The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

Starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven, I would certainly consider this film a Christmas classic. It opens and we are introduced to the kindly and handsome angel Dudley (Grant). When a Bishop prays for guidance in the difficult task of building a Cathedral, Dudley is sent to him. The once genial man has become frustrated and troubled, making life more difficult for his loving wife. When Dudley arrives, Henry finds out in disbelief that he is an angel. However, to everyone else Dudley is simply a charming man who has come to assist Henry. Everyone gravitates towards his kindness, except Henry. Dudley befriends an old professor, is kindly to the servants, helps their little daughter, and above all makes the Bishop’s wife happy by spending time with her. Over time he becomes attracted to her but she doe snot feel the same way. A jealous Henry stands up to the angel and realizes he must strengthen his marriage. Before he leaves Dudley explains he will not be remembered and he will not reutrn. Then on Christmas Eve the Bishop delivers a sermon as a new man. Dudley look on contentedly, knowing that he wrote the sermon. Most importantly he fixed the Bishop’s attitude and marriage so he could continue doing good with or without a cathedral. Grant’s charming portrayal reminds me somewhat of Clarence Oddbody and it makes sense because Henry Koster directed James Stewart in Harvey as well.

4/5 Stars

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