While a fantasy, there are no fantastic heavenly manifestations. There's a humanness about the characters, even the angel, that beguiles full attention. Henry Koster's sympathetic direction deftly gets over the warm humor supplied by the script, taken from Robert Nathan's novel of the same title.

While a fantasy, there are no fantastic heavenly manifestations. There’s a humanness about the characters, even the angel, that beguiles full attention. Henry Koster’s sympathetic direction deftly gets over the warm humor supplied by the script, taken from Robert Nathan’s novel of the same title.

Cary Grant is the angel of the piece and has never appeared to greater advantage. Role, with the exception of a minor miracle or two, is potently pointed to indicate character could have been a flesh-and-blood person, a factor that embellishes sense of reality as the angel sets about answering the troubled prayers of Episcopalian bishop (David Niven).

Plot, essentially, deals with Grant’s assignment to make people act like human beings. In great need of his help is Niven, a young bishop who has lost the common touch and marital happiness because of his dream of erecting a massive cathedral.

Loretta Young gives a moving performance as the wife whose life is touched by an angel without her knowledge of his heavenly origin. Niven’s cleric character is played straight but his anxieties and jealousy loosen much of the warm humor gracing the plot.

Gregg Toland’s camera work and the music score by Hugo Friedhofer, directed by Emil Newman, are ace credits among the many expert contributions.

1947: Best Sound Recording.

Nominations: Best Picture, Director, Editing, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture

The Bishop's Wife

Production

RKO. Director Henry Koster; Producer Samuel Goldwyn; Screenplay Robert E. Sherwood, Leonardo Bercovici; Camera Gregg Toland; Editor Monica Collingwood; Music Hugo Friedhofer; Art Director George Jenkins, Perry Ferguson

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1947. Running time: 106 MIN.

With

Cary Grant Loretta Young David Niven Monty Woolley Gladys Cooper Elsa Lanchester
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