW2, a man persuaded to live on an isolated island and spot aircraft finds himself responsible for a teacher and several students, all female.

Director: Ralph Nelson
Stars: Cary Grant, Leslie Caron, Trevor Howard
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A couple's big dreams give way to a life full of unexpected sadness and unexpected joy.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Beulah Bondi
Holiday (1938)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young man falls in love with a girl from a rich family. His unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life is met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long suffering brother.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan
Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

World War 2 comedy about a submarine commander who finds himself stuck with a decrepit (and pink) sub, a con-man executive officer and a group of army nurses.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Joan O'Brien
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 1, 1948 with Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

In several shots throughout the movie, the dog trainer's shadow can be seen. When Dudley pushes Julia's chair in, at Henry's back a shadow moves, and the dog gets up and walks over to Dudley. See more »

Quotes

Prof. Wutheridge: For some time now, every time I pass the cemetery, I feel as though I'm apartment hunting.
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

 
He's a real angel of a guy...
26 December 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Reverend Henry Brougham (David Niven) is working very hard to get his cathedral built--in fact, he's so busy speaking to wealthy clients and attending business meetings that he forgets that the one thing he needs most in this world is his wife Julia (Loretta Young) and their daughter Debbie. As Julia feels increasingly hurt at Henry's neglect, who should swoop in but the mysterious, charming Dudley (Cary Grant), telling Henry he's an angel who's there to answer Henry's prayer. Henry can't quite believe this even as Dudley seems to make himself quite at home in Henry's life, charming the wife, the child, the maids... even the taxi driver Sylvester (James Gleason). It's all a bit too much for Henry when Dudley finally brings the cathedral's biggest patron Mrs Hamilton (Gladys Cooper) around to the idea of donating the money to the homeless instead of to the cathedral. Is there anything left of Henry's life that he can salvage? And can he really compete against an angel who has God and little miracles on his side?

THE BISHOP'S WIFE is a sweet little romantic dramedy, perfect for a Christmas night curled up before the TV set. You have to give it credit for packing in a lot more story and real, human characters than you'd expect--it's not stock Christmas heart-tugging schmokum (did I just make up a word?), but a story that's quite genuinely intelligent and real. It's not perfect (what is?), but its presentation of the characters, especially Dudley and Henry, ring true. You can believe that Henry, underneath his bitterness and myopia, really loves his wife. He's just... forgotten his direction in life, is all. Niven does an excellent job with the character, keeping him just this side of prim but making him sympathetic especially when he asks Dudley to put up his fists for Julia.

My favourite secondary characters are Sylvester, played impeccably by Gleason, and the slightly dotty Professor Wutheridge (Monty Woolley). They're actually real *people*. Actually, they even fare better than Julia herself, whom I didn't particularly warm to. I wasn't annoyed by her, but nor did I feel that it was very likely she could get a reverend and an angel to almost come to blows over her. It's a shame that Loretta Young spent most of the film looking pensive, and even in her character's moments of joy--say the ice-skating scene--she simply fails to leap off the screen and run away with the audience's hearts.

Cary Grant has no such problem, however. From the moment he strolls onscreen as Dudley--the guardian angel every girl wished she could have--he has everyone's attention. He makes Dudley just a little bit roguish, a little bit dark. You couldn't really take Grant seriously if he's all decked out in an angel's costume, halo and harp and all, but you *can* imagine him as a sort of very human kind of angel. Which is exactly what Dudley is. It's mostly the smaller moments Grant sneaks into the film and his own performance that make THE BISHOP'S WIFE compelling viewing, and if you came to this film as a Grant fan, you certainly won't leave it disappointed.

All in all, the final film is well-drawn-together, cleverly written and directed, and benefiting from its two powerhouse male leads... Niven cleverly underplaying his part, and Grant suffusing Dudley with the charm and deep, hidden vulnerability he can suggest in all his characters without so much as faking a pained expression. It's definitely a great way to spend a Christmas night, and perhaps any other night. 8/10.


33 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What's the song being sung by the boys choir? DoctorWhoFan
Ice skating scene MaryaRud
Grants angel. C-Cat
Bishops wife vs preachers wife. jamsmen
how can a bishop have a wife? the_other_kinsey_institute
Color Version Available wcraft-4
Discuss The Bishop's Wife (1947) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?