7.6/10
13,513
150 user 46 critic

The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy | 16 February 1948 (USA)
Trailer
2:38 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Henry Koster

Writers:

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

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A high school girl falls for a playboy artist, with screwball results.

Director: Irving Reis
Stars: Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man and his wife decide they can afford to have a house in the country built to their specifications. It's a lot more trouble than they think.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Melvyn Douglas
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Missing for seven years and presumed dead, a woman returns home on the day of her husband's second marriage.

Director: Garson Kanin
Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An escaped prisoner and a stuffy law professor vie for the hand of a spirited schoolteacher.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Ronald Colman
Mr. Lucky (1943)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A gambler has plans to swindle money from a charity program, but starts to have second thoughts when he falls for a rich society girl.

Director: H.C. Potter
Stars: Cary Grant, Laraine Day, Charles Bickford
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A food writer who has lied about being the perfect housewife must try to cover her deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas.

Director: Peter Godfrey
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet
Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After marrying an American lieutenant with whom he was assigned to work in post-war Germany, a French captain attempts to find a way to accompany her back to the States under the terms of the War Bride Act.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Cary Grant, Ann Sheridan, Marion Marshall
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A chemist finds his personal and professional life turned upside down when one of his chimpanzees finds the fountain of youth.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other's attempts to find new romance.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Dr. Noah Praetorius falls in love with Debra, a student who finds out that she is pregnant by her old boyfriend.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Cary Grant, Jeanne Crain, Finlay Currie
Father Goose (1964)
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During World War II, a man persuaded to live on an isolated island and spot aircraft finds himself responsible for a teacher and several students, all female.

Director: Ralph Nelson
Stars: Cary Grant, Leslie Caron, Trevor Howard
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A couple's big dreams give way to a life full of unexpected sadness and unexpected joy.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Beulah Bondi
Edit

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 | angel | christmas | hope | faith | See All (73) »

Taglines:

Laughs come thick and fast when Cary meets THE BISHOP'S WIFE! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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

In the final scene when the bishop is giving his Christmas sermon, the hymn board has three hymns listed that are scattered through the hymn book, but Christmas hymns would all be within a few numbers of each other. See more »

Quotes

Sylvester: Oh, you got a preacher with you.
Julia Brougham: Uh, this is my...
Sylvester: Oh, I know. There's gonna be a wedding ceremony - you and Dudley.
Julia Brougham: Sylvester, this is my husband, Bishop Brougham.
Henry Brougham: How do you do.
Sylvester: Oh.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Andrew Klavan Show: Episode #1.436 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
He's a real angel of a guy...
26 December 2002 | by gaityrSee all my reviews

Reverend Henry Brougham (David Niven) is working very hard to get his cathedral built--in fact, he's so busy speaking to wealthy clients and attending business meetings that he forgets that the one thing he needs most in this world is his wife Julia (Loretta Young) and their daughter Debbie. As Julia feels increasingly hurt at Henry's neglect, who should swoop in but the mysterious, charming Dudley (Cary Grant), telling Henry he's an angel who's there to answer Henry's prayer. Henry can't quite believe this even as Dudley seems to make himself quite at home in Henry's life, charming the wife, the child, the maids... even the taxi driver Sylvester (James Gleason). It's all a bit too much for Henry when Dudley finally brings the cathedral's biggest patron Mrs Hamilton (Gladys Cooper) around to the idea of donating the money to the homeless instead of to the cathedral. Is there anything left of Henry's life that he can salvage? And can he really compete against an angel who has God and little miracles on his side?

THE BISHOP'S WIFE is a sweet little romantic dramedy, perfect for a Christmas night curled up before the TV set. You have to give it credit for packing in a lot more story and real, human characters than you'd expect--it's not stock Christmas heart-tugging schmokum (did I just make up a word?), but a story that's quite genuinely intelligent and real. It's not perfect (what is?), but its presentation of the characters, especially Dudley and Henry, ring true. You can believe that Henry, underneath his bitterness and myopia, really loves his wife. He's just... forgotten his direction in life, is all. Niven does an excellent job with the character, keeping him just this side of prim but making him sympathetic especially when he asks Dudley to put up his fists for Julia.

My favourite secondary characters are Sylvester, played impeccably by Gleason, and the slightly dotty Professor Wutheridge (Monty Woolley). They're actually real *people*. Actually, they even fare better than Julia herself, whom I didn't particularly warm to. I wasn't annoyed by her, but nor did I feel that it was very likely she could get a reverend and an angel to almost come to blows over her. It's a shame that Loretta Young spent most of the film looking pensive, and even in her character's moments of joy--say the ice-skating scene--she simply fails to leap off the screen and run away with the audience's hearts.

Cary Grant has no such problem, however. From the moment he strolls onscreen as Dudley--the guardian angel every girl wished she could have--he has everyone's attention. He makes Dudley just a little bit roguish, a little bit dark. You couldn't really take Grant seriously if he's all decked out in an angel's costume, halo and harp and all, but you *can* imagine him as a sort of very human kind of angel. Which is exactly what Dudley is. It's mostly the smaller moments Grant sneaks into the film and his own performance that make THE BISHOP'S WIFE compelling viewing, and if you came to this film as a Grant fan, you certainly won't leave it disappointed.

All in all, the final film is well-drawn-together, cleverly written and directed, and benefiting from its two powerhouse male leads... Niven cleverly underplaying his part, and Grant suffusing Dudley with the charm and deep, hidden vulnerability he can suggest in all his characters without so much as faking a pained expression. It's definitely a great way to spend a Christmas night, and perhaps any other night. 8/10.


43 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 150 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

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
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed