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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
Popularity
4,665 ( 4,114)
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

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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

A preteenage girl was hit by a car and killed while crossing the street during production in Yonkers, New York. See more »

Quotes

Julia Biggs: Who would use Baby Wet Wet for Jesus?
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movie Angels (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Hold On, Help Is On The Way
Written by Kenneth Paden
Performed by Whitney Houston with the Georgia Mass Choir
Courtesy by Arista Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's a Wonderful Bishop's Life
12 March 2010 | by zunitrail-1See all my reviews

I saw this when it was in the theaters. I basically loved it mainly for its music and Jennifer Lewis' (Julia's mother) performance, but also I loved the opening and closing (climax) scenes. I'm basically a sucker for that kind of thing, and I understand how other people wouldn't find it interesting. I just saw the movie (The Bishop's Wife) which it was based on and finally feel qualified to comment. TPW was not just a remake of TBW, but more of a combination of TBW and "It's a Wonderful Life." Henry in TPW was the character of Jimmy Stewart in IWL, always caring for the underdog (altho very cynical to the angel's angelhood); Joe Hamilton in TPW was "Mr Potter" of the same, with his schemes to redevelop and control the town. I actually found it charming the way elements of TBW found themselves woven into TPW: the ice skating scene, the typewriter-turned-PC, the final sermon, to name a few. But I did realize that the message had been diluted into a feel-good comedy. There are no moments where one feels deeply moved merely by dialogue, such as TBW's Dudley's story of David and the Lion, which captivates the Bishop's entire household, down to the all-business secretary (not to mention the audience!). In TPW, we are made to be moved by the beautiful music; and as such, I guess we might as well just buy the soundtrack. TBW reminded me that special effects are only as good as the movie itself.


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