The Bishop’s Wife


D: Henry Koster

RKO (Samuel Goldwyn)

US 🇺🇸 1947

109 mins


W: Robert E. Sherwood & Leonardo Bercovici [based on the novel by Robert Nathan]

DP: Gregg Toland

Ed: Monica Collingwood

Mus: Hugo Friedhofer

Cary Grant (Dudley), Loretta Young (Julia Brougham), David Niven (Bishop Henry Brougham), Monty Woolley (Prof. Wutheridge), James Gleason (Sylvester)

The Bishop’s Wife is a Christmas fantasy starring Cary Grant as a debonair angel who visits a Bishop and his wife to help them raise money for the construction of a new church.

It proves to be a difficult assignment for Dudley, the angel, as David Niven’s Bishop suffers from a crisis of faith and believes there is something further afoot than simply good intentions as his wife causes a distraction for the angel’s work.

Released a year after Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life, The Bishop’s Wife carries with it a similar spiritual messages of triumph, charity and family relationships.

Common criticisms seem to be that it would have worked better if Niven & Grant’s roles were switched, which was the original plan, but I think both leading men are equally charming in their parts, even if Cary Grant does do his usual chivalrously suave act.

An Incredibly well made piece of work for its time, but that didn’t prevent it from getting remade in 1996 (as The Preacher’s Wife) starring Denzel Washington & Whitney Houston.


The Bishop’s Wife
The Bishop’s Wife