On the 7th Day ‘Til Christmas: The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

On the 7th day ’til Christmas my blogger gave to me

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The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

I absolutely love this movie! After all it has Cary Grant! What could be a better Christmas present than that?

So the film starts off with Cary Grant going about the town helping out people, such as a blind man crossing the street. He observes the beautiful Julia Brougham, Loretta Young, eyeing a hat and runs into Professor Wutheridge (Monty Woolley). He pretends that the two are old friends and asks him how Julia and her husband, Bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) are. The Professor tells them that Henry has no time for anyone these days. He is solely focused on getting money from the wealthy to build a cathedral.

We then switch to the Brougham house. Julia is waiting for Henry to finish his meetings so they can have dinner. Henry is tired and worn out trying to get his cathedral built. A wealthy member of his church, Mrs. Hamilton, will give him all he needs to create it, but only if it is how she wants it built, in memoriam to her late husband. The two are at an impasse as Henry is not willing to sacrifice his principals.

“Bishop Henry Brougham: Mrs Hamilton, this cathedral cannot be designed for the glory of an individual.  It has to be created for all the people.”

Mrs. Hamilton doesn’t approve of a speech as that and reminds Henry she has the power to destroy everything he is working for.

“Mrs. Hamilton: You will build that cathedral as I want it or you will not build it at all.”

After everyone leaves, Julia tells Henry how proud she is of him, but Henry is not pleased. He is just more disheartened than ever. Angry with Mrs. Hamilton, he promises to get that money, claiming there are many other rich people in this town. Julia tries to get him to focus on their family and marriage; trying to have him focus on what is truly important. But, Henry just won’t listen. Julia gives him a Roman coin that Professor Wutheridge gave her to give him; but Henry just angrily screams that it is worthless. Henry starts to realize how he is acting and attempts to make amends with Julia. He tries to make plans to go out with Julia the next day for lunch at the restaurant they always used to go to, Michels. Instead he ends up having to go to a luncheon for the church. Henry feels as if he is on the brink and beings to pray.

Suddenly Cary Grant appears in his office.

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And tells him he is an angel. Henry is shocked and at first doesn’t believe him, but Dudley, Cary Grant, assures him he is an angel and is just wearing his wings “on the inside”. Julia interrupts their discussion and Dudley introduces himself as Henry’s new assistant. Julia leaves, and Henry and Dudley resume. Dudley tells Henry to take him on faith, and just as he appeared, he disappears.

The next day the bishop is very worried as he can’t seem to get money out of anyone else. Dudley arrives to help, but Henry is not eager to give him any tasks as he is still unsure if Dudley is who he says he is. Julia comes to remind Henry about their date, but Henry has to break the news that he has a luncheon and other meetings. Dudley offers to go, but Henry doesn’t want to send him. Julia is angry at the broken promise, and takes their daughter Debby out; giving their housekeeper the day off. Henry asks Dudley what he will do, and Dudley says he is going to spend the day organizing the office. Henry leaves, and Dudley spends a total of 2 mins organizing; using all his angel powers to finish early. Dudley has decided that to help Henry see what is most important, he is going to make him jealous.

Julia and Debby are in the park, and Debby is sad that the other kids won’t let her join in their snowball fight. Dudley appears out of nowhere and offers to help her. He calls over the boy in charge, (little trivia fact: he’s the same kid who plays young George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life), and tells him that Debby will prove she is a contender. Dudley uses his angel powers to make her a great snowball thrower so that all the kids want to play with her.

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He invites Julia to go out for lunch with him, if she thought Michel‘s was a nice place. Julia says she would but that there is no one to watch Debbie as Mathilda is out for the day. Dudley uses his angel magic, and Matilda appears telling Julia she was able to finish all her errands and would be glad to take Debbie with her. With that issue solved the two go off to Michel‘s.

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Dudley orders her meal in French, reads her palm, and tells her she is beautiful; giving her the attention she has been starved of these past few years.  He also buys her the hat she has been drooling over.

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Meanwhile, Henry has come home early to have lunch with his wife, to find her out with Dudley. Henry starts to feel jealous at this and lonely.

While Dudley and Julia are out they run into the Professor.

