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The Bishop's Wife (1947) Poster

Quotes

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[last lines]

Henry Brougham: Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking. Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child's cry. A blazing star hung over a stable and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven't forgotten that night down the centuries; we celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, the sound of bells and with gifts. But especially with gifts. You give me a book; I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle Henry could do with a new pipe. We forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled... all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. It's his birthday we are celebrating. Don't ever let us forget that. Let us ask ourselves what he would wish for most... and then let each put in his share. Loving kindness, warm hearts and the stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts that make peace on earth.

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

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Prof. Wutheridge: God bless you!

Dudley: Thank you! I'll pass that recommendation along.

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Henry Brougham: I was praying for a cathedral.

Dudley: No, Henry. You were praying for guidance.

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Dudley: Supposing I told you I came from another planet. Would you believe me?

Prof. Wutheridge: I don't know.

Julia Brougham: I'd believe you, Dudley.

Dudley: And you'd be right, Julia, as always. We all come from our own little planets. That's why we're all different. That's what makes life interesting.

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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.

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Henry Brougham: Are you expecting a letter?

Dudley: Oh, one never knows. But if I should get one, the stamp will be worth saving.

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Prof. Wutheridge: When you want to know about a woman, ask the old men. They know.

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Julia Brougham: Oh Dudley, I never know when you are joking or serious.

Dudley: I'm at my most serious when I'm joking.

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Prof. Wutheridge: You know, for quite a while now, every time I passed a cemetery, I felt as if I were apartment hunting.

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Sylvester: The main trouble is there are too many people who don't know where they're going and they want to get there too fast!

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Matilda: Nobody expects him be normal; he's a bishop.

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Henry Brougham: Dudley, if we should need you again, will you come back?

Dudley: Not I. I shall ask to be assigned to the other end of the Universe.

Henry Brougham: Is that because I was so difficult?

Dudley: Oh, no. This difficulty was in me. When an Immortal finds himself envying the Mortal he is entrusted to his care, it's a danger signal. Take her in your arms and hold her tight.

[Coming]

Dudley: Kiss her for me, you lucky Henry!

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Dudley: I don't want to leave.

Julia Brougham: Why?

Dudley: There are few people who know the secret of making a heaven here on earth. You are one of those rare people.

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Dudley: Well, if you had sent me to represent you with Mrs. Hamilton, I would've gone. You didn't. So I represented you with your wife.

Henry Brougham: Is that part of the normal duties of a... of an angel?

Dudley: Sometimes, Henry, angels must rush in where fools fear to tread.

Henry Brougham: I haven't the faintest idea what that means. I don't want it explained to me.

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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.

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Julia Brougham: Well, you should have seen him with Professor Wutheridge. He knows more about history than the professor.

Henry Brougham: He's been at it longer.

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Julia Brougham: I am wicked.

Dudley: If you are, so am I. And that's impossible.

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Julia Brougham: Darling, you must never say never.

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Dudley: I don't want to leave.

Julia Brougham: Why?

Dudley: Few people know the secret of making a heaven here on earth. You are one of those rare people.

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Mrs. Hamilton: Now, that large window depicting St. George and the dragon...

Henry Brougham: Yes?

Mrs. Hamilton: I should very much like the countenance of St. George to suggest my late husband.

Henry Brougham: Uh, who do you see as the dragon?

Mrs. Hamilton: Oh... oh, any dragon.

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Henry Brougham: Mrs. Hamilton, surely you understand that this cathedral *cannot* be designed for the glory of an individual. It has to be created for *all* the people.

Mrs. Hamilton: I'm very displeased at your whole attitude, Henry Brougham. You seem to forget that I was instrumental in having you made bishop, although others thought you too young.

Mrs. Hamilton: [continues] I had every confidence in you when you were a poor little parson at church in the slums. I confess my confidence is weakened.

Henry Brougham: I regret I've been such a disappointment.

Mrs. Hamilton: Regrets and apologies are no good whatsoever. You give me the impression of being confused, indecisive and utterly ineffectual. That is not the kind of leadership we expect of our bishop. You better remember one thing. You will build that cathedral as *I* want it, or you will not build it at all. That's all I have to say.

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Dudley: You have some problems with the building of this cathedral, haven't you?

Henry Brougham: Yes.

Dudley: It's a fine cathedral. Ought to look magnificent up there on the top of Sanctuary Hill. Well, Henry, do you believe I am what I say I am?

Henry Brougham: Well, how can I? I've only got your word for it.

Dudley: But you're a bishop. You, of all people, can trust the word of an angel.

Henry Brougham: I'd like to. What do you... What do you propose to do? Perform a miracle?

Dudley: If necessary.

Henry Brougham: Well, why don't you? Why don't you create the cathedral with one wave of your hand?

Dudley: You wouldn't want me to do that, would you? How would you explain it?

Henry Brougham: Well, I...

