|The Bishop's Wife|
(Cary and the Bishop's Wife)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Henry Koster|
|Produced by||Samuel Goldwyn|
|Screenplay by|| Leonardo Bercovici |
Robert E. Sherwood
Billy Wilder (uncredited)
Charles Brackett (uncredited)
|Based on||The Bishop's Wife|
by Robert Nathan
|Starring|| Cary Grant |
|Music by||Hugo Friedhofer|
|Edited by||Monica Collingwood|
|Distributed by||RKO Radio Pictures|
|Box office||$3 million (US rentals)|
The Bishop's Wife, also known as Cary and the Bishop's Wife,is a Samuel Goldwyn romantic comedy feature film from 1947, starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven in a story about an angel who helps a bishop with his problems. The film was adapted by Leonardo Bercovici and Robert E. Sherwood from the 1928 novel of the same name by Robert Nathan, and was directed by Henry Koster.
Samuel Goldwyn, also known as Samuel Goldfish, was a Polish-American film producer. He was most well known for being the founding contributor and executive of several motion picture studios in Hollywood. His awards include the 1973 Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1947, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1958.
Romantic comedy is a genre with lighthearted, humorous plot lines centered on romantic ideas, such as how true love is able to surmount most obstacles. One dictionary definition is "a funny movie, play, or television program about a love story that ends happily". Another definition suggests that its "primary distinguishing feature is a love plot in which two sympathetic and well-matched lovers are united or reconciled".
A feature film or theatrical film is a film with a running time long enough to be considered the principal or sole film to fill a program. The term feature film originally referred to the main, full-length film in a cinema program that also included a short film and often a newsreel. The notion of how long a feature film should be has varied according to time and place. According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the American Film Institute and the British Film Institute, a feature film runs for more than 40 minutes, while the Screen Actors Guild asserts that a feature's running time is 75 minutes or longer.
It was remade in 1996 as The Preacher's Wife starring Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, and Courtney B. Vance.
The Preacher's Wife is a 1996 American family film directed by Penny Marshall and starring Denzel Washington, Whitney Houston, and Courtney B. Vance. It is a remake of the 1947 film The Bishop's Wife, which in turn was based on the novel of the same name by Robert Nathan.
Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. is an American actor, director, and producer. He has received two Golden Globe awards, one Tony Award, two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for the historical war drama film Glory (1989) and Best Actor for his role as corrupt detective Alonzo Harris in the crime thriller Training Day (2001).
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer and actress. She was cited as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records and remains one of the best-selling music artists of all time with 200 million records sold worldwide. She released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, all of which have been certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts—as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know"—influenced several African-American women artists who followed in her footsteps.
Bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven), troubled with funding the building of a new cathedral, prays for divine guidance. His plea is seemingly answered by a suave angel named Dudley (Cary Grant), who reveals his identity only to the clergyman.
A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.
James David Graham Niven was a British actor, memoirist and novelist. His many roles included Squadron Leader Peter Carter in A Matter of Life and Death, Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days, and Sir Charles Lytton in The Pink Panther. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Separate Tables (1958).
A cathedral is a church that contains the cathedra of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, conference, or episcopate. Churches with the function of "cathedral" are usually specific to those Christian denominations with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, and some Lutheran and Methodist churches. Church buildings embodying the functions of a cathedral first appeared in Italy, Gaul, Spain and North Africa in the 4th century, but cathedrals did not become universal within the Western Catholic Church until the 12th century, by which time they had developed architectural forms, institutional structures and legal identities distinct from parish churches, monastic churches and episcopal residences.
However, Dudley's mission is not to help construct a cathedral, but to spiritually guide Henry and the people around him. Henry has become obsessed with raising funds, to the detriment of his family life. His relationships with wife Julia (Loretta Young) and their young daughter are strained by his focus on the cathedral.
Loretta Young was an American actress. Starting as a child actress, she had a long and varied career in film from 1917 to 1953. She won the 1948 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 1947 film The Farmer's Daughter, and received an Oscar nomination for her role in Come to the Stable in 1949. Young moved to the relatively new medium of television, where she had a dramatic anthology series, The Loretta Young Show, from 1953 to 1961. The series earned three Emmy Awards, and was re-run successfully on daytime TV and later in syndication. In the 1980s, Young returned to the small screen and won a Golden Globe for her role in Christmas Eve in 1986.
