Movie and plot overview
Henry Broham is a bishop obsessed with raising money to build a complex new cathedral, losing sight of what is really important. After praying for God’s guidance, a mysterious man named Dudley appears and tells Henry that he is the answer to his prayers. The charismatic Dudley soon starts to help everyone he meets, but not necessarily in the way they want. But when Dudley’s presence begins to threaten Henry’s marriage to the beautiful Julia, Henry remembers what’s really important.
Film The life of the bishop’s wife
Below is a brief description of the spoilers.
The new bishop Henry Broham (David Niven) struggles to finance a new cathedral. In his despair, the bishop prayed for God’s help in overcoming his problems. His prayers are answered by an angel named Dudley (Cary Grant). Dudley reveals his identity only to Henry, but Dudley’s real intention is not to help Henry finance the construction of a cathedral. He was sent to mentally guide Henry and the people around him. Henry was obsessed with collecting donations for the cathedral and neglected his family. Henry’s relationship with his beautiful wife Julia (Loretta Young) and their granddaughter Debbie (Caroline Grimes) is very tense as he focuses on financing the construction of the cathedral.
Dudley is very charming, and he is loved by everyone he meets, including Professor Vuteridge (Monty Woolly), who is not religious at all. Dudley helps Henry by convincing several wealthy parishioners to donate urgently needed funds, especially Dowager Agnes Hamilton (Gladys Cooper). But despite the fact that Dudley forced them to make donations, their contributions were not intended for the construction of a cathedral. He convinces Mrs. Hamilton to give money to feed and clothe the needy. The church’s income for other purposes is beginning to disappoint Henry.
Dudley also helps the Broome family. He restores his tree in seconds if the family is pressed in time. Dudley helps save the church by raising interest in the ailing boys’ choir. Dudley also dictates the typewriter, which magically recites a new sermon of Henry that the bishop knows nothing about.
However, the time Dudley spent cheering Julia up caused an unexpected development for the angel sent from heaven. Dudley’s starting to feel attracted to a married woman. Henry feels a growing attraction and gets jealous. He looks forward to Dudley completing his task and leaving. In the darkness of his jealousy, Henry Professor Utrich reveals the true nature of Dudley. The professor urges Henry to stand up and fight for the woman he loves.
In the meantime, Dudley informs Julia of his wish to stay. Julia, who understands Dudley’s true intentions and remembers his devotion to her husband, tells Dudley it’s time for him to leave. Before he leaves, Dudley Henry tells that angels rarely envy mortals on earth. Confused, Henry Dudley asks why he thwarted Henry’s plans in the cathedral. Dudley reminds Henry that he prayed for guidance, not for the building.
When Henry focuses on the really important things again and knows that Julia really loves her husband, Dudley leaves him. The angel promises never to come back. Once he’s gone, all memory of Dudley will be erased. But the magic sermon remains, and Henry delivers it at midnight on Christmas Eve, convinced that he has written an inspiring sermon. Dudley looks from the street at the sermon, the look of satisfaction on his face.
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