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The Preacher's Wife (1996)

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An angel comes to Earth to help a preacher save his church and his family.

Director:

Penny Marshall

Writers:

Robert Nathan (novel), Robert E. Sherwood (earlier screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Dudley
Whitney Houston ... Julia Biggs
Courtney B. Vance ... Reverend Henry Biggs
Gregory Hines ... Joe Hamilton
Jenifer Lewis ... Margueritte Coleman
Loretta Devine ... Beverly
Justin Pierre Edmund ... Jeremiah Biggs
Lionel Richie ... Britsloe
Paul Bates ... Saul Jeffreys
Lex Monson Lex Monson ... Osbert
Darvel Davis Jr. Darvel Davis Jr. ... Hakim
William James Stiggers Jr. William James Stiggers Jr. ... Billy Eldridge
Marcella Lowery ... Anna Eldridge
Cissy Houston ... Mrs. Havergal
Aaron A. McConnaughey Aaron A. McConnaughey ... Teen
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Storyline

Good natured Reverend Henry Biggs finds that his marriage to choir mistress Julia is flagging, due to his constant absence caring for the deprived neighborhood they live in. On top of all this, his church is coming under threat from property developer Joe Hamilton. In desperation, Rev. Biggs prays to God for help - and help arrives in the form of an angel named Dudley. However, Dudley's arrival seems to cause even more trouble... Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They needed help. What they got was a miracle.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 December 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Preacher's Wife See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,649,752, 15 December 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$48,102,795
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Denzel Washington originally wanted Julia Roberts for the part of Julia Biggs. After he realized that Whitney Houston would be better for the role, he offered it to her, but she turned it down. Washington continued to ask her for a year until she finally agreed. See more »

Quotes

Julia Biggs: Who would use Baby Wet Wet for Jesus?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Boomerang: Game Night (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

I Believe In You And Me
(main theme from The Preacher's Wife)
Written by David Wolfert and Sandy Linzer
Performed by Whitney Houston
Courtesy by Arista Records
See more »

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User Reviews

A pale remake of a minor Christmas classic
30 June 2001 | by jlacerraSee all my reviews

You have to wonder why some folks out in Hollywood try to remake that which was done so very well the first time. You can just see them sitting around the conference table talking about adding color and, oh, yeah, lets make the characters black! It would be OK if they really tried to do it better. But they are really just trying to cash in.

Such is the case with "The Preacher's Wife". A modernized color version of the Cary Grant vehicle, "The Bishop's Wife", the insertion of even this excellent black cast does nothing to enhance the story.

Denzel never seems to capture the sly charm of Dudley, the angel sent to help the Preacher. Now we know Denzel can be a charmer, but even he cannot deliver through this tired direction and uninspired script. Nothing really works in the movie (unless, perhaps, you never saw the original), the Preacher is not sympathetic enough, Whitney isn't at full strength as the title character, and even Gregory Hines can't seem to make the villain seem like much of a baddie.

A thorough waste of time and celluloid!


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