Monday, November 13, 2023

The Bishop's Wife (1947)

 " is Cary Grant’s playing that rescues the role of the angel named Dudley from the ultimate peril..."

With Loretta Young.

The Bishop's Wife - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):

"Robert Nathan’s early novel (1928), The Bishop’s Wife, has been revived by Samuel Goldwyn (with help on the script from Robert Sherwood and Leonardo Bercovici) to honor the current boom in cinema angels.  Unlike the majority of his predecessors, however, Mr. Nathan’s angel is not beyond descending to diabolical methods to achieve his heavenly purposes, and the gleam in his eye is scarcely seraphic. 

If the angel is considerably less tedious than most, it is, first of all, because the miracles he is called upon to perform are onerous neither to him nor to his audience.  A flick of the hand and a bottle of brandy refills perpetually; a smile and every woman within its range feels divinely beautiful.  Certain other of his feats, conceived with a heavier hand, are retrieved from disaster by the direction of Henry Koster who wisely refrains from bearing down full weight on the script.  But it is Cary Grant’s playing that rescues the role of the angel named Dudley from the ultimate peril of coyness.  With nothing more than a beaming countenance and an air of relaxation that is certainly not of this world, he achieves a celestial manner without so much of a hint of wings on his dark blue suit.  An expert cast is on hand to show by reflection what Cary Grant has refrained from making irksomely explicit.  David Niven’s prelate is a wistful and absent-minded character who is scarcely a match for Dudley.  As the Bishops’ wife, Loretta Young is sufficiently lovely to make even an angel fall; and in lesser roles Monty Woolley, James Gleason and Elsa Lanchester react to Dudley’s miraculous passage with characteristic gaiety.

The Bishop had prayed to God for guidance in how to separate Mrs. Hamilton, a rich parishioner, from sufficient money to build a cathedral.  God sent him Dudley and Dudley had soon resolved his dilemma by threatening Mrs. Hamilton with the name of her long-lost lover.  Now, Dudley convinces both her and the Bishop that God could better be served by abandoning the cathedral project in favor of helping the needy.  This is a refreshingly practical notion and comes with the lure of novelty from a screen which has heretofore thrown its weight – in the manner of The Bells of St. Mary’s – in favor of building churches.  For this reason alone The Bishop’s Wife should commend itself to the public." 

Hermine Rich Isaacs, Theatre Arts Magazine

New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -
Number 51 - The Bishop's Wife (Lobby Card Style)

Part Of

For more, see also:

Quote From Today - 13 November 2022

On This Day - 13 November 2021

On This Day - 13 November 2020

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