The Bishop's Wife (1947)
Pssst, want to check out The Bishop's Wife in our new look?
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aka “It’s a Wonderful Life but what if Clarence was kind of a jerk”.
In The Bishop's Wife, Cary Grant plays an angel sent to give guidance to a stuffy bishop played by David Niven, struggling with the financing of a new cathedral and a morose marriage (to a touching Loretta Young). I know they didn't, but you could swear they cast this film by putting women in a room with Grant and seeing if their hearts naturally went a-flutter. There's a lot of chemistry on screen, and yet, to call him a romantic lead in this would be a half-truth. The characters don't so much fall in love as fall into friendship, and there's a real sweetness to that. The dialog is witty and funny. The supporting characters well drawn and bring their own style of humor to their scenes. The effects - a mix of magician stagecraft, animation, and skilled doubles - look quite good. It felt a bit slow at first, but it was soon charming the pants off me. As a Christmas movie, it would make a great double feature follow-up to It's a Wonderful Life.
When it comes to natural charm, Cary Grant is way up there at the top of the list and so it's actually pretty cool to see him use it in an otherworldly almost mischievous way rather than romantically. It works extremely well. David Niven plays the perfect sourpuss, and Loretta Young is just a peach! A wonderful Christmas movie.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the same actors who played Zuzu and young George Bailey in it. It's a neat tie-in to another perennial favorite, It's a Wonderful Life.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!