In all honesty, I think this film is somewhat weird. But it’s Carey Grant, so that makes up for things. The Bishop’s Wife is my second pick for a last-call holiday film because it’s a peculiar look into the lives of a dysfunctional faith-focused family that requires the help of an angel to get things back on track… (This theme may turn up again!)
The story revolves around an Episcopal Bishop, played by David Niven, who 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. In the process, he slips into work-a-holic behaviors and stops giving his wife and child the attention they need and deserve, especially at Christmas time. Enter Dudley, (Carey Grant) an angel sent to wake Niven’s character to the reality that his family is more important than his work. He starts showing the Bishop’s wife Julia, played by Loretta Young, a fantastic time – ice skating, shopping, partaking in snowball fights – sparking jealousy in her husband, and a sudden realization he may be missing out.
Perhaps the best thing about this film is that it deals with religious side of Christmas in a completely relatable and non-preachy manner. Factor in Carey Grant’s charm, played to perfection (mainly because he is perfect) and I mean, what’s not to love? What overlooked housewife wouldn’t be encouraged by Carey Grant’s delightful attention? That’s right, none.
If you’re looking for a slightly different holiday film, complete with a truly delightful ice-skating scene, then The Bishop’s Wife is what you want!
Watch The Bishop’s Wife