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The Bishop's Wife (1948)

Cary Grant , Loretta Young , Henry Koster  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (745 customer reviews)

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The Bishop's Wife + It's a Wonderful Life (60th Anniversary Edition) + Miracle on 34th Street
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Product Details

  • Actors: Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven, Monty Woolley, James Gleason
  • Directors: Henry Koster
  • Writers: Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, Leonardo Bercovici, Robert E. Sherwood, Robert Nathan
  • Producers: Samuel Goldwyn
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Black & White, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 6, 2001
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (745 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000056HE9
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,198 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Bishop's Wife" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Heavenly bells are ringing, jubilant choirs are singing and Christmas joy is blanketing the world like freshly fallen snow. But the Yuletide spirit has yet to warm Bishop Henry Brougham's Victorian home. Struggling to raise funds for a new cathedral, the preoccupied young clergyman has neglected his loving wife Julia, and now only divine intervention can save their marriage! But the powerful and handsome angel sent from above has a mind of his own and teaching mortal Henry an immortal lesson inromance isn't all he's got planned! Starring Oscar(r) winners* Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven, and featuring "a stellar supporting cast" (The Hollywood Reporter) that includes James Gleason and Monty Woolley, this delightful romantic comedy is wondrous, witty andtruly divine! *Grant, Honorary Oscar (1969); Young, Actress, The Farmer's Daughter (1947); Niven, Actor, Separate Tables (1958)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
89 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gentle Classic October 3, 2005
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This genlte film, based on Robert Nathan's fine story, has the warmth of a cup of hot cider by the fireplace during a cold December day. There is something quiet and magical about it, like the hush of the world when it snows. Cary Grant and Loretta Young are a joy to watch together, their easy chemistry as welcome as popcorn balls and candy canes.

Directed by Henry Koster, with some nice photography from Gregg Toland, the screenplay by Robert E. Sherwood and Leonardo Bercovici captures perfectly the sentimental fantasy feel of all Robert Nathan's fine work. Cary Grant convinced producer Samuel Goldwyn to let him portray the role of Dudley rather than the bishop, and after seeing this film, it would be difficult to imagine it any other way.

Cary Grant always made everything look easy, but just how much work went into that illusion is exemplified by this film. Before shooting began, Grant could not ice skate, play the harp, or speak any French. By the time "The Bishop's Wife" was finished shooting, he could do all three. It was truly an accomplishment of heavenly preportions. The film itself was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Picture, and received another nomination for Best Director.

Henry Brogham (David Niven) is a newly appointed Episcopalian bishop trying to secure funds for a big cathedral he wants to build. He is selling out little by little to the demands of Mrs. Hamilton (Gladys Cooper), who helped get him his appointment and has the money he needs to make his dream come true. But he has forgotten about his wife's happiness in his quest to build the massive church, and when he prays for direction from God, he gets more than he bargained for.