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He invites them over for a drink to celebrate the Christmas spirit. The two go over and discuss the book the Professor is writing. The Professor tells them that the book he has been working on for the past 20 years is nonexistent. He hasn’t been able to write anything as he feels that anything he could has already been done. Dudley gives the Professor back his coin and tells him all about this secret history on the coin. Julius Caesar minted for Cleopatra that were destroyed by Julius’ wife. All except one. The Professor is now inspired to write and eager to start.

Meanwhile back at home Henry is freaking out. His wife and Dudley are late. The help are all won over by Dudley and are preparing a special dessert and dinner for him. Henry is extremely angry with Dudley, but hasn’t quite figured out why.

The next day, Julie is very happy; and Henry noticing this change compliments her. Julia thanks him and reminds him about the St. Timothy choir performance. Henry promises to be there.

Downstairs Dudley is telling is telling Debby a story of about David. He also quotes her the 23rd Psalm. Henry watches them and becomes upset about how Dudley seems to be replacing him with his wife and children.

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Henry ends up having to meet with Mrs. Hamilton at the same time as the rehearsal, promising to get to there as soon as he can. Dudley asks to see Mrs. Hamilton, but doesn’t trust him and sends him with his wife instead.

When Henry sees Mrs. Hamilton he promises to fulfill all her demands, and tries to leave. Unbeknownst to him, Dudley used his angel powers to have him stuck in his chair. Butler Stevens and Mrs. Hamilton try to get him out, but can’t.

Over at St. Timothy’s, the reverend is disheartened that only two of the boys choir showed up to the rehearsal. Dudley tells the two to start singing. And soon, all the kids appear.

Henry ends up calling his housekeeper to bring him another pair of pants, as he is still stuck in the chair.

Dudley gets a cab and takes Julia and the cabdriver, Sylvester ice-skating. They all are magically able to do all kinds of flips and turns.

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When the two get home, Henry is extremely angry. He starts yelling at Dudley as soon as Julia has left the room.

Bishop Henry Brougham: You stopped me from joining you!

Dudley:  Julia had a very good time.

Bishop Henry Brougham: Well, I didn’t.

Dudley: If you’d sent me to Mrs Hamilton, I would have gone. You didn’t. So I represented you with your wife.”

Henry tells Dudley to leave as his work is competeled. He will have the Cathedral. Dudley tries to show him that there are more important things than a cathedral. There are people out there hurting and starving that could use the cathedral money for that instead. Henry fires him on the stop; praying he will leave. Dudley goes; but to Henry’s disappointment everyone in the house is in dismay that Dudley is gone.

The next day Julia and Henry go off to make all kinds of house calls, ending on Mrs. Hamilton. Right after they leave Dudley comes and magically decorates their Christmas tree.

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He also rewrites Henry’s sermon, having the typewriter magically take it down. He then proceeds to Mrs. Hamilton’s place.

He goes to Mrs. Hamilton’s and discovers a secret song composed with love from Allen, although her husband’s name was George. He plays the song on  the harp (of course), and Mrs. Hamilton comes down and starts talking to Dudley.

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She tells him that she was going to marry Allen, but became afraid because he had no money or job, Allen died shortly after. She married George, but never loved him. After George died, she felt guilty as he really loved her. Since then she’s been building monuments to him. Dudley convinces her to do something more meaningful.  When Henry and Julia come; Mrs. Hamilton tells them that she wants all her money to go to charity and to have Henry direct it.

He sends Julia home and goes over to see the Professor. He tells the Professor that Dudley is an angel and has stolen his wife and child. He doesn’t know what to do. The Professor convinces Henry that he has to fight for Julia. Henry is encouraged and takes off for home.

Dudley comes home and speaks to Julia. Julia becomes angry with what Dudley tells her, she doesn’t like how he seems to be hitting on her. She tells him to leave forever, and runs up the stairs. Henry threatens to beat up Dudley as he wants to fight for Julia. Dudley lets him know that his mission is complete and that he is leaving, when he goes no one will remember anything about Dudley.

“Bishop Henry Brougham: I don’t trust you, Dudley.

Dudley: You may, Henry. Because your prayer has been answered.

Bishop Henry Brougham: That’s not true. I was praying for a cathedral.

Dudley: No, Henry. You were praying for guidance. That has been given to you.”

Dudley leaves and Henry runs upstairs to be with his wife and child. He has finally remembered that spending time with family is the most important thing. Julia and Henry leave for the church so he can give his Christmas Eve sermon.

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Dudley stops by to listen for a bit before he takes off and returns to heaven.

