The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy  |  16 February 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 9,589 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:
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
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Did You Know?


Originally Cary Grant played the bishop and David Niven the angel. When original director William A. Seiter left the film, Henry Koster replaced him and viewed what had been shot so far. He realized that the two were in the wrong roles. It took some convincing because Grant wanted the title role of the Bishop. He soon accepted the change and his role as the angel was one of the most widely praised of his career. See more »


Not only is Dudley's ice skating double shorter, he also appears to be wearing thick dark-rimmed glasses. See more »


Julia Brougham: Oh Dudley, I never know when you are joking.
Dudley: Ah, I am at my most serious when I'm joking
See more »


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


(Montez à Dieu) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Gounod
Sung by the boys' choir
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Choice Role For Cary Grant
28 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Like "Life With Father," also issued in 1947, this is an old-fashioned "nice" film. Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven make up an impressive trio of stars, but Grant has the best role. He makes the best of it, too, with expressions on his face that are funnier than most of the lines he delivers.

One not-so-family oriented thing he does, however, as the "angel," is go out on dates with the bishop's wife (Young). No respectable married woman, especially back then, would ever do that. At least the two of them recognize this fact later. Niven plays the bishop and, as usual in the film world, is portrayed as a weak clergyman.

Nonetheless, it is a charming, feel pretty-good movie that entertains through most of it. There are a few special-effects in here, too, that are good even by today's standards. One example would be the Christmas tree lighting scene.

This would make a good Christmas movie for people looking for suitable films during that holiday.

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