Cary Grant is the Angel, Dudley, who's been sent to help out.
Read more ›
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Family Favorite! November 22, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
This film is one of the best of the Christmas Classics. The Bishop's Wife tells a story of an angel (Cary Grant) who comes down to earth in answer to a busy Bishop's (David Niven) prayer. The angel helps the Bishop learn to adjust his priorities and comes close to falling in love with Julia, the Bishop's wife (Loretta Young). The movie includes a lovely Skating/ Dance scene that defies description. Make this movie a tradition for your family this year.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet and magical... July 20, 2002
By ehakus
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is really quite good - nice for the holidays or for any other day, for that matter. It is very sweet, and features wonderful performances from three classic stars.
Essentially, The Bishop's Wife is the story of a bishop (David Niven) who becomes overly obsessed with getting funds for a new cathedral and subsequently neglects his wife and the things that really count. After he prays for help with his project, an angel named Dudley (Cary Grant), arrives to make him see that really counts in his life and to entertain his wife (Loretta Young).
An interesting fact about this movie is that, after the initial script was found too dull, several expert writers were brought in (uncredited) to improve the movie. And it worked, because this movie has many good lines and scenes. Most importantly, however, this movie depends on the great performances of its stars. Cary Grant is really the only actor who could have made a role like Dudley seem realistic and interesting, and he pulls it off with his characteristic style, elegance, and charm. Like in all his roles, he plays this one effortlessly and just right. Niven is excellent as the stressed out bishop, and Loretta Young does a nice job as the neglected wife. All in all, a sweet movie!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars * * * * * I'd give it 10 stars! August 19, 2004
This is my favorite movie of all time. It has a wonderful cast, every one of them is so well suited for their role. It's even entertaining to watch them eat celery! The Angel choir throughout gives such a hopeful feel and reminds us who we're dealing with. I love the special effects as well. Without computers I am sure the film makers had to be very clever to make them work and they were done beautifully. I watch this every Christmas by the light of my Christmas tree. Buy it and share it with your family and friends!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oops. Authoring error takes down Grant's angel November 7, 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I love this movie. I have owned it on VHS, laserdisc, an old HBO DVD, and just today I received the new Blu-ray. Good looking copy. Nice contrast and sharp picture. There's just one problem - there's an authoring error that puts a few seconds of one scene in the middle of another. At about 18 minutes in as Dudley is trying to decide what to do with all of the donation letters he has, the image suddenly switches to a previous scene where Dudley and the professor are looking at the bishop's old church. The audio continues on as if the other scene isn't there, but the image is wrong. This lasts for about three seconds, then it returns to the right visuals. I was so disappointed that this wasn't caught. I would give it a 5 if it hadn't been the case. I'm just shocked that this kind of thing happens these days! Hopefully WB will correct this and offer a trade-in.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Grant, Young And Niven are "Stars" December 24, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
It's fun to dig into the vaults occasionally and come up with a classic that perhaps you've never seen, or haven't seen for a long time; and it's especially satisfying when you come up with a gem like "The Bishop's Wife," directed by Henry Koster and starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven. It's trying times for Bishop Henry Brougham (Niven), who's trying to raise enough funds for the construction of a cathedral for his church; he has a patron, the widow Mrs. Hamilton (Gladys Cooper), who will donate handsomely, but only if she is allowed to "call the shots" as it were. Henry has become increasingly distracted by it all, as well as distant, a fact which hasn't gone unnoticed by his wife, Julia (Young). When Henry prays for help, his prayers are answered in the form of an angel named Dudley (Grant), who announces himself to Henry and quickly manages to ingratiate himself with Julia. And with Dudley's help, Henry ultimately discovers what is truly important in his life. Koster has crafted a pleasing and thoroughly entertaining movie that examines the good and bright side of human nature, and how refreshing it is in an era when so many films explore the dark side exclusively. It's an elegant film with performances to match, with the charismatic Grant giving a relaxed and polished turn as the angel. He fairly oozes charm, seemingly effortlessly, with a presence that is captivating to the other characters as well as to the audience; and he brings a sense of peace and serenity to the proceedings that gives total credibility to Dudley. Grant makes it easy to believe that he's the angel he claims to be. Young, as well, is simply outstanding as Julia, lending a dignity to the role while managing to remain down-to-earth and totally accessible. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bishop's Wife Movie
This is a really well done movie and it is great they have put it in DVD format. The story is very interesting and the characters are portrayed very believably. Read more
Published 4 hours ago by DaveW
5.0 out of 5 stars An annual treat!
As I told my children, I watch this movie for the story, and for the acting, but mostly I watch it as an example of good manners, elegance, and times gone by. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Red State Gal
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greats!
This is one of the great Christmas classics.
We look forward to watching it every year.
The actors are perfect and make the story live in any time!
Published 8 days ago by Fiber Lady
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
If you like old movies, settings at Christmas time and Gary Grant this movie is for you!! A remake of this movie was made in 1996 with Whitney Houston called The Preacher's Wife. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Aunt705
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old-fashioned clean fun
This is a must-view movie with a classical glow of the star cast. The newer version pales in comparison. It just can't be topped!
Published 22 days ago by Alexandra
5.0 out of 5 stars Bishops Wife 1947
Bishops Wife, (1947),
Cary Grant. This is a true classic timeless Gem of Hollywood. I love this film. The story is simple and timeless. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Eileen Halladay
1.0 out of 5 stars Religious propaganda
And a crude one at that. I thought that both Cary Grant and David Niven were wasted in this movie.
Published 25 days ago by qualquan
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bishop's Wife
What a great classic.
I watch this even when its not Christmas time. : )
I'm glad to now have it on DVD.
Published 25 days ago by LadyPink
5.0 out of 5 stars old time favorite
This has to be about the most enjoyable Christmas movie I have seen in all my 60+ years. This is the first time I have seen it colorized.
Published 28 days ago by M. M. JETT
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bishop's Wife is clearly a Chrismas Classic.
I adore this movie. It is one of my favorite Christmas movies. Carey Grant is magnificent as an "angel" sent to earth t help a minister, magnificently played by David Niven, who... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ellen Seidmann
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