109 minutes, U.S.A., 1947, Black and White, D-Cinema

Struggling to find the funds necessary for the completion of a new cathedral, the main hopes of Bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) rest on wealthy widow Mrs. Hamilton (Gladys Cooper). Prayers for guidance result in the appearance of suave angel Dudley (Cary Grant), who moves in mysterious ways to provide Henry with what he needs, rather than what he wants. His focus on the cathedral has resulted in his neglect of his family, wife Julia (Loretta Young) and daughter Debby (Karolyn Grimes, Zuzu in It’s a Wonderful Life). As Dudley spends time with Julia, Henry becomes jealous, and Dudley himself develops feelings for the mortal woman.

An uncredited Billy Wilder contributed to the script, and fans of Hollywood cinema of the 1930s and ‘40s will recognise many of the names involved, including Elsa Lanchester (The Bride of Frankenstein), and cinematographer Gregg Toland (Citizen Kane). (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)

This is screening as part of IFI Christmas Crackers, a season of family favourites, classics and archive films in December. 

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