For the underappreciated screen treasures you love

A classic holiday film that you might not even be aware of!

  • Dec 18, 2009
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Rating:
+5
It seems like just about everyone in America is familiar with Frank Capra's classic holiday movie "It's A Wonderful Life".   As far as I know it is the only black and white movie still shown on network television.   But there other superb "holiday" movies.  One that you may not be familiar with is Samuel Goldwyn's 1947 production of  "The  Bishop's Wife" starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven

Cary Grant plays an angel named Dudley in this film (Dudley?) who all of a sudden appears  in response to the prayers of a newly installed bishop (David Niven) who is at his wit's end trying to raise funds for a new cathedral.  Being chairperson of my church's Capital Campaign I can totally relate to what the bishop was going through.  Anyway, his fund-raising campaign is not going so well and is consuming practically all of his time.  He is desperate with worry and his responsibilities as bishop are beginning to take their toll on his relationship with his wife Julia (Loretta Young) and his young daughter.   With the Christmas holidays approaching Dudley appears to help the bishop sort it all out.   What neither Dudley nor the bishop could have ever anticipated was that Dudley would suddenly become smitten with the lovely and vivacious Julia.  This simply had never happened to him before!   Needless to day the budding relationship between angel and wife wreaks all sorts of havoc.  But as was so often the case in these old classic flicks everything turns out OK in the end.

"The Bishop's Wife"  is yet another movie from this period that my wife and I can enjoy again and again. "The Bishop's Wife" was nominated for five Academy Awards in 1947 and would be remade in 1996 as "The Preacher's Wife" starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston.    Very highly recommended!
Here is a classic holiday film you might not have ever heard of! Here is a classic holiday film you might not have ever heard of! Here is a classic holiday film you might not have ever heard of! Here is a classic holiday film you might not have ever heard of!

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Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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The Bishop's Wife (1947) is a Samuel Goldwyn romantic comedy feature film starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven in a story about an angel who helps a bishop with his problems. It was released by RKO. The film was adapted by Leonardo Bercovici and Robert E. Sherwood from the novel of the same name by Robert Nathan, and was directed by Henry Koster.

The film won the Academy Award for Sound, and was nominated for Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture and Best Picture.

It was remade in 1996 as The Preacher's Wife starring Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, and Courtney B. Vance.

Bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) prays for divine guidance with the troubled building of a new cathedral. His plea is seemingly answered by a suave angel named Dudley (Cary Grant), who reveals his identity initially only to the clergyman.

However, Dudley's mission isn't to help with the construction of the cathedral. He is there as a guide to Henry and the people around him. Henry has become obsessed with the building of the new cathedral, to the detriment of his duties and marriage with his neglected, unhappy wife, Julia (Loretta Young). Everyone, except for Henry, is charmed by the newcomer, even the non-religious Professor Wutheridge (Monty Woolley). Dudley finally and easily persuades the wealthy parishioners, particularly Mrs. Hamilton (Gladys Cooper), to contribute the needed funds, but not to build the cathedral. He helps Mrs. ...

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