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Poster for Holiday Classics: The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
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Holiday Classics: The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

Opens on December 11

Director: Henry Koster Run Time: 109 min. Rating: NR Release Year: 1947

Starring: Cary Grant, David Niven, James Gleason, Loretta Young, Monty Woolley

Country: United States
Language: English

Presented as part of the 2023 edition of Holiday Classics.

About the film:

An Episcopal Bishop, Henry Brougham, has been working for months on the plans for an elaborate new cathedral which he hopes will be paid for primarily by a wealthy, stubborn widow. He is losing sight of his family and of why he became a churchman in the first place. Enter Dudley, an angel sent to help him. Dudley does help everyone he meets, but not necessarily in the way they would have preferred. With the exception of Henry, everyone loves him, but Henry begins to believe that Dudley is there to replace him, both at work and in his family’s affections, as Christmas approaches.

“Honestly, it’s tough to find a Christmas movie more charming than this one.”

—Gwen Ihnat, Entertainment Weekly

The Bishop’s Wife (1947) was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing, and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, and won for Best Sound (Gordon E. Sawyer).

About the filmmaker:

Henry Koster was a German-born film director who began his career as a critic before becoming a scenarist in 1926 and a director in 1932. Leaving Germany the year Hitler took power, Koster made several films in Europe before heading to Hollywood, where he crafted numerous musicals and family comedies during the late 1930s and early 1940s, with Deanna Durbin, Betty Grable, and other musical stars of the era. His storied career includes his American debut Three Smart Girls (1937); a much-needed success for Universal studios, The Bishop’s Wife (1947), which earned him a Best Director nomination at the Academy Awards; the charming Harvey (1950) starring James Stewart playing opposite an invisible six-foot rabbit; Richard Burton’s first U.S. film, My Cousin Rachel (1952)The Robe (1953), which was the first film to be shot in CinemaScope; and Désirée (1954) with Marlon Brando. His final film was The Singing Nun (1965) with Debbie Reynolds.

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