5.6/10
10,342
48 user 39 critic

The Preacher's Wife (1996)

Trailer
1:59 | Trailer
An angel comes to Earth to help a preacher save his church and his family.

Director:

Penny Marshall

Writers:

Robert Nathan (novel), Robert E. Sherwood (earlier screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Dudley
Whitney Houston ... Julia Biggs
Courtney B. Vance ... Reverend Henry Biggs
Gregory Hines ... Joe Hamilton
Jenifer Lewis ... Margueritte Coleman
Loretta Devine ... Beverly
Justin Pierre Edmund ... Jeremiah Biggs
Lionel Richie ... Britsloe
Paul Bates ... Saul Jeffreys
Lex Monson Lex Monson ... Osbert
Darvel Davis Jr. Darvel Davis Jr. ... Hakim
William James Stiggers Jr. William James Stiggers Jr. ... Billy Eldridge
Marcella Lowery ... Anna Eldridge
Cissy Houston ... Mrs. Havergal
Aaron A. McConnaughey Aaron A. McConnaughey ... Teen
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Storyline

Good natured Reverend Henry Biggs finds that his marriage to choir mistress Julia is flagging, due to his constant absence caring for the deprived neighborhood they live in. On top of all this, his church is coming under threat from property developer Joe Hamilton. In desperation, Rev. Biggs prays to God for help - and help arrives in the form of an angel named Dudley. However, Dudley's arrival seems to cause even more trouble... Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They needed help. What they got was a miracle.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 December 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Preacher's Wife See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,649,752, 15 December 1996

Gross USA:

$48,102,795

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$48,102,795
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a 2013 interview with the Archive of American Television, director Penny Marshall relayed a story where she had to ask one of the extras to leave during filming of one of the interior church scenes. She noticed that the person was wearing a yellow sweater, which was also the same color the church choir was wearing. Ironically enough, the sweater was provided by the production wardrobe assistants. Marshall found out, years later through a friend of hers, that the extra that she kicked out was future actress and comedian, Melissa McCarthy. See more »

Quotes

Rev. Henry Biggs: When we love someone we are really loving God.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Step By Step
Written by Annie Lennox
Performed by Whitney Houston
Courtesy by Arista Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretty good, enjoyable
27 June 2009 | by kyle-cruseSee all my reviews

There is no reason to be hard on this film. An overall rating of 5.2 is very low, in my opinion, and there is little to dislike about "The Preacher's Wife." It's a fairly simple story involving Dudley (Denzel Washington), an angel sent to earth to assist a pastor's marriage during Christmas time. One reason I liked this film is because few romantic comedies in recent years have been clean enough to watch with the entire family. There is almost nothing objectionable here, just a few brief, very mild swear words that have no bearing on the film. It's a decently funny film as well. I had to laugh at Dudley finding an image of a Windows computer screen in his angel handbook. The wisecracking grandmother was also a beneficial addition to the movie. Take her comment "We're gonna play Monopoly, with real money." There are still a few things that could have been improved on. The plot twist involving Dudley falling in love with Whitney Houston could have been played up more and was not nearly as funny as it had the potential to be. Also, the chemistry between the main couple is not super good, and the film lacks the romance necessary to make this a great rom-com. Nevertheless, it's enjoyable and doesn't deserve any harsh comments.

Note: Because of the abundance of Christmas-related content, it's best to watch this around Christmas time, or you may feel slightly embarrassed.

*** out of ****


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