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The Bishop's Wife (1947)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 8,733 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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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Bishop's Wife (1947)

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William A. Seiter was the original director, but producer Samuel Goldwyn didn't like what he had shot and brought in Henry Koster to shoot a completely new film. The preview audience didn't like the new version, so Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett had to rewrite a couple of scenes without screen credit. See more »

Goofs

Obvious stunt double when Dudley shows Julia how he can spin on the ice; he appears shorter. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Henry Brougham: Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking. Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child's cry. A blazing star hung over a stable and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven't forgotten that night down the centuries; we celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, the sound of bells and with gifts. But especially with gifts. You give me a book; I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle Henry could do with a new pipe. We forget ...
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Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'It's a Wonderful Life' (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Lost April
Music by Emil Newman and Herbert W. Spencer (as Herbert Spencer)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the top 3 best Christmas movies of all time.
8 October 2004 | by (Chandler, Arizona, USA) – See all my reviews

I discovered this wonderful movie quite by accident. It was Christmas time many years ago, late at night, I was cruising the channels one last time before retiring for the night. when I saw Cary Grant's face flash on the screen. I had to pause my frenzied surfing. Cary is one of my all time favorite movie stars. Fortunately the movie was just beginning, so I sat back to watch, and was treated to a wonderful Christmas surprise.

Cary is at his wide screen best. All of his charm, wit, and charisma. Endowed by heavenly powers, he bestows his angelic persona upon a small town bishop who is overwhelmed by his mis-guided quest to build a magnificent "earthly" cathedral to glorify God. In frustration at the difficulty in building this false edification to God, he prays to God for guidance. The bishop's prayers are answered in the form of "Dudley", as Cary's angelic character in called.

Dudley proceeds to weave a benign spell over a whole cast of wonderful characters to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas. This charming Christmas fantasy truly warms the hart and kindles the soul.

David Nivin plays the perfect foil for Cary's assignment of "answering the bishop's prayers". Loretta Young's charming demeanor as the bishops devoted, but neglected wife, distracts Cary("Dudley")from his primary mission, and leads the audience on a heart warming journey through small town America at mid 20th century, during a memorable Christmas season.

My young son saw this movie for the first time when he was nine years old. It has become his favorite Christmas movie. He even requested to watch it last summer at age 12. I recommend this film for the whole Family. Put a fire in the fire place, light the scented candles, cuddle up with your love ones, and have a Merry "Cary" Christmas.


34 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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