Everyone, except for Henry, is charmed by Dudley, even the non-religious Professor Wutheridge (Monty Woolley). Dudley persuades the wealthy parishioners, particularly widowed Agnes Hamilton (Gladys Cooper), to contribute needed funds, but not to build the cathedral. He coaxes Mrs. Hamilton to donate her money to feed and clothe the needy — much to Henry's chagrin. To save time, Dudley also redecorates the Broughams' Christmas tree in a few seconds, saves an old church by restoring interest in the boys' choir, and dictates to a typewriter to magically produce Henry's new sermon — without Henry's knowledge.
Edgar Montilion "Monty" Woolley was an American actor. At the age of 50, he achieved a measure of stardom for his best-known role in the stage play and 1942 film The Man Who Came to Dinner. His distinctive white beard was his trademark and he was affectionately known as "The Beard."
Dame Gladys Constance Cooper, was an English actress whose career spanned seven decades on stage, in films and on television.
A typewriter is a mechanical or electromechanical machine for writing characters similar to those produced by printer's movable type. Typically, a typewriter has an array of keys, and pressing one causes a different single character to be produced on the paper, by causing a ribbon with dried ink to be struck against the paper by a type element similar to the sorts used in movable type letterpress printing. Commonly, a separate type element corresponds to each key, but the mechanism may also use a single type element with a different portion of it used for each possible character. At the end of the nineteenth century, the term typewriter was also applied to a person who used a typing machine.
When Dudley spends time cheering up Julia, though, an unexpected development occurs: Dudley finds himself strongly attracted to her. Sensing this, Henry becomes jealous and anxious for his unwelcome guest to finish and depart. He reveals Dudley's true identity to Professor Wutheridge, who urges him to stand up and fight for the woman he loves.
Dudley indicates a willingness to stay, but Julia, sensing what he means, tells Dudley it is time for him to leave. Dudley tells the bishop it is rare for an angel to envy a mortal. Henry wants to know why his cathedral plans were derailed. Dudley reminds the bishop he prayed for guidance, not a building.
With his mission completed and knowing that Julia loves her husband, Dudley leaves, promising never to return. All memory of him is erased, and later that Christmas Eve at midnight, Henry delivers the sermon that he believes he has written. Dudley observes from the street, satisfied that his work is done.
Christmas Eve is the evening or entire day before Christmas Day, the festival commemorating the birth of Jesus. Christmas Day is observed around the world, and Christmas Eve is widely observed as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day. Together, both days are considered one of the most culturally significant celebrations in Christendom and Western society.
Niven was originally cast as the angel, Dana Andrews as the bishop, and Teresa Wright as his wife. However, Wright had to bow out due to pregnancy. According to Robert Osborne, Andrews was lent to RKO in order to obtain Loretta Young. Koster then brought in Cary Grant, but he wanted to play the angel, so the role of the bishop was given to Niven. Although not stated and not critical to understand the story, the denomination is probably Episcopal since this Church alone among those classified as Protestant has married bishops and cathedrals.
Production was not without troubles. Producer Samuel Goldwyn replaced director William A. Seiter with Henry Koster to create a completely new film. In early previews, audiences disliked the film, so Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett made uncredited rewrites. Even so, and even though the premiere of The Bishop's Wife was accompanied by critical success, the film didn't do very well at the box office at first. Market research showed that moviegoers avoided the film because they thought it was religious. So, Goldwyn decided to re-title it Cary and the Bishop's Wife for some US markets, while adding a black text box with the question "Have you heard about CARY AND THE BISHOP'S WIFE?" on posters in markets where the film kept the original title. By adding Grant's first name to the title the film's business increased by as much as 25 per cent.
Location filming was done in Minneapolis, Minnesota.In the scene in which Dudley conducts the boys' choir, the Charles Gounod composition 'Noël: Montez à Dieu' ('O Sing to God') was performed by the Robert Mitchell Boys Choir. The song "Lost April" featured in the film had lyrics written for it by Nat King Cole, who also recorded it.
The film won the Academy Award for Best Sound (Gordon E. Sawyer), and was nominated for Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture and Best Picture.
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
The Bishop's Wife was dramatized as a half-hour radio play on the March 1, 1948 broadcast of The Screen Guild Theater with Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven in their original film roles. It was also presented on Lux Radio Theater three times as an hour-long broadcast: first on December 19, 1949, with Tyrone Power and David Niven, second on May 11, 1953, with Cary Grant and Phyllis Thaxterand third on March 1, 1955, again with Grant and Thaxter.
The soundtrack has been released on compact disc.
Cary Grant was an English-born American actor, known as one of classic Hollywood's definitive leading men. He began a career in Hollywood in the early 1930s and became known for his transatlantic accent, debonair demeanor, light-hearted approach to acting, and sense of comic timing. He became an American citizen in 1942.