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To start the 12 Posts of Christmas from the beginning, go to On the 12 Day ’til Christmas: The 12 Men of Christmas

For the previous post, go to On the 8th Day ’til Christmas: Holiday in Handcuffs

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For more on The Bishop’s Wife, go to the 25 Films of Christmas

For more on Cary Grant, go to Anything Can Happen: An Affair to Remember (1957)

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Feast Your Eyes On My Accursed Ugliness: The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Feast your eyes! Glut your soul on my accursed ugliness

I love this movie so much that words fail to express how I feel. This movie was the one that not only was my gateway into horror films, but also caused a life-long love affair with classic cinema.

It all started one day at the library. I was about six years old and complaining to my mother that I couldn’t find any books to read. Nothing just felt right. You know what I mean, when a book synopsis just connects to you, and you know you need to take it home to read?

So my mother eager to get home, pulls a book off the shelf and suggests that I read it. Instead of paying attention to whatever novel she had in her hand, I saw the one behind it. It was The Phantom of the Opera; a slender, abriged, children’s version.

It became my new favorite book and I would check it out all the time, completely annoying my mother.

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Later on I read the original, whole  version; which I also love. It is written so well, if you haven’t read it yet I highly recommend it.

I just connected with this poor man. He was bullied and betrayed because he was disfigured. No one paid attention to his genius in building and composing. He was living a life alone in isolation. I wanted to go underground with him.

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I would have gone off with him and loved him unlike Christine Daaé, she’s a total jerk and loser.

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Anyways, not long after I was flipping the channels and stopped on TCM. I love TCM (Turner Classic Movies) with a passion. I wish I could watch it 24/7 as they show the most amazing films ever.

Anyways, so that day they were doing a biography on Lon Chaney, and mentioned that he played the Phantom. I was now sucked in and had to watch. The film was the biopic Man of a Thousand FacesLon Chaney quickly became my favorite actor as I just fell in love with what a genius he was. He used to wait outside the movie studio, using his make-up to change his apperance to better fit roles. His most famous one being of course, the Phantom.

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Afterwards, they held a marathon of his films, but I stopped watching as they didn’t show the one I wanted to see. I now had to watch the 1925 film! I did more research and found out that it is one of the first films to use color, only being able to for the Masque of Red Death scene. It was supposesed to be one of the most dramatic scenes in the film.

I now absolutely HAD to see that film. I went and rented it, hoping that it would be as good as it sounded. It was better than that! The film was not only horrtastic, but simply, and honestly amazing! It also stayed very close to the book, making only a few changes, and doing a much better job than some other versions (the 1943 one, so bad 😦 ).

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Now I know that silent film isn’t for everyone, but I suggest that you check it out.

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So we start off the film with someone lurking in the catacombs of the opera house. We don’t know who he is or what he is after. Then we switch to the opera house, and the creme de la creme of the elite milling about. Everyone is settling down as the show is about to start.

We see the ballerinas on stage dancing away.

Reminds me of Degas

Meanwhile in an office upstairs, the opera house is being turned over to new owners. Owners who know nothing of what lurks in the belly of the building.

For there lies the Phantom and a friend. A Persian man that had traveled with him since the Phantom has been abroad, but no one knows more than that.

So the new opera owners have gained a lot of problems with their purchase. Besides having to pay the phantom money, give him box 5, and a few other amenities; he is also demanding that they replace Carlotta with Christine, the girl he has been coaching. Needless to say, this is very upsetting for Carlotta.

I refuse to be treated in such a manner

In fact the Phantom has threatened Carlotta if she does not stay away. Carlotta is most unhappy; and leaves declaring she will not sing that night.

Instead Christine Daaé sings beautifully. She is also noticed by the stupid Vicomte de Chagny. I really dislike Raoul, Team Phantom all the way!

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In the book Raoul struck me as a real annoying guy. Like one who is always trying to do different things; but only does them halfheartedly, always expecting someone to bail them out of a jam. Then again I could be biased.

Anyways Stupid Raoul notices Christine and tries to get with her. But she is not as receptive, in fact telling him kindly to get lost as she has her career to think about.

Stupid Raoul goes to leave, but actually, is secretly waiting outside her door to spy on her.

Now for anyone out there; if you tell a person you want a relationship to end and they don’t listen and spy on you, you need to call the police and get rid of them. I can’t believe him. Raoul just went from stupid to stalker. I mean who listens outside their ex’s door like that? Who does that?

