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The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 16 February 1948 (USA)
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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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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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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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
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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

Teresa Wright was playing the bishop's wife in the William A. Seiter version until the director was abruptly fired. She was not recast as she was then pregnant. Samuel Goldwyn's decision to start the film over again was a costly one, as $1 million had already been spent. See more »

Goofs

While Dudley is telling the story of David to Debby, Miss Cassaway comes out and stands in front of the library door. By the time Dudley finishes the story, she's standing to the right of the door and then in front of the door again. See more »

Quotes

Dudley: The world changes, but two things remain constant... Youth and Beauty. They're really one in the same thing.
Julia Brougham: Yes. The trouble is, people grow old.
Dudley: Not everybody. The only people who grow old were born old to begin with.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hunter: The Black Dahlia (1988) 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

 
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.


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