The Bishop’s Wife (1947) – Encore Review


“The main trouble is there are too many people who don’t know where they’re going and they want to get there too fast! ” – Sylvester

Number of Times Seen – 2 (7 Dec 2016 and 11 Nov 2018)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – After a Bishop and his wife ask for help from Heaven when their church is in need of assistance, they get an angel named Dudley to help them on their way.

My Take on it – This is an amazing film that manages to be so inspirational every time.

The entire cast is superb but Cary Grant was an exceptional choice for the lead and manages to give off an aura that makes it seem as if he has such great chemistry which every other character in the film and that is great to see because it adds a magical feeling to the whole thing.

The demeanor of his character is perfect for this role and there is no question as to how realistic it seems that this character might truly be from high above based solely on the way that he is able to have such a positive effect on everyone that he encounters along the way.

Loretta Young, David Niven and Monty Woolley are all excellent here and help add to the magical atmosphere of the story.

This movie is able to give off an inspirational feeling like another holiday favorite that came out the previous year – It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) and both work really well.

The storyline itself is quite appealing to young and old and even after 70+ years it retains its poignancy largely due to the timeless nature and feeling of the plot.

This film was remade 50 years after it came out but the remake known as The Preacher’s Wife (1996) doesn’t manage to do the storyline and plot of this film justice because it loses much of the magic along the way.

The best scene in this film is the ice skating one and that is so enjoyable to watch because it shows the youthful spirit in all of us.

This film was quite deserving of an Oscar nomination for Best Picture even if it didn’t manage to win.

Bottom Line – Excellent film that manages to be so inspirational. Grant is superb in the lead and has great chemistry with every one of his costars which helps with the magical feel of this film. His demeanor is perfect for this kind of role and it’s conceivable that he was sent from above based solely on the way he is able to affect every one around him.  The film is able to give off the message of giving in a similar fashion to another holiday film that came out just a year earlier It’s A Wonderful Life (1946). The storyline is appealing to all ages and still stays poignant even after 70+ years because it feels so timeless. The remake of this film from the 90’s – The Preacher’s Wife (1996) doesn’t do this film’s storyline justice, so try to catch the original. The ice skating scene is so much fun to watch.  Definitely deserving of it’s Best Picture Oscar nomination even if it didn’t win. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia –  One scene shows Cary Grant and Loretta Young in a conversation. Director Henry Koster staged this with the two facing each other, but both complained that this showed the “wrong” side of their faces. In order to show the “right” side, they both had to be looking screen left, which made a face-to-face talk impossible to film. Koster had a window set piece brought in, and he filmed it from outside, with both looking out in the same direction, Grant behind Young. The next day, producer Samuel Goldwyn visited the set after seeing dailies and berated Koster for shooting the scene in that manner. Koster replied by asking Young and Grant to explain why the scene was shot that way. After both told Goldwyn about the “right” and “wrong” sides of their faces, Goldwyn said “Look, if I’m only getting half a face, you’re only getting half a salary!” and stormed off the set. The subject of “right” and “wrong” sides never came up again.  (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)

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2 thoughts on “The Bishop’s Wife (1947) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1947 | MovieRob

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