The Bishop's Wife
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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)
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There arrives a stranger, Dudley, introduced on a snowy day as he helps everyone he meets, almost miraculously at times. You see, he's an angel, but not just any angel, he's Cary Grant at his most charming. He is the answer to Bishop Brogham's prayer for help, though it will come in an unexpected way. Though Dudley must reveal his true nature to the bishop, the bishop must keep it all a secret and tel everyone he is a new assistant. Soon Dudley charms himself into the hearts of everyone except bishop Brogham himself who becomes increasingly suspicious of Dudley's Intentions, as he seems to accompany Julia everywhere and they always seem to be having such a good time.
One of the surprising elements of the film is that Dudley and Julia seem to be having a happy affair in all but one aspect and how wild a plot line this was in 1947. They seem to be absolutely in love. The bishop has every right to be suspicious. But before it is all over Dudley has fixed all that needed to be fixed and leaves making everyone forget he ever existed. The Christmas message of love and sharing is what he leaves behind.
Monty Wooley is also wonderful here as a Professor with a long term writer's block as is Elsa Lanchester as the family maid. The Mitchell Boychoir sings the little-known Gounod Noel perfectly. Director Henry Kostler, known mainly for musicals and comedy, keeps the pace moving and the film never drags. I highly recommend this film.
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