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The Bishop's Wife (1947)


Cast: Cary Grant,Loretta Young, David Niven, Monty Woolley.

Rating: NR

Run time: 109 mins.

Genre: Christmas

Verdict: Beautiful (see rating system)

The 1947 fantasy flick is a real gem that deservedly gets a lot of attention on TV each Christmas.

We have Cary Grant to thank for a brilliant casting change that make the movie so good. Grant suggested switching roles so that David Niven would get the part of Bishop Henry Brougham, a young clergyman trying to raise fund for a new cathedral.

In turn, Grant took over Niven's original role as the mysterious Dudley, a debonair young man who claims to be an angel sent to help Henry in his quest.

Both actors are perfect in their roles, particularly Grant who brings the dashing Dudley alive.

Henry surely needs some help. He's so busy trying to wheedle funds out of wealthy, but grumpy patrrons like Mrs. Hamilton (Gladys Cooper), that he's short-tempered with his doting wife Julia (Loretta Young) and neglecting his young daughter Debby (Kaolyn Grimes - who was Jimmy Stewart's daughter in It's A Wonderful Life, 1946). Dudley changes all that, becoming rather too attentive to Julia and a source of fun for Debby.

Dudley seems to know everything and everyone, including Julia and Henry's old friend Professor. Wutheridge (Monty Woolley), who discovers his wine bottle keeps refilling itself after Dudley pays a visit.

Full of magical moments, such as Dudley, Julia and a taxi driver skating on a lake in the park by moonlight, this is an unusual and moving tale. It was nominated for five Oscars and the black and white picture looks great in this newly remastered edition.



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