Christmas Movie Marathon Review: The Bishop’s Wife (1947)


Title: The Bishop’s Wife
Release Date: December 9, 1947
Director: Henry Koster
Production Company: Samuel Goldwyn Productions
Summary/Review:

Post-World War II cinema offers many examples supernatural beings offering inspiration to the film’s protagonist.  These include angels (A Matter of Life and Death and It’s a Wonderful Life), Santa Claus (Miracle on 34th Street), and the … ghost(?) of a girl (Portrait of Jennie). Add to this The Bishop’s Wife, in which Cary Grant plays the dapper angel Dudley who answers the prayers of the titular Bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) and his wife Julia (Loretta Young).

The problem is that Henry has become estranged from Julia and their old friends because he’s caught up in fundraising for a new cathedral.  And so Dudley steps into help by showing Julia a good time and falling in love with her.  This movie gets really awkward really fast especially since Dudley is awesome and Henry is a fuddy-duddy and we don’t really know who we should be rooting for in this bizarre love triangle.  There are some lovely performances and some charming moments, but the movie just feels off to me.  It’s not a surprise that it didn’t become a Christmas classic.

Rating: **1/2

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