Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1947. The Samuel Goldwyn Company. Screenplay by Robert E. Sherwood, Leonardo Bercovici, based on the novel by Robert Nathan. Cinematography by Gregg Toland. Produced by Samuel Goldwyn. Music by Hugo Friedhofer. Production Design by Perry Ferguson, George Jenkins. Costume Design by Adrian, Irene Sharaff. Film Editing by Monica Collingwood. Academy Awards 1947.
Delightful romantic comedy about a frustrated bishop (David Niven) who can’t find a way to build a new cathedral for his parish or work things out with his unhappily ignored wife (Loretta Young). After praying for guidance, an angel appears (in the form of Cary Grant) to help him along, only this angel has a devilish appetite for mischief and a yen for the bishop’s beautiful wife. Beautifully photographed and scored, the films threatens to invade sappy territory on more than one occasion but thankfully never succeeds; Young is perfectly lovely as the wife, and Grant is so dapper that you just have to love the story even if it dares oppose all credibility (just indulge in the scene where he reduces Gladys Cooper to tears). Remade, less successfully, as The Preacher’s Wife in 1996.