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In THE BISHOP’S WIFE ($25), Cary Grant portrays an angel who comes to earth, in answer to the prayers of a young Bishop in the midst of a personal crisis. David Niven is the young Bishop who has enormous difficulty securing the funding for a new cathedral. The vast pressures of this undertaking are taking their toll on the man as well as his marriage. Loretta Young is the Bishop’s wife, a women who loves her husband, but fears losing him to his newfound responsibilities. Grant’s angel, Dudley, arrives just in time for the Christmas season, and helps everyone he touches rediscover the joys of life and love. In addition to the three delightful leads, the cast of THE BISHOP’S WIFE features some impressive supporting performances from Monty Woolley, James Gleason, Gladys Cooper and Elsa Lanchester.

HBO Home Video has produced a spectacular looking DVD edition of THE BISHOP’S WIFE. The black and white transfer is utterly gorgeous, with deep, deep blacks and terrific contrast. Master black and white cinematographer Greg Toland was responsible for this film’s glossy romantic photography, and this transfer is a true credit to his brilliant work. Digital compression artifacts weren’t detectable on this DVD.

HBO Home Video offers the film’s soundtrack in its original monaural, as well as a Chase Stereo Surround re-mix. The matrixed surround offers a bit more ambiance than monaural track. I personally found myself preferring the one channel Dolby Digital track for its overall stronger character. THE BISHOP’S WIFE received an Academy Award for its sound recording, and the monaural track presented here sounds great for an optical recording. Other soundtrack options include French, Spanish and Italian language tracks. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish. The interactive menus offer access to an interesting theatrical trailer, cast and crew biographies/filmographies, as well as the standard scene selection feature.

Thanks to its winning story and marvelous performances, THE BISHOP’S WIFE is a wonderful holiday classic that can be enjoyed throughout the year. The DVD edition of THE BISHOP’S WIFE it utterly gorgeous and will make a fine addition to any library. Absolutely recommended!


The Bishop's Wife (1948)


DVD reviews are Copyright 1997 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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