The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy  |  16 February 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 9,577 users  
Reviews: 114 user | 34 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 overview, first billed only:
Sara Haden ...
Karolyn Grimes ...
Tito Vuolo ...
Sarah Edwards ...
Margaret McWade ...
Miss Trumbull
Anne O'Neal ...
Mrs. Ward (as Ann O'Neal)
Ben Erway ...
Mr. Perry


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

16 February 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jede Frau braucht einen Engel  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 19, 1949 with David Niven reprising his film role. See more »


When Dudley is dictating the sermon, he says "the uncle could", but the typewriter types "the uncle can". See more »


Henry Brougham: Are you expecting a letter?
Dudley: Well, you never know. If I did get one, the stamp would certainly be worth saving.
See more »


Referenced in Barry Norman's Christmas Movie Quiz (2007) See more »


(Montez à Dieu) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Gounod
Sung by the boys' choir
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

When An Angel Envies The People He's Helping, It's Time To Leave
28 July 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The year before this film came out another heavenly visitor in the person of Henry Travers visited earth after getting a complete and thorough briefing on his client James Stewart in It's A Wonderful Life. But other than learning that Travers liked a flaming rum punch we didn't learn too much about him.

Just as James Stewart prayed for guidance, David Niven who's a man of the cloth prays for it in The Bishop's Wife. Instead of lovable old Henry Travers, Niven gets as his aide, Cary Grant.

Niven proves to be a difficult client, but rather than expose him to an alternate universe, Grant does what he can in this world. Of course the woman who plays the title role, Loretta Young, is quite the distraction and Cary's having difficulty focusing.

Niven's a good man who's been raised to the post of bishop due to rich parishioner Gladys Cooper. He's to do her bidding and she bids that a cathedral be raised as a monument to her late husband. The burden of his conscience and dealing with Cooper has caused Niven to lose sight of what's really important in the world.

This is a Christmas season film so you know that everything will work itself out. If Cary Grant were an angel than I imagine he's very much like Dudley this minute. If I had a problem this Yuletide season, I'd kind of like Cary Grant to help me out, if I couldn't get Bing Crosby.

Loretta Young is radiant as the woman who causes Cary's halo to slip and David Niven is as charming as he always is. I also liked Monty Woolley as the professor and James Gleason as the cabdriver.

Make The Bishop's Wife a must for the Yuletide season. And see it back to back with the version that stars Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, and Courtney B. Vance.

19 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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