Opening Night: The Bishop’s Wife (dir. Henry Koster, 1947)
St Mary Redcliffe Church, Redcliffe, Bristol, BS1 6RA
Friday 18 November 2022, doors. 6pm, film 7pm
THIS EVENT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED
Running time: 1hr 49mins; Rating: U
The ultimate Christmassy film with the famous ice-skating scene, starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven, screened in the glorious nave of St Mary Redcliffe Church, which Queen Elizabeth I dubbed “The fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in England” during her 1574 visit to Bristol. Including cocktails inspired by the film, a festival welcome from Cary Grant Comes Home festival director Charlotte Crofts and an introduction from the last surviving member of the cast Karolyn Grimes, who appeared in this film and the similarly feel-good It’s a Wonderful Life, aged six:
Guardian angel Dudley (Cary Grant) is sent down to guide newly appointed Bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) in his struggle to raise funds to build an elaborate new cathedral, when he beseeches God for help. Dudley magically appears in answer to his prayers and does help him – but not in quite the way that he hopes for. In his eagerness to glorify his church and office, Henry neglects his own family. Whilst Henry is busy with fundraising in the run up to Christmas, his wife, Julia (Loretta Young), spends more and more time with Dudley, who compensates for Henry’s romantic neglect by buying her the expensive hat she’s longing for and taking her open-air ice-skating.
Winner of the 1947 Oscars for best film and best director and much enjoyed, it is said, by the then future Queen Elizabeth II after she attended a royal gala screening in London.
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THANK YOU TO OUR FUNDERS AND SPONSORS
With support of the BFI Film Audience Network, awarding funds from the National Lottery in order to bring this project to more audiences across the UK
With the support of Col and Karen Needham and IMDb
In Association with UWE Bristol Moving Image Research Group
Celebrating Bristol’s status as a UNESCO City of Film, in recognition of the city’s vibrant screen heritage, of which Cary Grant is one of our brightest stars
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