On Christmas Eve, I was perched on my bed, watching movies and not celebrating with family. I had determined not to descend into a toxic pond of how things out to be, and part of my battle plan was not to watch a Christmas movie. When I saw that the Bishop’s Wife was playing on TCM, I remembered that I liked it, and I didn’t remember that it was a typical Christmas movie; therefore, I opted to watch it. The movie made my day–in fact, it made my holiday season.
The movie is about a failing, inner city church whose efforts to survive are not improved by the arrogant bishop who is serving as its leader. The bishop has been blinded by his own lust for aggrandizement and has become cold and non-responsive to everyone except the even icier woman, who holds the church’s purse strings. Needless to say, the church’s membership has declined, but because of his own inflated ego, the bishop wants to erect a massive cathedral, which would dwarf the almost non-existent group of parishioners.
An angel, in the form of Cary Grant, is sent to save the church, the parish, the bishop, and the bishop’s beautiful wife, who has been abusively ignored by her husband.
The movie has many wonderful moments. No doubt, one of the most precious scenes is that at the ice skating rink, but no scene is more magical than when Cary Grant beckons the rag-tag boys’ choir into the room and their voices are transformed into that of an ensemble of seraphs.
By the time that the movie ends, the bishop’s heart is transformed and his Christmas sermon is altered from that in which he intended to seek more money for the cathedral that he wanted to build to one where he acknowledges the value of a true Christmas gift:
In 1947, I especially loved The Bishop’s Wife and Miracle on 34th Street. I watch both of those films at least once each year..
The complete list of 1947 nominations for the Oscars is as follows:
Gentleman’s Agreement 20th Century Fox Darryl F. Zanuck
The Bishop’s Wife RKO Radio Samuel Goldwyn
Crossfire RKO Radio Adrian Scott
Great Expectations Cineguild Ronald Neame
Miracle on 34th Street 20th Century Fox William Perlberg
During the month of February, I have determined to blog about one of my favorite Oscar-winning movies from the past. Read more about this idea Here.
©Jacki Kellum February 8, 2016