The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy  |  16 February 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 9,505 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.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Monty Woolley ...
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

Show detailed on  »

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 May 11, 1953 with Cary Grant reprising his film role. See more »


After Dudley joins Julia in the park, they go to lunch at Michel's and then pay a visit to the Professor. But later when they return home and Julia tells the Bishop about their day, she says they went to visit the Professor and then went to Michel's. See more »


Dudley: Sometimes angels rush in where fools fear to tread.
See more »


Referenced in Touch of Pink (2004) See more »


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 kindest, gentlest, most beautiful movies ever made...
24 November 1999 | by (Seattle, Washington) – See all my reviews

A good script and inspired casting is what makes this film a real winner.

Cary Grant as Dudley the Angel has a charm that transcends his role.

When he enters a room his presence fills the screen -- you know he is there even if you cannot always see him.

Loretta Young (who was a last minute replacement) is positively luminescent when she gazes into Dudley's face.

This goes for Elsa Lanchester and Gladys Cooper (the staff at the Bishop's house) too -- they have absolute adoration in their countenance. Not hard to do with Cary Grant I am sure -- but they take it to the spiritual level.

David Niven gives just the right amount of disbelief and cynicism as the Bishop that may have lost his faith.

I have always enjoyed performances by Monty Wooley and again he is perfectly cast as the self-described "has-been scholar."

The special effects are wonderful for a time (1947) when special effects were pretty much in their infancy.

Movie books classify "The Bishop's Wife" as a fantasy -- but there is so much more there than that.

It is a love story, a comedy, a drama and an all around inspiring film.

"Peace on Earth; good will towards men."

40 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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