🎥 The Bishop’s Wife – 1947

The Story …

Bishop Henry Brougham, troubled with funding the building of a new cathedral, prays for divine guidance.

His plea is seemingly answered by a suave angel named Dudley, who reveals his identity only to the clergyman.

However, Dudley’s mission is not to help construct a cathedral, but to spiritually guide Henry and the people around him. Henry has become obsessed with raising funds, to the detriment of his family life.

His relationships with wife Julia and their young daughter Debby are strained by his focus on the cathedral …

Everyone, except for Henry, is charmed by Dudley, even the non-religious Professor Wutheridge.

When Dudley spends time cheering up Julia, though, an unexpected development occurs: he finds himself strongly attracted to her. Sensing this, Henry becomes jealous and anxious for his now unwelcome guest to finish and depart.

He reveals Dudley’s true identity to Professor Wutheridge, who urges him to stand up and fight for the woman he loves.

Dudley persuades a wealthy parishioner, the widowed Agnes Hamilton, to contribute her much-needed funds, but not to build the cathedral as Henry had hoped. Instead, he coaxes Mrs Hamilton to donate her money to feed and clothe the needy, much to Henry’s chagrin.

On several occasions throughout the film, Dudley reveals himself to viewers as an angel. He helps Julia and Sylvester (a taxi driver) ice skate like pros, redecorates the Broughams’ Christmas tree in a few seconds, saves an old church by restoring interest in the boys’ choir, dictates to a typewriter to magically produce Henry’s new sermon – without Henry’s knowledge – among other small things.

As the climax of the movie approaches, Dudley hints to Julia his willingness to stay with her and not move on to his next assignment.

Although Julia doesn’t fully understand what he’s talking about, she senses what he means, and tells him it is time for him to leave. Dudley tells the bishop it is rare for an angel to envy a mortal.

When Henry wants to know why his cathedral plans were derailed, Dudley reminds the Bishop that he had prayed for guidance, not a building.

With his mission completed and knowing that Julia loves her husband, Dudley leaves, promising never to return.

Credits :

  • Directed by : Henry Koster
  • Screenplay by : Leonardo Bercovici, Robert E. Sherwood, Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett
  • Based on : The Bishop’s Wife 1928 novella by Robert Nathan
  • Produced by : Samuel Goldwyn
  • Cinematography : Gregg Toland
  • Edited by : Monica Collingwood
  • Music by : Hugo Friedhofer
  • Production Company : Samuel Goldwyn Productions
  • Distributed by : RKO Radio Pictures
  • Release Dates : December 9, 1947

Cast :

  • Cary Grant as Dudley
  • Loretta Young as Julia Brougham
  • David Niven as Bishop Henry Brougham
  • Monty Woolley as Professor Wutheridge
  • James Gleason as Sylvester, a sympathetic taxi driver
  • Gladys Cooper as Mrs Agnes Hamilton
  • Elsa Lanchester as Matilda, the Broughams’ housekeeper
  • Sara Haden as Mildred Cassaway, the Bishop’s secretary
  • Karolyn Grimes as Debby Brougham, the Broughams’ daughter
  • Tito Vuolo as Maggenti
  • Regis Toomey as Reverend Miller
  • Sarah Edwards as Mrs Duffy
  • Margaret McWade as Miss Trumbull
  • Anne O’Neal as Mrs. Ward
  • Ben Erway as Mr. Perry
  • Erville Alderson as Stevens
  • Robert J. Anderson as Defence Captain
  • Teddy Infuhr as Attack Captain
  • Eugene Borden as Michel
  • Almira Sessions as First Lady in Michel’s
  • Claire Du Brey as Second Lady (as Claire DuBrey)
  • Florence Auer as Third Lady
  • Margaret Wells as Hat Shop Proprietress
  • Kitty O’Neil as Hat Shop Customer (as Kitty O’Neill)
  • Isabel Jewell as Hysterical Mother
  • David Leonard as Blind Man
  • Dorothy Vaughan as Delia
  • Edgar Dearing as Policeman
  • The Robert Mitchell Boys Choir as Vocal Ensemble

Film Information :


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