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The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 16 February 1948 (USA)
Trailer
2:38 | Trailer
A debonair angel comes to Earth to help an Episcopalian bishop and his wife in their quest to raise money for the new church.

Director:

Henry Koster

Writers:

Robert E. Sherwood (screenplay), Leonardo Bercovici (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cary Grant ... Dudley
Loretta Young ... Julia Brougham
David Niven ... Henry Brougham
Monty Woolley ... Professor Wutheridge
James Gleason ... Sylvester
Gladys Cooper ... Mrs. Hamilton
Elsa Lanchester ... Matilda
Sara Haden ... Mildred Cassaway
Karolyn Grimes ... Debby Brougham
Tito Vuolo ... Maggenti
Regis Toomey ... Mr. Miller
Sarah Edwards Sarah Edwards ... Mrs. Duffy
Margaret McWade ... Miss Trumbull
Anne O'Neal 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:

angel | christmas | faith | church | bishop | See All (78) »

Taglines:

Only comedy ever selected for Royal Command Performance! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the Bishop (David Niven) gives his sermon at the end, the hymns of the evening are hymn 12, "The golden sun lights up the sky", hymn 382, "King of glory, King of peace", and hymn 268, "Ye who claim the faith of Jesus", according to the Episcopal Hymnal 1982. See more »

Goofs

Whilst 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

Prof. Wutheridge: How about dropping into my humble diggings for a bit of Yuletide cheer?
[Dudley and Julia agree, and the trio head off to the professor's place]
Prof. Wutheridge: There's a little sherry left. It's rather inferior grade, but potable.
Dudley: [noticing the Christmas tree] Professor, I see you're quite a religious man.
Prof. Wutheridge: What makes you think that?
Dudley: You have an angel on your tree.
Prof. Wutheridge: Well, Julia gave me that years ago.
Julia Brougham: Why, your tree is beautiful, Professor.
Prof. Wutheridge: It's disgraceful! However, it gives me the illusion of peace on earth, good will...
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Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Frank Miller (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
(uncredited)
Music by: Felix Mendelssohn (1840)
Lyrics by: Charles Wesley (1839)
Sung by the children chorus in the opening scenes
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User Reviews

 
One of the kindest, gentlest, most beautiful movies ever made...
24 November 1999 | by TuckMNSee 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."


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

16 February 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bishop's Wife See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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