Bishop's Wife

Bishop's Wife

4.7 28
Director: Henry Koster

Cast: Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven

     
 

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When Episcopalian bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) prays for divine guidance in his efforts to raise the necessary funds for a new cathedral, his prayers are answered in the form of a handsome, personable guardian angel named Dudley (Cary Grant). Establishing himself as a Yuletide guest in the Brougham home, Dudley arouses the ire of Henry, who, unaware that his… See more details below

Overview

When Episcopalian bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) prays for divine guidance in his efforts to raise the necessary funds for a new cathedral, his prayers are answered in the form of a handsome, personable guardian angel named Dudley (Cary Grant). Establishing himself as a Yuletide guest in the Brougham home, Dudley arouses the ire of Henry, who, unaware that his visitor is from Up Above, assumes that Dudley has designs on the bishop's wife Julia (Loretta Young). Eventually, the lives of both Henry and Julia are agreeably altered by the presence of the affable angel: He regains the "common touch" he'd almost lost, while she realizes anew how much she truly loves her husband. Adapted by Robert E. Sherwood and Robert Bercovicci from a novel by Robert Nathan, The Bishop's Wife was remade in 1996 as The Preacher's Wife, with Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston and Courtney B. Vance.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Ostensibly a fantasy, this gentle, warmhearted movie celebrates the innate human goodness that we all occasionally conceal from the world or avoid displaying, lest we be categorized as soft or weak. Hollywood movies, especially those from the "golden age" of the '30s and '40s, often perverted genuine emotions for the sake of story development, but the characters in The Bishop's Wife are portrayed with a profound humanity. The fanciful plot has an angel coming to earth and taking human form (in the image of top-billed Cary Grant) to help people tap into their better natures. Grant's principal target is a young, aggressive bishop (David Niven) who, in his obsessive determination to erect a massive cathedral, has gradually distanced himself from the members of his parish as well from as his adoring wife (Loretta Young). The flesh-and-blood angel wants nothing more than to help strengthen both parish and family, but the enigmatic newcomer’s relationship with the bishop’s wife leads the cleric to confusion and jealousy. Director Henry Koster handles this material with a feather-light touch and brings out the best in his cast by putting them through their paces with subtlety and restraint. Indeed, by keeping his naturally ebullient comedic persona in check, Grant delivers one of his finest performances. The same can be said of Young, who is particularly moving as the wife who senses that things are changing without realizing she's been touched by an angel. Sensitive scripting by playwright Robert E. Sherwood, expert cinematography by Gregg Toland, and evocative scoring by Oscar-nominated Hugo Friedhofer combine to make this 1947 drama one of the richest and most affecting ever to come out of Hollywood.
All Movie Guide
One of the most beloved of all Christmas films, The Bishop's Wife is a delightful combination of witty dialogue and charming performances. The polished finished product is all the more remarkable considering its troubled production history. William Seiter originally directed the film, with Cary Grant in the part of the bishop and David Niven as the angel (amazingly, they would swap roles for the final product). The film's notoriously short-tempered producer Samuel Goldwyn was furious with Seiter's finished product, fired the director and started from scratch. He hired Henry Koster to re-direct, but initial audience previews went poorly, and several new scenes were written (some from an uncredited Billy Wilder). The end product shows none of the seams, and the film was rewarded with five Academy Award nominations, including one for Koster (Best Director) and one for Goldwyn (Best Picture). The Bishop's Wife became of the most cherished Christmas movies ever -- strangely enough, it would be released within two years of the other perennial favorites It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street. Remade, dreadfully, by director Penny Marshall in 1996 as The Preacher's Wife.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/15/2013
UPC:
0883929279593
Original Release:
1947
Rating:
TVG
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:49:00
Sales rank:
3,003

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cary Grant Dudley
Loretta Young Julia Brougham
David Niven Henry Brougham
Monty Woolley Prof. Wutheridge
Gladys Cooper Mrs. Hamilton
James Gleason Sylvester
Elsa Lanchester Matilda
Claire Du Brey Second Lady
Sarah Edwards Mrs. Duffy
Ben Erway Mr. Perry
Karolyn Grimes Debby Brougham
Sara Haden Mildred Cassaway
Teddy Infuhr Attack Captain
Isabel Jewell Hysterical Mother
David Leonard Blind Man
Margaret McWade Miss Trumbull
Anne O'Neal Mrs. Ward
Kitty O'Neil Hat Shop Customer
Almira Sessions First Lady at Michel's
Regis Toomey Mr. Miller
Dorothy Vaughan Delia
Tito Vuolo Maggenti
Margaret Wells Hat Shop Proprietress
Bobby Anderson Defense Captain
Eugene Borden Michel
Florence Auer Third Lady
Joseph J. Greene Santa Claus
Erville Alderson Stevens
Edgar Dearing Policeman
Edythe Elliott Saleslady

Technical Credits
Henry Koster Director
Leonardo Bercovici Screenwriter
Monica Collingwood Editor
Perry Ferguson Art Director
Hugo W. Friedhofer Score Composer
John P. Fulton Special Effects
Samuel Goldwyn Producer
Charles Henderson Art Director
Julia Heron Set Decoration/Design
George Jenkins Art Director
Fred Lau Sound/Sound Designer
Emil Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Irene Sharaff Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert E. Sherwood Screenwriter
Robert Stephanoff Makeup
Gregg Toland Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Bishop's Wife
1. Chapter 1 [1:14]
2. Chapter 2 [8:38]
3. Chapter 3 [6:17]
4. Chapter 4 [6:52]
5. Chapter 5 [7:40]
6. Chapter 6 [9:39]
7. Chapter 7 [5:42]
8. Chapter 8 [4:36]
9. Chapter 9 [9:36]
10. Chapter 10 [6:02]
11. Chapter 11 [16:17]
12. Chapter 12 [3:51]
13. Chapter 13 [8:35]
14. Chapter 14 [4:20]
15. Chapter 15 [6:18]
16. Chapter 16 [3:38]

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