Dudley: Tell the world you're being visited by an angel? You can't do that.

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Julia Brougham: Why don't you show us the manuscript of your book, professor? Will you?

Prof. Wutheridge: My book?

Julia Brougham: Yes, please.

Prof. Wutheridge: Oh, no, no, no, no.

Dudley: You're writing one?

Prof. Wutheridge: Yes.

[... then gives Dudley a suspicious look]

Prof. Wutheridge: You didn't know?

Dudley: You didn't tell me.

Prof. Wutheridge: I described that book in detail in the course of lectures I gave at the university in Vienna. *All* my pupils heard me.

Prof. Wutheridge: [turning to Julia] Now I'm certain this fellow's an impostor.

Dudley: Oh, *that* book? I thought you'd finished that years ago.

Prof. Wutheridge: I'll tell you... I'll tell you about my book. For 20 years I've been talking about it. I've been promising the publishers that it would be delivered next spring. The funny part of it is, in all that time, I haven't written one word. Not one word.

Julia Brougham: Why not?

Prof. Wutheridge: I couldn't think of anything original to say. Just the same old monotonous history, dry as dust. That's the whole story of my life. Frustration. It's a chronic disease... and it's incurable.

Prof. Wutheridge: [continues] Once I was madly... Once I was madly in love with a girl. My friends, she was a vision of delight. A pure enchantress.

Julia Brougham: Why, you've never told me about that.

Prof. Wutheridge: No, that's just the trouble. I never told her about it either. I couldn't find the words. So she married an athlete. A great hulking oaf who never even reached the eighth grade. But he knew how to say, "I love you." Same trouble with my book. Can't find the words.

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Prof. Wutheridge: Same trouble with my book. Can't find the words.

Dudley: [holding up an old Roman coin] Even when you had this coin to inspire you?

Julia Brougham: Why, that's the one that you gave to Henry, professor.

Dudley: Yes, I, uh, I stole it off the table.

Prof. Wutheridge: You wasted your time, Dudley. It's worthless.

Dudley: Oh, on the contrary. This is one of the rarest of all antiquities. Only 100 of these coins were minted by Julius Caesar 2000 years ago. That was when Cleopatra visited Rome. Presumably, these coins were used to pay her hotel bill.

Prof. Wutheridge: I never knew that.

Dudley: Well, nobody knew about it, except, uh, Caesar's wife.

Julia Brougham: She was suspicious?

Dudley: Definitely. She did *not* share her husband's admiration for Cleopatra. So she had these coins destroyed, melted into ornaments for herself. This is the one she missed. It's an unwritten chapter in history, and you, professor, will write it.

Prof. Wutheridge: [showing some growing curiosity] Do you know any more stories like that?

Dudley: Oh, any number of them.

Prof. Wutheridge: You're a curious fellow, Dudley.

Julia Brougham: Have you just begun to notice that?

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Prof. Wutheridge: Dudley...

Dudley: Yes, my friend?

Prof. Wutheridge: There's one thing that troubles me. One thing I wish I knew.

Dudley: What's that?

Prof. Wutheridge: Well, I'm an old man. That history is a tremendous task. I wonder... will I have time to finish it?

Dudley: You'll finish your history, Professor. You'll have time.

Prof. Wutheridge: I believe you, Dudley.

Prof. Wutheridge: [Dudley hands him the old Roman coin] You know, for quite a while now, every time I pass the cemetery, I've felt as if I were apartment hunting.

Julia Brougham: [Julia and Dudley are heading for the door] Goodbye, Professor.

Prof. Wutheridge: You've given an old man a very happy afternoon... God bless you both.

Dudley: Thank you. I'll pass that recommendation along.

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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 toward men.

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Henry Brougham: [the meeting with Mrs. Hamilton has just concluded] What a ghastly afternoon. What a ghastly woman. And I trust she understood that I have no intention of being strangled by her purse strings.

Julia Brougham: Oh, she did, and I was proud of you.

Henry Brougham: I had a most un-Christian impulse to take those blueprints and give her a good whack over the... mink coat.

Julia Brougham: I thought you stood up to her magnificently.

Henry Brougham: I appreciate your appreciation, but what about my cathedral?

Julia Brougham: May I make a suggestion, Henry? Why not postpone the cathedral? At least forget about it until after Christmas.

Henry Brougham: Impossible. The house of God cannot just be put off. This cathedral must rise. Plenty of other rich people in this town, and if I had to enlist their financial enthusiasm, then I shall have to take advantage of their Yuletide spirit.

Julia Brougham: Oh, I can see it all now, the McWhithers, the Hornes, the Van Deusens. The luncheons, the committee meetings. And you, you there, flattering them, kowtowing to them, *begging* them.

Henry Brougham: It's got to be done.

Julia Brougham: Oh, Henry, if you could see your poor, harassed face.

Henry Brougham: Well, you haven't done very much to help it!

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