The Philadelphia Story is a 1940 American romantic comedy film directed by George Cukor, starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and James Stewart, and featuring Ruth Hussey. Based on the Broadway play of the same name by Philip Barry, the film is about a socialite whose wedding plans are complicated by the simultaneous arrival of her ex-husband and a tabloid magazine journalist. The socialite character of the play—performed by Hepburn in the film—was inspired by Helen Hope Montgomery Scott (1904–1995), a Philadelphia socialite known for her hijinks, who married a friend of playwright Barry.
Suspicion is a 1941 romantic psychological thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine as a married couple. It also features Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Nigel Bruce, Dame May Whitty, Isabel Jeans, Heather Angel, and Leo G. Carroll. Suspicion is based on Francis Iles's novel Before the Fact (1932).
Here Comes Mr. Jordan is a 1941 American fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Alexander Hall, in which a boxer, mistakenly taken to Heaven before his time, is given a second chance back on Earth. It stars Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains and Evelyn Keyes.
Heaven Can Wait is a 1978 American fantasy-comedy film co-directed by Warren Beatty and Buck Henry which opens with the central story line of Joe Pendleton being mistakenly taken to heaven by his guardian angel, and the resulting complications of how this mistake can be un-done providing the basis of the film's plot. It was the second film adaptation of Harry Segall's play of the same name, being preceded by Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941).
Henry Koster was a German-born film director. He was the husband of actress Peggy Moran.
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House is a 1948 American comedy film directed by H. C. Potter and starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and Melvyn Douglas. The film was written and produced by the team of Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, and was an adaptation of Eric Hodgins' popular 1946 novel, illustrated by Shrek! author William Steig.
Topper is a 1937 American supernatural comedy film directed by Norman Z. McLeod, starring Constance Bennett and Cary Grant and featuring Roland Young. It tells the story of a stuffy, stuck-in-his-ways man, Cosmo Topper who is haunted by the ghosts of a fun-loving married couple.
Racing with the Moon is a 1984 American drama film starring Sean Penn, Elizabeth McGovern, and Nicolas Cage. It was directed by Richard Benjamin and written by Steve Kloves. The original music score was composed by Dave Grusin.
I'm No Angel is a 1933 pre-code film directed by Wesley Ruggles, and starring Mae West and Cary Grant. West received sole story and screenplay credit. It is one of her films that was not subjected to heavy censorship.
Robert Gruntal Nathan was an American novelist and poet.
Eternally Yours is a 1939 American comedy drama film produced and directed by Tay Garnett with Walter Wanger as executive producer, from a screenplay by C. Graham Baker and Gene Towne. The film stars Loretta Young and David Niven, and also features a strong supporting cast including Broderick Crawford, Billie Burke, Eve Arden, ZaSu Pitts, and C. Aubrey Smith. Composer Werner Janssen was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Music.
Born to Be Bad is a 1934 American pre-Code drama film directed by Lowell Sherman, and starring Loretta Young and Cary Grant.
The Story of Alexander Graham Bell is a somewhat fictionalized 1939 biographical film of the famous inventor. It was filmed in black-and-white and released by Twentieth Century-Fox. The film stars Don Ameche as Bell and Loretta Young as Mabel, his wife, who contracted scarlet fever at an early age and became deaf.
The Real Glory is a 1939 Samuel Goldwyn Productions action film starring Gary Cooper, David Niven, Andrea Leeds and Broderick Crawford released by United Artists in the weeks immediately following Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland. Based on a 1937 novel of the same name by Charles L. Clifford and directed by Henry Hathaway, the film is set against the backdrop of the Moro Rebellion during the American occupation of the Philippines at the beginning of the 20th century. According to "The World" news broadcast on Aug 18, 2017, the War Department withdrew the film in 1942. The Moros were US allies in World War II, and the film had inflammatory scenes including threatening a Muslim prisoner with burial wrapped in a pig skin.
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The Bishop Misbehaves is a 1935 American comedy crime film directed by Ewald André Dupont and starring Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Sullivan and Lucile Watson. It was based on the 1934 play of the same title by Frederick J. Jackson. Dupont made the film after signing a one-film contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, having made his first American sound film the year before with Universal Pictures. It is also known by the alternative title The Bishop's Misadventures.
Almira Sessions was an American character actress of stage, screen and television. Born in Washington, D.C., her career took her through all the acting mediums of the 20th century. She appeared in over 500 films and television shows. She worked into her 80s, finally retiring shortly before her death in 1974 in Los Angeles.
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