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The Preacher's Wife (1996)

Denzel Washington , Whitney Houston , Penny Marshall  |  PG |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, Courtney B. Vance, Gregory Hines, Jenifer Lewis
  • Directors: Penny Marshall
  • Writers: Nat Mauldin And Allan Scott
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 13, 2002
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000065V3J
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,635 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Preacher's Wife" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Starring Academy Award(R)-winner Denzel Washington (Best Actor, TRAINING DAY, 2001; Best Supporting Actor, GLORY, 1989; REMEMBER THE TITANS, THE HURRICANE) and multi-talented Whitney Houston (THE BODYGUARD, WAITING TO EXHALE), here's a delightful romantic comedy to send spirits soaring! Washington plays a charming angel named Dudley who's sent to earth to help a young minister (Courtney B. Vance -- DANGEROUS MINDS) and his beautiful wife (Houston) revive their marriage! But things take a hilarious twist when Dudley accidentally falls in love with the preacher's wife. From director Penny Marshall (RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS, A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN) and featuring screen favorite Gregory Hines (RENAISSANCE MAN), this critically acclaimed comedy hit also showcases nine dynamic songs by Grammy Award(R) winner Houston, including the Top 10 hit "I Believe In You And Me."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
As a rule I dont tend to warm to remakes of classic films however the Penny Marshall directed Christmas story "The Preacher's Wife", is a definite exception and has become one of my favourite festive season viewing experiences. Based on the classic Samuel Goldwyn film "The Bishop's Wife", which starred legends Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven, this 1996 effort has a charm and slant on the essentially same story all its own. Denzel Washington in the role of an angel sent down to earth to sort out the life of a preacher who has lost sight of what really is important, is a most worthy successor to Cary Grant in the original film and Whitney Houston in the female lead displays a warm screen presense and great musical talent that couldn't be bettered in this type of story. Amazingly I only saw this film for the first time 3 years ago but it has become a firm favourite of mine ever since. Combining a traditional and much loved Christmas tale with some truly wonderful gospel singing gives this effort a really upbeat feel which however never sacrifices for one minute the more touching aspects of the story.

"The Preacher's Wife", focuses on the parish of St. Matthews run by Rev. Henry Biggs (Courtney B. Vance), a well meaning and dedicated preacher who has been trying to be all things to all people in his needy area. Along the way through court cases for wrongly convicted minors, leaking furnaces, and offers by local big wig Joe Hamilton (Gregory Hines), to "upgrade", to a new flashy parish of the future, Henry has lost sight of his wife Julia (Whitney Houston), and their small son Jeremiah (Justin Pierre Edmund).
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Preacher s Wife January 3, 2010
Format:DVD
The Reverend Henry Biggs is a good man who's doubtful about his ability to make a difference in his troubled community and home. Help is on the way in the form of an angel named Dudley who soon becomes the source of and solution to their problems. This movie is wholesome, great family entertainment with a good message. I absolutely loved it.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, and a much better remake. February 29, 2004
Format:DVD
Fine and uplifting remake has everything going for it. A great leading man (Denzel Washington) and a great cast of characters that will lift your sprits when you are down. Great support is giving by Courtney B. Vance and Whitney Houston, and the soundtrack by Miss Houston is simply amazing. See it, and let a smile come a cross your face.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Christmas movie and music December 29, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'm fond of the original of this film; "The Bishop's Wife". But, contrary to your own reviewer, I think this film is just as good, and an excellent update with lively gospel/jazz musical score. Ok, it may be too sweet for some people. But the cast does a great job with the material, which is clean, non-violent comedy focused on family values and which sends you out with your feet tapping to a great jazz rendition of "Joy to the World".
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD Review August 22, 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Before buying the Dvd, I looked everywhere to find a review about it but I couldn't find any. So now that I bought it, I'm writing this for those who like me are looking for some details.
The DVD includes the following:
-Interactive Menus
-Scene Selections (with a photo for each of the 22 chapters that you can surf on 6 pages)
-Set Up (choosing captions for the hearing impaired in english, in other words subtitles)
-A Sneak Peak of the movie "Beaches".
-The picture is in widescreen 1:85 ration, the sound is Dolby 5.0 Surround.
I love the movie and I think it's one of the most positive, uplifting movies of all-time. It's great for christmas, the music is great and it has such a great message. This movie will make you smile from start to finish.
The sound and picture quality are decent. They are not excellent but overall they look solid. However I don't have Dolby 5.0 Surround to test how it sounds, I have just normal tv. Anyways I would've liked more features, maybe a French audio track, but I guess Buena Vista always releases older movie without investing too much. I heard that some of their Dvds have horrible sound/picture, thank God that for The Preacher's Wife it's ok. Also I don't understand the point of putting the "Beaches" sneak peak, they should've either put The Preacher's Wife trailers instead or put many other Sneak peak not only one because it looks weird.
For those who love the movie, I recommend that you buy the DVD. This is a *GREAT* movie and if you have the slightest interest in the story, or if you like "christmas movies", "denzel washington", "whitney houston", "gospel music", "comedy & romance", "feel good movies", etc. then pick it up right away!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new holiday classic! December 13, 2005
Format:DVD
Ever since I saw this film in theaters with my family in 1996, I knew this film would become an annual holiday tradition and it has. It's amazing to think how far Whitney has fallen since her role as the singing Preacher's wife, but I do consider this to be the best role she has played on screen (surpassing "The Bodyguard", "Waiting to Exhale", and "Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella"). It was a role tailor made for her, as she did start her singing career in church and always wanted to make a Gospel album.

The cast is also magnificent, as I love the lady who plays Whitney's mother with her sassy comments ("don't talk about your behind, I gave you that behind!"; "I'm not one to pry..."), the Preacher's somewhat flustered secretary ("first he took the picture, then he took the car and moved to Cleveland", "Please Santa, put that man under my tree...if he can fit!"), Courtney Vance as the Preacher who's lost his spark, the boy who plays the son and narrates the film, and of course Denzel Washington as the angel who comes to offer help. Gregory Hines plays the villain role, and Lionel Ritchie has a cameo as Whitney's old flame. And cameo of cameos, Whitney's own mother Cissy plays a member of the choir.

My favorite scene coincides with my favorite song on the film's soundtrack: "My Heart is Calling" when Whitney and Denzel go ice skating while Courtney is stuck in traffic and growing frustrated. That song should've been a single, but whatever genius decided to release the melancholy "I Believe In You and Me" probably killed a great opportunity to ignite Whitney's career at the time. As I remember, this film didn't do well at the box office and the soundtrack didn't fly off shelves.
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