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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A movie angel

- Dudley

A Christmas movie I just watched was The Bishop's Wife. It was made in 1947 and starred Cary Grant, David Niven, and Loretta Young. It tells the story of a bishop, Henry (Niven), who becomes obsessed with building a new cathedral to the point that he's compromising his ethics, his marriage is suffering, and he's miserable. He prays to God for help and an angel, Dudley (Grant), is sent to assist, but not in the way he expects.

Here's a clip which shows Dudley (the angel in disguise) telling the bishop's daughter a story about David and an angel ....

And here's a bit about the plot from Wikipedia ....

Everyone, except for Henry, is charmed by the newcomer [the angel], even the non-religious Professor Wutheridge (Monty Woolley). Dudley persuades the wealthy parishioners, particularly Mrs. Hamilton (Gladys Cooper), to contribute the needed funds, but not to build the cathedral. He helps Mrs. Hamilton decide to give her money to feed and clothe the needy — much to Henry's chagrin. He also redecorates the Broghams' Christmas tree in two seconds, saves an old church by restoring interest in the boys' choir, and arranges for the typewriter to automatically type Henry's new sermon - which Dudley dictates without Henry's knowledge.

When Dudley spends time cheering up Julia, there is an unexpected development: Dudley finds himself strongly attracted to her. Sensing this, Henry becomes jealous and anxious for his unwelcome guest to finish and depart. Eventually, he stands up to the angel. With his mission completed and knowing that Julia loves her husband, Dudley leaves, promising never to return. All memory of him is erased, and on Christmas Eve at midnight, Henry delivers the sermon that he believes he has written.

- Dudley and Henry

I really liked Dudley - he cared about every person he came across, no matter what their station or attitude or age - as he told the bishop, "Remember, we are interested even in the lowliest sparrow". Here's the sermon, written by the angel, that Henry preached ....

Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking.

Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child's cry, a blazing star hung over a stable, and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven't forgotten that night down the centuries. We celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, with the sound of bells, and with gifts.

But especially with gifts. You give me a book, I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle Henry can do with a new pipe. For we forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. Its his birthday we're celebrating. Don't let us ever forget that.

Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most. And then, let each put in his share, loving kindness, warm hearts, and a stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shinning gifts that make peace on earth.

I recommend the movie! You can rent it, of course, or you can watch the whole thing on YouTube, as I did.


Anonymous Jana said...

Great post!

8:27 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Thanks, Jana.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Deacon Denny said...

I've never seen that movie! I'll have to check it out tonight, if I can stay awake long enough, after my evening meeting! I'll let you know what I think.

3:13 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Great, Denny :)

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Todd said...

Possibly my favorite Christmas movie. Typical that women go for Dudley. I felt for Henry, but he finally got his priorities straight.

6:34 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Todd,

Oh, I liked Henry too - especially when he was stuck to that chair :)

1:13 PM  

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