How rude

So Carlotta decides to sing anyway, even though she has been warned that bad things will happen. The Phantom makes sure that she will never want to sing again.

“Erik: Behold! She is singing to bring down the chandelier!”

So Christine goes to her room and Raoul being the creep he is  follows her. Erik, the Phantom, calls to her and tells her to go through her mirror; which is really a trapdoor. The Phantom built the Opera House, so built himself a home underneath the Opera House along with tons of secret passage ways and hideouts.

The Phantom takes her to his subterranean home, across a hidden lake.

Christine is amazed and kind of freaked out being there with him. All she can focus on is the fact that he is wearing a mask. Erik starts telling Christine his life story, and the sadness it has brought him. She ends up fainting, and he carries her to his guest room; beautiful and full of things she will love. It has a whole wall of shoes!

The next day everyone is in an uproar as Christine is missing! She wakes up to hearing the organ being played by the Phantom. He has been working on an opera for a long time.

Erik: Since I first saw your face, this music has been singing to me  of you and of –love triumphant!”

While he is romantically sharing his feelings, Christine is determined to rip off his mask.

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Lon Chaney is truly amazing! I mean look at him! He is so awesome looking! So creepy! He is such a genius, devising his own make-up. The Phantom’s makeup was designed to resemble a skull. Lon Chaney attached a strip of fish skin (a thin, translucent material) to his nostrils with spirit gum, pulled it back until he got the tilt he wanted, then attached the other end of the fish skin under his bald cap. For some shots, a wire-and-rubber device was used, and it cut into Chaney’s nose and caused a good deal of bleeding. Cheeks were built up using a combination of cotton and collodion. Ears were glued back and the rest was greasepaint shaded in the proper areas of the face. The sight was said to have caused some patrons at the premiere to faint.

Christine is completely shocked at his apperance. Mary Philbin, the actress who played Christine, reaction to the unmasked Phantom was real – she had no idea what he would look like until that exact moment.

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So the Phantom is upset, but Christine has to stay with him. He is not about to let her go. Now I know that is not appropriate behavior, but I feel so bad for him. She loved him until she saw his face, Now he has nobody. 😦

Then they have the most amazing scene ever! This was one of the first films to have color! They do this huge masquerade scene in color and he comes as the Red Death! It is too fantastic for words. I cannot describe it, you will have to watch it. His entrance, his outfit, etc.

Erik: Beneath your dancing feet are the tombs of tortured men! Thus does The Red Death rebuke your merriment!

Christine escapes from the Phantom and sneaks off with Raoul. They make plans to run away together, but little do they know that the Phantom has overheard everything.

Christine prepares to do her last performance, and as she is doing so, the Phantom comes and spirits her away. His only friend, a Persian courtier who has been with him through everything, goes to Raoul to lead him to Christine.

They go through the secret passage, but end up accidentally in the Phantom’s torture chamber.

The Phantom gives Christine two choices; she can choose to hit this ceramic scorpion,which means that she has chosen to marry the Phantom and be his forever, or the grasshopper which means death to Raoul and the opera house. The grasshopper if pressed will light a fuse of the gunpowder that is packed throughout the opera house and interconnected. Everything will blow! The scorpion is connected to a switch that will pump water into the bottom of the opera house and soak all the gunpowder and keep the opera house from blowing up.

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She chooses the scorpion, but as the water starts to come up and drown Raoul. Christine asks the Phantom to save his life, that she will do anything for him if he does. He pulls Raoul out and then takes off with Christine, as the Parisians are hunting him down.

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

The villagers follow in pursuit. As they are running, Christine throws herself out of the carriage. The Phantom goes to her, but the villagers are too close and he takes off. Raoul goes to Christine, and the Phantom is “killed” by the people.

I’ve never been a fan of that idea, you can’t kill the phantom, he’s unbeatable!

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I love him! Is that sad and pathetic?

That’s the post for today. More to come! 4 days ’till Halloween!

Here’s poster I made for my cover page on facebook in honor or Halloween. Hope ya love it.

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

For the previous post, go to They’re Coming to Get You Barbara 

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For more on The Phantom of the Opera, go to My Favorite Movie Lines

For more on classic horror films, go to I Want Friend Like Me

For more films based on books, go to Quite a Horror Story

For more films that spanned countless remakes, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more of my favorite quotes, go to I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper