The Bishop's Wife (1947) Script

Hark, the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn king Peace on earth and mercy mild God and sinners reconciled Joyful, all ye nations rise Join the triumph of the skies With the angelic host proclaim Christ is born in Bethlehem Hark, the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn king Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace Hail the Son of Righteousness Light and life to all he brings Ris'n with healing in his wings Mild he lays his glory be Born that man no more may die Hark, the herald angels sing Glory to the newborn king

Oh, this is very kind of you. It's a privilege.

Which way are you going?

Just over there, the Mutual Building. My doctor is in there.

You see, I have hopes. Fine.

Oh, I'm all right now. Good luck to you.

Thank you. Thank you so much. Merry Christmas to you.

Merry Christmas.


Mother, please. Please lift me up. Please.

All right, then. Just for a minute. Up you go.

Look at that doll.

Look at the funny choo-choo train.

Come on now, darling. We have to go.

Oh, my baby! Oh, my baby! Oh, my baby!

Oh, you saved her. Oh, thank God. You saved my baby.

Oh, how can I ever thank you?

Don't try. Just don't let it happen again. I won't. I promise you, I won't.

All right, remember that. Now on your way. Yes.


It closely resembles its noble cousin, the California red fir.

It's botanically dissimilar.

Pay me heed, Maggenti.

This is a specimen of the white fir, the Abies concolor.

And surely, you being a native Roman, know your Latin.

You wanna buy or not?

Well, if it isn't my dear, beautiful Julia. Oh, hello, professor.

What are you doing in this disreputable part of town?

I'm buying a Christmas tree.

Hello, Mr. Maggenti. Mrs. Brougham, how do you do?

How much do you charge for this miserable weed?

A dollar eighty-five.

A dollar eighty-five for this halfhearted twig?

I shall pay you 10 cents a branch, or take my trade elsewhere.

What can I do for you, Mrs. Brougham?

You can save me that tree outside, the big one right by the door.

Okay. Thank you.

Every Christmas for the past 18 years...

...Maggenti and I have been re-enacting the same argument.

I didn't know you celebrated Christmas.

I thought you had no religion.

Well, that's true, my dear.

But I like to have a Christmas tree because it reminds me of my childhood.

I feel, for some reason, that this is a good time of year...

...for looking backwards.

Can you imagine me ever having been a child?

How's Henry? I haven't seen him for quite some time.

Oh, he's well, thank you.

He's terribly tired and worried.

Imagine he's having difficulty raising money for the cathedral.

Yes, it's slow work.

How's your book coming? Oh, splendidly.

Greatest history of Rome since Gibbon.

But, of course, nobody will read it.

And now, my good man...

...I do not choose to prolong this tawdry bickering any further.

All right, 10 cents a branch.

It's $1.40.

Very well, my venal friend. Here is your blood money.

Mr. Maggenti, will you send the tree up on Christmas Eve?

Late. I don't want my daughter to see. Sure. Don't you worry.

I send it when the little bambino goes to bed.

And Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Come on.

There's something I'd like you to give Henry with my compliments...

...for his cathedral fund.

That has been my lucky piece.

Not that it's ever brought me any luck, except knowing you.

It's an old Roman coin.

I picked it up years ago at a junk shop in Brindisi.

It has little value.

It's a wonderful contribution.

Nonsense.

It might be called the widow's mite...

...if it weren't for the fact that I'm not a widow.

Why, Julia, this is no occasion for tears.

It's stopped snowing, and--

Oh, if only we could spend Christmas back here...

...where we were so happy with you and our old friends.

Now, now, now.

Good night, professor.

I'll see you again very soon.

It can't be soon enough.

Good night, Julia.

Why, professor.

How fine to see you again after all these years.

How well you look.

How are you? Never better.

And you? Oh, quite well also, thank you.

I don't think you remember me.

Oh, that's preposterous. Of course I do.

Where did we meet? Now, professor, after all these years--

Well, now, just a moment. It wasn't Vienna, was it?

Vienna. Beautiful old Vienna.

The university? The university.

When I was lecturing on Roman history? That's it, professor.

What great lectures they were and what a one you were with the ladies.

Oh, fancy you remembering that.

I must confess, I had my moments. And still have.

Where are you going? That car.

I couldn't help noticing your tender parting from Julia.

You know Julia? In a way, yes.

Poor child.

She's unhappy? Yes.

When were you in Vienna?

Oh, I've been there many times.

I'm interested in Julia and Henry. What seems to be their trouble?

I never see Henry anymore.

He has no time for riffraff like me.

He now consorts with the vulgar rich like Mrs. Hamilton.

Do you know she had me fired from the university here?

Really? Said I was a radical.

I, who have never taken any interest in politics since the death of Nero.

Look at that.

Henry's old church, perishing from neglect.

It's such a nice little church.

Too little, I'm afraid.

It can't stand up against the march of progress.

Well, I must be pushing on.

Delighted to have seen you again. Pleasure.

We must get together and have a drink to those days in Vienna.

By all means. Heh, heh.

Good evening, professor. Oh, Pat.

Have you any idea who that man is?

Nope. He's a stranger to me.

Good evening, Mrs. Brougham. Good evening, Matilda.

Hello, Queenie.

Is Debby in bed yet? Uh, yes, ma'am.

And Mrs. Hamilton and the committee are in there with the bishop.

Dinner's been waiting a long time, madam.

Yes. I didn't know what to do about it.

We'll have dinner as soon as they leave. Yes, but what about the chicken?

Don't worry about it, Matilda, please. Here.

All right. Thank you.

Oh, Matilda, my bag.

Here. Thank you.

Oh, I'm terribly sorry I'm so late.

Good evening, Mrs. Hamilton.

But I was delayed Christmas shopping.

Good evening, Mr. Perry, Mrs. Trumbull.

Hello, Mrs. Ward.

I hope you've been having a good meeting.

We have not.

I've never in my life encountered such fuzzy thinking.

Do you think we've made any progress? No, Mrs. Hamilton.

Mr. Perry was about to tell us something.

Merely a suggestion. If Mrs. Hamilton approves, we might be able...

...to place the George B. Hamilton Memorial Chapel here on the northeast.

It would be completely out of sight. I won't stand for it.

Mrs. Hamilton, this cathedral cannot be designed for the glory of an individual.

It has to be created for all the people.

I'm very displeased at your attitude, Henry Brougham.

I was instrumental in having you made bishop...

...although others thought you too young.

Is that an exaggeration? Oh, yes, Mrs.-- I mean, no.

You were the guiding spirit. I distinctly remember that you told--

I had confidence in you when you were a poor little parson in the slums.

I confess my confidence is weakened.

I regret I've been such a disappointment.

Regrets and apologies are no good whatsoever.

You give me the impression of being confused, indecisive and ineffectual.

That is not the kind of leadership we expect of our bishop.

You better remember one thing.

You will build that cathedral as I want it, or you will not build it at all.

That's all I have to say.

Someone get this dog out of the way.

Julia. Queenie.

Good night, Mrs. Hamilton.

Good night. Good evening.

Good evening, Mrs. Brougham.

Good evening, Mrs. Brougham.

Can we serve dinner now, ma'am? Yes, Matilda.

The chicken will be burned to a crisp.

We'll be right in.

Julia, you knew that Mrs. Hamilton was expected here this afternoon.

I know, Henry.

I'm sorry I was late.

What a ghastly afternoon. What a ghastly woman.

I have no intention of being strangled by her purse strings.

She did and I was proud of you.

I had a most un-Christian impulse to take those blueprints...

...and give her a good whack over the mink coat.

I thought you stood up to her magnificently.

I appreciate your appreciation, but what about my cathedral?

May I make a suggestion, Henry?

Why not postpone the cathedral? Forget it until after Christmas.

Impossible. The house of God can't just be put off.

This cathedral must rise. Plenty of rich people in this town.

If I had to enlist their financial enthusiasm...

...I shall have to take advantage of their Yuletide spirit.

Oh, I can see it all now.

The McVVhithers, the Homes, the Van Deusens.

The luncheons, committee meetings. And you, you there, flattering them...

...kowtowing to them, begging them. it's got to be done.

Oh, Henry, if you could see your poor harassed face.

You haven't done much to help it. Why--?

Yes, Miss Cassaway, what is it?

Mr. Trevor on the phone. He says it's urgent.

Tell him the bishop will call him back. Yes, Mrs. Brougham.

Henry, what's happened to you?

What's happened to us and our marriage?

We used to have such fun, you and Debby and I.

We used to be happy, we used to make other people happy.

Oh, Henry, that was your gift.

You're no financier and you're not a promoter.

You can't see beyond the end of your nose.

I want this cathedral to stand like a beacon. Its light to--

Oh, never mind, Henry, never mind. Keep that for your next committee meeting.

Here's a contribution I collected.

What's that?

It's an old Roman coin. Professor Wutheridge sent it to you.

Wasn't it sweet of him?

The old fool. What does he think I can do with that?

Well, it's a beginning.

And now all you need is another 4 million.

Julia, don't be flippant about this.

Is dinner ready? Yes.

Let's go in and get it over with. I have a lot of work to do.

For what we are about to receive, make us thankful.

Amen. Amen.


Julia. Yes?

I was just thinking...

...tomorrow maybe we could go out together.

Where?

Oh, just walk around the way we used to.

We could go and call on the professor...

...go to the park and watch the skaters, that sort of thing.

Maybe we could have lunch together...

...at Michel's. You remember that?

Michel's.

Oh, it's been years since we've been there.

Please forgive me. I've been trying to explain to Mr. Trevor...

...but he insists upon speaking to you personally, bishop.

Excuse me, darling.

Matilda, will you keep the soup warm, please?

The bishop's been called to the phone. Tell Delia we'll be out for lunch tomorrow.

Yes, ma'am.

Of course, Mr. Trevor. Yes, but--

I appreciate your difficulties--

But--

Oh, very well, I'll be there.

Ten thirty tomorrow morning, then we can go on to the board meeting.

All right, yes. Goodbye.

Put that down. Mr. Trevor's office, 10:30 tomorrow...

...the board meeting at the Banker's Club at 11.

Yes, sir. Tomorrow, Thursday. You might as well go home now.

There's a great deal of work, sir. Never mind. You must be tired.

Oh, thank you, sir.

And don't forget, tomorrow you speak at the Hotel Hamilton.

What time is that? it's at luncheon, 1:00.

Remember? You made the appointment over a month ago.

Good night, bishop. Good night.

God, what am I to do?

Can't you help me? Can't you tell me?

Oh, God, please help me.

Yes?

Good evening. Good eve--

What can I do for you?

That isn't the question. Well, what is it?

What can I do for you?

Telephone my secretary for an appointment.

I'm in the middle of dinner. I know, Henry.

Your soup will keep warm.

You asked for help.

I? I--

Who told you I asked for help?

Well, you are known to be a good man, Henry, and you were heard.

I was instructed to come here in answer to your prayer.

Who are you? I'm an angel.

I beg your pardon? I'm an angel.

No wings at the moment, but...

You're an angel.

I knew it. I've been working too hard--

I understand, Henry. It's hard to believe, even for you.

Of course, I'm not one of the more important angels.

I just happen to be assigned to this district temporarily.

You see, we're everywhere...

...helping people who deserve to be...

To be helped.

As you're walking through the streets, you may suddenly look into a strange face.

It may be the face of a murderer, or it may be the face of an angel.

You have some problems with the building of this cathedral, haven't you?

Yes.

It's a fine cathedral.

Ought to look magnificent up there on the top of Sanctuary Hill.

Well, Henry, do you believe I am what I say I am?

Well, how can I? I've only got your word for it.

But you're a bishop. You, of all people, can trust the word of an angel.

I'd like to.

What do you--? What do you propose to do?

Perform a miracle? if necessary.

Why don't, you? Why don't you create the cathedral with one wave of your hand?

You wouldn't want me to do that. How would you explain it?

Well, I--

Tell the world you're being visited by an angel?

You can't do that.

Henry, is anything wrong? I--

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know that you--

Julia, if you don't mind.

How do you do, Julia?

I'm Dudley.

Henry is engaging me to help him with his work.

You mean you're going to be his assistant?

That's it. I'm going to try to help Henry to rest and get some relaxation.

That's what I've been praying for. You too?

Oh, Henry, I'm so relieved.

You found someone to help you. Yes, but--

Where do you come from, Dudley? Oh, all around.

Yes, but where? Julia, to tell you the truth...

...he says he's an--

I've been doing some social service work downtown.

Now you're gonna be with Henry permanently?

For as long as may be necessary.

If you don't mind, I must talk to this gentleman alone.

I'll see you in a moment. Sure.

Oh, we were just having dinner, won't you join us?

That's very kind of you, but I have things to do around town.

You can understand, Henry, so many people making so many mistakes.

Yes, I see.

Then we'll see you tomorrow?

Oh, yes, bright and early. Good.

Whenever you're ready, Henry.

Good night, Dudley.

Good night, Julia.

Are you sure you're an angel?

I know it isn't easy, Henry, but you've just got to take me on faith.

Yes, for how long? How long will it take? For just long enough...

...until you can utter another prayer and say that you have no further need of me.

Then I'll be gone and forgotten.

But now Julia is waiting for you at the dining table.

You must go to her.

Yes.

But I don't--


Henry. Yes?

What's the rest of Dudley's name?

I don't know.

Are you nervous, dear?

No.

Why, the bishop didn't eat his breakfast.

No. He took only his prune juice.

Prune juice? What's the matter? Is he sick?

Oh, he looked perfectly awful. He said he had a very bad, sleepless night.

Passing up a breakfast like that.

It just ain't normal.

Nobody expects him to be normal, he's a bishop.

If I could get you something, sir?

No, thank you, Matilda.

Maybe just a cup of tea? Nothing, thank you.

Good morning, Miss Cassaway. Good morning, bishop.

Did anything come in for the cathedral fund?

Mr. and Mrs. J. Thurston Ward, no contribution.

Mrs. Gerald Wilmarth, $15. Fifteen dollars?

We had her down for 10,000.

There's a letter from her explaining that--

I know. The same letter they all write.

I put the personal mail on the desk, bishop. The rest I'm taking to the office.

I'll be there after the meetings.


Oh, Matilda, I think there's someone at the door.

Yes, sir.

Good morning, Matilda. I'm Dudley, the bishop's new assistant.

Good morning, Henry. It's a wonderful morning.

I'm a little late, but I stopped to chat with a traffic policeman...

...who was worried about his wife.

Oh, thank you. Thank you, dear.

I directed traffic while he telephoned the hospital.

I see. She's doing fine. So is the baby.

Why, you must be Mildred Cassaway.

How do you do? How do you do?

We're going to be working together. That's very nice.

Oh, thank you.

Thank you very much. See you later, Mildred.

Well, ready for duty.

Completely at your service.

No, no.

I feel it-- No.

Good morning, Julia.

Oh, good morning, Dudley. It's a lovely day, isn't it?

Lovely. Henry and I are going out together.

I'm terribly sorry, but I have some appointments.

You what? Mr. Trevor, I gotta see him and then...

...the board meeting, junior assembly.

But don't you remember? You promised-- Yeah, I know I did.

Well, Dudley could represent you at those meetings, couldn't he?

Could I?

No, out of the question. They expect me. It would never do if I sent an assistant.

Excuse me.

Now--

You see, the trouble is I can't explain. You needn't try to explain, Henry.

This is the way it is and will always be. What--?

We've just got to get used to it, that's all.

I'll tell Matilda she can have the day off for shopping, I'll take care of Debby.

Oh, I see that Mrs. George B. Hamilton...

...has pledged $1 million, but has not yet sent her check.

Never mind those cards. That's work for a bookkeeper, not an--

Work for a bookkeeper.

So you're beginning to believe in me, huh?

I don't know who you are, where you came from, or who sent you.

I just wish you'd make haste. There's no time to lose.

Because the cathedral must be built? Obviously, that's the most important thing.

Or because Julia must be happy?

Henry, it's difficult for me to help you until I'm sure what it is you really want.

I've got the-- And then there's...

Oh!

Would you mind telling me what you intend to do now?

This card index file is in an awful mess. Think I'll reorganize it.

You're wasting your time on unimportant details.

Nothing's unimportant.

Remember, we are interested even in the lowliest sparrow.


Hello, Debby. Are you Dudley?

Yes. How did you know?

Mommy told me. She said you came to help Daddy.

That's right.

Mommy said you were very nice.

Well, that's extremely kind of Mommy.

Mommy said that maybe with you here, maybe we'll get to see Daddy sometimes.

Maybe we will. That'll be enough out of you, Debby.

I asked Matilda to put your lunch on a tray for you.

Thank you, Julia. I'll get along very well.

I'm sure you will. Come on, dear.

Goodbye, Dudley. Goodbye, Debby.

Goodbye. Bye.


Oh. Oh, thank you, Matilda. Aren't you going to wear a hat?

I never use one. Oh, it's very cold out.

Oh, well, the cold never affects me. I--

I think you should wear this anyway.

I bought it for the bishop last Christmas. Well. Really?

But he's never worn it. Oh, it's a lovely scarf, Matilda.

Bishop will appreciate it when he sees it on me.

Yes. Well, thank you. Goodbye.

Bye.

Goodbye.

Oh, what's the matter, honey? They don't want me.

Oh, why not? I guess I'm too little or something.

Oh, now, now.

Why, that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.

Why, Dudley.

Come on, Debby, we'll show them how wrong they are.

Hey, fellas?

Hey, fellas?

Who's the head man here? I am.

I am. I am.

What's this game you're playing?

This isn't a game. This is a battle.

We attack the fort and they try to defend it. See?

Oh, yes. Yeah, I see. Well, this young lady would like to get into it.

Who? Her? She can't fight, her father's a bishop.

What difference does it make what her father is? Are you a high-hat?

How'd you like her on your team?

She couldn't throw a snowball as far as I could spit.

Oh, couldn't she?

Come on, Debby. We'll show them what you can do.

But it's true. I can't throw.

Nonsense. Of course, you can. Now, here...

...you pack it tight, put it in that hand, throw the arm back.

Aim it right at him and let it go.

Hey!

Beautiful! A bull's-eye.

She pitched a curve. Did you see that?

Come on, kid. You're in our army. We've broken their morale.

Charge!

You think she'll get hurt? Probably, but she'll love it.

May I? Surely.

Dudley? "Hmm?

What are you doing out here? I'm just admiring the scenery.

But aren't you supposed to be working?

I always take a walk before lunch.

Good idea, relaxing, you know?

Oh, I wish you could persuade Henry to do that.

I'll try.

Oh, by the way, I told Miss Cassaway to go home...

...and I told Delia not to bring me anything on the tray.

Well, what will you do about lunch?

I thought I'd go to Michel's. Ever heard of it?

Michel's. Oh, it's a lovely place.

We used to go there, that was years ago.

Well, how about you and I going there today?

You and--?

To Michel--? Oh, no. No, I couldn't. Why not?

Well-- You don't think Henry would mind.

Why, I'd explain to him that we just-- Oh, no. No, it isn't that, but--

Well, Matilda is off Christmas shopping and so I have to look after Debby.

Well, here's Matilda now.

Hello. If you wish-- Oh, hello. Hello.

If you wish, I'll take Debby home.

But, Matilda, your shopping. it--

Oh, I finished it. I finished it so quick, it was just like a miracle.

Mommy! We won!

Oh, Debby, that's wonderful. Congratulations.

Come on. We're giving out the medal.

Oh, put up your hood, dear.

Madame Brougham. Oh, Michel.

It's been a long time. Oh, much too long.

You know my husband's work. Yes, your husband.

But he doesn't come to see us anymore, but we understand.

We understand. This way, please.

Is this satisfactory, monsieur?

Oh, fine. Thank you.

Friends of yours?

Yes. That is, they're members of the cathedral committee.

Madame. Thank you.

Monsieur? No, thank you, Michel.

Julia, don't bother to look. Michel, I'll tell you what you do.

You bring the best lunch you can think of.

Oh, I can see monsieur is a gourmet.

Perhaps monsieur, madame would be interested in a guinea hen a la Michel.

Please, Michel, let's leave heaven out of this.

You speak French beautifully.

I've had quite a bit of work to do in Paris.

Dudley, I-- I've been wondering about you.

Wondering about me? Why?

You know so much. it makes me feel uncomfortable.

Well, I'm sorry I learned anything.

But I'm glad you knew about Michel's.

Oh, it's so nice to be back here again. So nice.

You have memories of this place, Julia?

Did you and Henry come here often?

Yes. As a matter of fact, this is where we became engaged to be married.

Then I can understand why you love it. Ha, ha.

Oh, hello.

Pardon me. Thank you.

What about that?

Fine.

Oh, would you care to have your palm read?

Oh, no. No, thank you. Would you?

Oh, no, thanks. No, I know too much about myself as it is.

Oh, you are different. I know so little about myself.

Really? May I look at your hand?

Oh, can you do that too? it's not too difficult.

I suppose you can read the future. Within limits.

He's holding her hand.

Well, what do you see?

Well, I never noticed, your eyes are green.

I see a great deal of happiness.

I see a woman who's adored.

I see a rich, full life.

Do you see Henry's new cathedral?

No, it's not very clear. There's kind of a fuzziness about that.

And Debby? No need to worry about her.

Just thinking, the world changes but two things remain constant.

What? Youth and beauty.

Well, they're really one and the same thing.

Yes, but the trouble is, people grow old.

Not everybody.

The only people who grow old were born old to begin with.

You were born young. You will remain that way.

Oh, I wish I could believe you. You may.

You haven't looked at my hand once.

I never know what to think of you. I never know whether you're joking or serious.

I'm at my most serious when I'm joking.

Excuse me, Julia. Gotta do something about that.

Do forgive me coming to your table. My name is Dudley.

You're friends of Julia's. We're wondering if you'd care to join us for lunch.

No, thank you. We'd better go.

Why don't you join us for some coffee? Do come over.

That's nice. Julia will be delighted.

All right. Wonderful. Thank you.

Very nice of you to even think of it. Yes.

Oh, she's right over here? Yes.

Hello, Mrs. Caster. How are you? Nice to see you.

Wait here, would you? Sit down.

May I help you? Oh, Michel.

Three Benedictines. Three Benedictines.

No, no, no. Make it three Stingers. Stingers? Oui, monsieur.

Julia?

Julia?

Julia.

Oh. Oh, Matilda, is lunch ready?

No, sir. We thought you were out for lunch.

I canceled. Are Mrs. Brougham and Debby home?

Debby's here, sir. Mrs. Brougham, where is she?

Why, sir, she went out to lunch with Mr. Dudley.

With Dudley? Why, yes, sir.

I thought you knew, sir.

Yes, of course.

Oh...

That's awful.

Merry Christmas, Santa.

You know, Santa Claus doesn't really look like that.

You know Santa Claus? Certainly. Known him for years. Nice chap.

In that case, you must tell Debby about him.

She's just beginning to be a little bit doubtful.

You like that hat.

Yes, I'm crazy about it.

Come on, let's go in and buy it. Oh, no, I couldn't.

Why, it's much too...

Too what? Too attractive? Nothing could be--

Why, my old friend, the professor. Hello, professor.

Julia. Are you with this man? Yes, of course. It's Dudley.

The professor knows me. University of Vienna.

Yes, I've been thinking about that.

I don't believe you've been in Vienna in your life.

A game we play. He pretends he's never seen me before.

I don't knew who he is, Julia, but I don't trust him.

Professor, he's Henry's new assistant.

Oh, you mean you know this fellow? Of course, I do.

Well, in that case...

...how about dropping into my humble diggings for Yuletide cheer?

Oh, no, no. I have to go home. I--

Well, perhaps just for a few minutes. Good. Come along.

There's a little sherry left.

It's rather inferior grade, but potable.

Professor, I see you're quite a religious man.

What makes you think that? You have an angel on your tree.

Well, Julia gave me that years ago.

Why, your tree is beautiful, professor. it's disgraceful.

However, it gives me the illusion of peace on earth, good will toward men.

To a charming lady.

Thank you. Lovely.

You've noticed?

Isn't it more remarkable that you have? Remarkable?

When you wanna know about a woman, ask the old men, they know.

Why don't you show us the manuscript of your book, professor? Will you?

My book? Yes, please.

Oh, no, no, no.

You're writing one? Yes.

You didn't know?

You didn't tell me.

I described that book in detail...

...in the course of lectures I gave at the university in Vienna.

All my pupils heard me. Now I'm certain this fellow's an impostor.

Oh, that book? I thought you'd finished that years ago.

I'll tell you--

I'll tell you about my book.

For 20 years I've been talking about it.

I've been promising the publishers that it would be delivered next spring.

The funny part of it is, in all that time, I haven't written one word.

Not one word. Why not?

I couldn't think of anything original to say.

Just the same old monotonous history, dry as dust.

That's the whole story of my life.

Frustration.

It's a chronic disease and it's incurable.

Once I was madly--

Once I was madly in love with a girl.

My friends, she was a vision of delight.

A pure enchantress. Why, you've never told me about that.

No, that's just the trouble.

I never told her about it either. I couldn't find the words.

So she married an athlete.

A great hulking oaf who never even reached the eighth grade.

But he knew how to say, "I love you."

Same trouble as my book, can't find the words.

Even when you had this coin to inspire you?

Why, that's the one that you gave to Henry, professor.

Yes, I stole it off the table.

You wasted your time, Dudley. It's worthless.

Oh, on the contrary, this is one of the rarest of all antiquities.

Only 100 of these coins were minted by Julius Caesar 2000 years ago.

That was when Cleopatra visited Rome.

Presumably, these coins were used to pay her hotel bill.

I never knew that.

No, nobody knew about it except Caesar's wife.

She was suspicious? Definitely.

She did not share her husband's admiration for Cleopatra.

So she had these coins destroyed, melted into ornaments for herself.

This is the one she missed.

It's an unwritten chapter in history, and you, professor, will write it.

Do you know more stories like that?

Oh, any number of them.

You're a curious fellow, Dudley.

Have you just begun to notice that?

What's your background?

Uh, my background? Well, where do you come from?

Well... And don't tell me any more about Vienna...

...I won't believe it.

All right.

Supposing I told you I came from another planet. You believe me?

I don't know. I'd believe you, Dudley.

And you'd be right, Julia, as always.

We all come from our own little planets.

That's why we're all different. That's what makes life interesting.

We don't seem to be making any headway.

First star I see tonight.

You must make a wish, Julia.

Oh, it's getting dark. It must be late.

Henry will be worried. We must be leaving.

Oh, no. I'm sorry, professor, but we must.

Dudley. Yes, my friend.

There's one thing that troubles me.

One thing I wish I knew. What's that?

Well, I'm an old man. That history is a tremendous task.

I wonder, will I have time to finish it?

You'll finish your history, professor. You'll have time.

I believe you, Dudley.

For quite a while now, every time I passed a cemetery...

...I felt as if I were apartment hunting.

Good bye, professor.

You've given an old man a very happy afternoon.

Thank you. God bless you both.

Thank you. I'll pass that recommendation along.


Oh, my, that's pretty.

Take some of that pink stuff and make curlicues with it.

I hope dinner won't be spoiled.

Oh, no, sir. I had a sort of feeling that they might be late.

Yes. Very considerate of you.

Yes. Who's that cake for?

What cake? The cake behind you.

Oh, that cake? Oh, for anybody who might like cake, sir.

But you know neither Mrs. Brougham nor myself like these desserts.

Oh, but we baked you an egg custard, sir.

Hello.

Oh, hello, dear. I'm sorry we were late for dinner.

Good evening. We've had the most marvelous time.

Oh, I wish you'd been with us. I wish I had.

Debby told me about the snow fight. Oh, did she?

We went to see Professor Wutheridge and then we had lunch at Michel's.

Is Debby in bed? No, she's waiting to see you.

Good. Well, I'll just go up and say good night to her.

I won't be a minute. I just wanna see if she's all right.

I trust you spent a profitable afternoon.

Oh, yes. Did you have a profitable afternoon, Henry?

Not very.

I'd like to see you for a moment.

Certainly.

Excuse me.

Can you prove to me that you are an angel?

Proof? You mean a document?

Why, surely, you of all people should know that an angel needs no passport.

I wanna see you perform a miracle.

What kind? Well...

...make this desk rise up and fly around the room.

Please, Henry. I didn't come down here to do silly tricks. I'm surprised at you.

I don't believe you're an angel.

I think you're a demon right out of--

Oh, Henry. Don't say that.

Well, anyway, you know how I feel. Yes.

Now, wait a minute, Dudley, there's another thing.


Oh, dinner is served, bishop.

Thank you, Dudley.

For what we are about to receive, make us thankful.

Amen. Amen.

Pass the celery, Henry. Please.

Hmm? The celery.

Thank you.

Mm. Thank you.


What's that you're humming?

Oh, I don't know, dear. Is it anything?

It's rather gay. Well, I feel gay.

I like to watch you brushing your hair.

Thank you, dear. Is that a compliment?

Yes. You do it so capably.

Well, thank you.

In fact, now I come to think of it, everything you do is capable.

If there's one thing I pride myself on, it's the fact that we lead a well-ordered life.

The family, I mean.

Of course, the credit for that is due to you much more than to me.

I think you're an excellent wife. Well, thank you.

Do you think I'm an excellent husband? Of course, dear.

We'll have an early supper so we get to St. Timothy's on time.

St. Timothy's? For the choir rehearsal, the benefit.

Oh, yes.

You know, you-- You've been looking awfully tired lately.

I hope you're gonna take it easier now that Dudley is here with you.

I think that he's very able.

You do? Yes.

He knows so many things. What, for instance?

Well, you should have seen him at Professor Wutheridge's.

He knows more about history than the professor.

He's been at it longer.

Oh, let her go for it. Let's do that again.

No, tell me a story. What, now?

Don't you know any stories? Certainly, I know hundreds of stories.

Tell me one. Please? All right. All right. Now, let me think.

All right. This happened many, many years ago.

That's not the way to begin.

Stories start, "Once upon a time."

Oh, yes, that's true. Well, once upon a time...

...there was a little boy and he lived in a little town.

What was his name? His name was David. He was a shepherd.

And the town where he lived was called Bethlehem.

Oh, I know Bethlehem, that's where the star was.

That's right. Only David lived long before the star.

Well, one night, David was out in the hills tending his sheep.

He was playing the harp and singing.

What was he singing? "Jingle Bells"?

Ha, ha. No, no. No, "Jingle Bells" hadn't been written then.

David was singing songs that he wrote himself.

Well, suddenly, an angel came down and spoke to David.

How did David know it was an angel? Ah, he didn't know.

And that's the way it always is.

Angels come down and put ideas into people's heads...

...then people feel proud of themselves, they think it was all their own idea.

Well, this angel said to David:

"One of your lambs has strayed."

So David put aside his harp and went out in the darkness to find the lamb.

Of course, the angel guided him.

And when David found the lamb, he saw a great, big ferocious lion.

Oh!

So David said to the lion, “You get away from that lamb!"

And the lion said, “You get away from me or I'll eat you too!"

Did David run away?

No. You know why?

Because the angel put another idea into his head.

So David took out his sling...

...and he hurled a stone and hit the lion right between the eyes.

I bet that lion was surprised. Ha-ha-ha.

Yeah. And so was David.

Because he didn't know an angel had helped him.

Well, he picked up the lamb and took it back to the fold...

...and then he felt so happy that he made up another song.

It started out:

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.

He leadeth me beside the still waters;

He restoreth my soul."

You can tell the rest of this, Henry.

Some other time. Hello, Daddy.

Miss Cassaway, will you get Mrs. Hamilton on the telephone, please?

Miss Cassaway, Mrs. Hamilton on the phone, please.

Yes, bishop.

Good morning, Julia. Good morning, Dudley.

See you in a few minutes. Have to see Matilda.

Yes. Bye, Debby. Goodbye, Dudley.

Bye.

Thank you. Oh, pretty.

Are you expecting a letter? One never knows.

But if I should get one, the stamp will be worth saving.

I'll have Mrs. Hamilton in a moment.

You gonna see Mrs. Hamilton today?

I hope to. May I come along? I'd like to meet her.

Mrs. Hamilton? Bishop Brougham.

Hello, Mrs. Hamilton. How are you?

I'm glad to hear it.

Mrs. Hamilton, I'd like to see you today.

Well, this afternoon, if possible.

Yes, it is. It's very urgent.

Oh, that's too bad. Oh, terrible.

You can? Oh, that's splendid.

Thank you so much. I'll be there, 5:00 this evening.

Thank you, Mrs. Hamilton. Goodbye.

Henry, you didn't make an appointment for this afternoon, did you?

Yes, it was the only possible time. You can't do this to Reverend Miller.

That rehearsal is being held for you.

They'll get along all right without me. There are other things more important.

Mr. Miller will be delighted to see you.

But it isn't the same, Henry. You're his bishop.

And I don't like going alone.

It's the big house at the end of this street, driver.

Dudley, I take it that--

That you have the money for the taxi?

No. What makes you think I have money?

Oh, I just thought that you being an--

Oh, goodness!

I'm sorry. Sorry. Sorry.

Thank you.

I won't be late. I may join you before the end.

Please try.

I'll see you at St. Timothy's in one hour.

Try-

I will be there.

Good.

This is it, driver.


Good evening, Bishop Brougham. How are you, Stevens?

Mrs. Hamilton is in the drawing room, sir.

Thank you.

Well, Bishop Brougham.

My dear Mrs. Hamilton, I've come to tell you--

You've come to apologize, I trust. Exactly.

Upon mature consideration, my objections seem petty...

...compared with the generosity of your gesture.

I'm very much relieved.

Sit down, Bishop Brougham. Thank you.

What hurt me most was to think that my instincts betrayed me...

...in recommending you for the position you now hold.

I'm grateful, Mrs. Hamilton.

Now, in planning the cathedral, I'm taking it for granted...

...that George B. Hamilton Memorial Chapel shall be located--

Just where you specified, Mrs. Hamilton.

You no longer feel the effect will be that the cathedral was built in my husband's honor?

That was used in the heat of dispute.

What matters is that the cathedral be built. Good.

You know, I will not have his name in some horrid little brass plaque.

Oh, no. It will be incised in marble, large letters that are gilded.

That large window depicting Saint George and the dragon.

Yes?

I should very much like that the countenance of Saint George suggest my late husband.

Yes.

Who do you see as the dragon? Oh, any dragon.

Now, let's get the blueprints.

Mrs. Hamilton, as we're now in such complete agreement...

...would you mind if we postponed the discussion?

Julia's waiting for me at St. Timothy's.

Very well. We can go over the plans when we send for transfer of funds.

Thank you so much. And I'm so glad we've settled our differences.

Is anything the matter?

Why, it doesn't seem quite right, does it?

Oh, but-- Oh, Stevens.

There's something wrong about the bishop's chair.

Oh, madam, it must be the new varnish.

The finisher should have warned us.

I do hope I'm not harming the chair.

Oh, no, no, not at all.

Send to a furniture shop, or a plumber's or get turpentine. Do something, Stevens.

Yes, madam. Oh, dear.

I wonder-- Would you give it a pull at the back?

Yes, yes.

Thank you.

It's been a long time since Henry's been down here.

I wish he had come.

You know, when he was here, he was so close to people...

...so loved by everybody. Uh-huh.

And how does it seem to you now?

In dreaming of his cathedral, he's moved away from people he loved?

Yes.

It's gonna be such a disappointment for Reverend Miller not to see him.

Oh, well, he doesn't have to be disappointed.

Hello, Mr. Miller. Mrs. Brougham, so good of you to come.

Not at all. I'm delighted to be here. This is Mr. Dudley, bishop's assistant.

Mr. Dudley, a pleasure. Thank you, Mr. Miller.

The bishop will try to get here later, Mr. Miller.

Something important came up. Oh, of course, he's a busy man now.

Yes.

This is Mrs. Duffy. I know Mrs. Duffy. How are you?

It's an honor to have you here at St. Timothy's.

Thank you. And this is Mr. Dudley.

Mrs. Duffy is the organist.

Oh, I'm sure Mrs. Duffy plays enchantingly.

Hello, Mrs. Duffy.

I'm afraid some of our boys are a little late.

We really should begin, but I don't see how we can.

It's really quite embarrassing.

But, you know, it is a little difficult to compete with basketball and Christmas.

They're all good boys at heart.

I know they are. They'll show up.

I hope so.

Hello, Bobby. Hello.

What do you sing? I sing first soprano.

Are you good? I don't know.

Well, how about giving out? Me alone?

Well, you got George up there. Hello, George.

Hello. Well, what do you say?

Well, okay.

Are you ready, Mrs. Duffy? Oh, yes.

Hit it.

Oh, sing to God your hymns of gladness Ye loving heads your tribute pay Your lord is born this happy day Then pierce the sky With songs of gladness Disperse the shades Of gloom and sadness Your Lord is born This happy day O, sing to God Your hymns of gladness O, sing to God Your hymns of gladness Ye loving heads your tribute pay Your Lord is born this happy day Then pierce the sky With songs of gladness Disperse the shades Of gloom and sadness Your Lord is born This happy day O, sing to God Your hymns of gladness Oh, word of God For us incarnate Oh, word of God For us incarnate By faith we hear thine angels sing Oh, God, we hear thine angels sing We hear thine angels sing Their hymns of praise to thee, their king We join with them in adoration We join with them in adoration We pour to thee, we pour to thee Our supplication That thou wouldst Grant us, Lord Salvation

Boys, that was beautiful, really beautiful.

You know, you've all grown up so since the bishop and I lived in this parish...

...that I hardly recognized any of you.

But I'm so proud of you.

And I know he's going to be too.

Oh, thank you.

Mr. Miller, that was wonderful.

I can't thank you enough, Mrs. Brougham.

And you, Mr. Dudley.

Oh, I'm so sorry the bishop couldn't have been here.

Are you all right? Yes, yes, thank you.

Whatever is keeping Stevens?

Oh, Stevens, there you are.

I'm terribly sorry, madam, but the furniture shop is closed until after New Year.

I can't seem to find a plumber, and we're out of turpentine.

This is preposterous. Would some witch hazel be of any use?

Might I use your telephone? Yes, of course.

It's over there. Thank you so much.

Matilda, this is Bishop Brougham.

I'm over at Mrs. Hamilton's. Will you bring me another pair of trousers at once, please.

Well, what difference does it make? Just bring me another pair of trousers.

Thank you.

I'm so very sorry this has happened.

Oh, if only I could get in touch with Julia or Dudley.

Now, now, don't be nervous, bishop.

Have a chair.

Thank you. I have one.

He isn't here.

Well, perhaps the meeting was more important than he thought.

I suppose.

Well, we better go on home.

You know, Dudley, it's a strange thing.

What's strange?

You seem to be able to make me feel as if everything is gonna be all right.

Well, it could be if... if what?

If people could only learn to behave like human beings.

Hey, taxi.

Here's a cab, Julia.

Will you please wait, Sylvester?

Okay. Sure, mister, I'll wait.

Sylvester?

Good evening. If you'll wait just a moment, I'll be right with you.

This is one of our most exclusive models. Really?

Oh, it's lovely. Just simply ravishing.

So chic. So young.

It is sweet, isn't it? Oh, it's stunning.

Not everyone could wear such a daring hat.

Of course, it was made for madame.

Say, how did you know my name was Sylvester?

Oh, it's up there on your card. Oh.

Sylvester, could you drive us through the park?

That's way out of your way. What's the matter with you, Sylvester?

Are you getting bored with us? Oh, no.

I'd drive you by way of Mexico City if you want.

Thank you.

Dudley, I'm having so much fun.

Are you, Julia? Yes.

Are you really? Yes.

I feel as if I were doing something wicked. Why?

I don't know.

Somehow, it seems wrong to have so much fun.

But I can't figure out what's wrong about it.

Do you folks happen to know what the main trouble with this country is?

Oh, I've heard several versions of that.

Do you know, Sylvester?

Well, I think I do. The main trouble is there are too many people...

...who don't know where they're going and they want to get there too fast.

Now, take you two. I'd call you unusual.

Thank you. You're very perceptive.

First place, you know your destination.

But you're in no hurry to get there.

You wanna enjoy some scenery en route.

And you're not reluctant to spend an extra four bits...

...for a detour with Mother Nature.

Hey, look where you're going!

Well. Well, my goodness.

Did you see the way I missed that truck?

Well, it was just like a miracle. Yes, but don't overplay your hand.

Oh...

Sylvester, pull up here.

Come on, Julia, we're going skating. No, we mustn't. It's late. We couldn't.

You think we could?

Henry's waited this long. He can wait longer.

Yeah. Sylvester, stop the car.

I am wicked. Well, if you are, so am I. That's impossible.

Can you skate, Sylvester?

Oh, I used to when I was a boy, but I'm too old now.

Oh, pull on some skates. You'll find out how young you are.

Ooh. Oh, I'm not quite so sure I can.

Now, relax. That's right. Oh!

That's right.

Oh...

Pretty hat.


Why, Dudley. Now, you.

Oh, no. No, I... Come on. Come on.

Uh...

Oh, Dudley, this is heaven. You've found the perfect word.


Look. Look what I'm doing. Oh!

You're a beautiful skater, Julia.

In fact, you're beautiful.

Oh, look. Look at Sylvester. Ha-ha-ha.

Now, Sylvester.

Oh, oh, oh!

Whoa!

Oh, look! Ha-ha-ha.

Excuse me, Julia. Sure.

Keep cool, Sylvester. Keep cool.

Relax.

That's right. Come on, come on.

Give me the other one. That's it.

All right, now, relax. No, no. Don't collapse, just relax.

Hang on to me now.

Oh, don't leave me!

Don't!

How am I doing, Dudley?

Yippee!

Wait for me, Dudley.


Thank you, Dudley. All right.

How much do I owe you, Sylvester?

Not a cent, my friend.

My pockets are just bulging with the coins of self-satisfaction.

You wanna know why? I'd love to know.

Because you and the lady have restored my faith in human nature, that's why.

Good night, Dudley. Good night, Julia.

Good night, Sylvester. Good night, Sylvester.

Sylvester is a noble soul.

His children and his children's children will rise up and call him blessed.

Dudley, this has been the most wonderful evening I've had in years.

This has been the most wonderful evening I've had in centuries. Heh.

I hope I haven't left the key home.

Go right in. It's open.

Thank you, Dudley. Very good.

Well, hello, Queenie. Hello, Queenie, how are you?

May I help you? Yes, please.

All right. Oh! You took off my shoe.

Hello, Henry.

Oh, Henry, what happened to you? I thought you were gonna meet us at St. Timothy's.

What happened? It's late. I'll take that.

Thank you. You'll never guess.

We went skating. Ha-ha-ha.

There you are.

See you in a minute, Henry. All right.

Skating? Yes.

Dudley's the most marvelous skater.

He even made me imagine that I was good.

You should have heard those boys sing at St. Timothy's. it was absolutely heavenly.

I'm sure of that.

Did you have a successful meeting? Oh, yes, did you?

Satisfactory. Good.

Oh, dear, I wanna see Debby before she goes to sleep.

Oh, you haven't said a word about it.

About what?

My hat. My new hat.

Well, what do you think? Charming.

Ha, ha. Thank you. I'll be right down.

There's one thing I know about this, Julia is absolutely blameless.

Of course she is. You stopped me from joining you.

Julia had a very good time.

Well, I didn't.

If you'd sent me to represent you with Mrs. Hamilton, I would.

You didn't. So I represented you with your wife.

Is that part of the normal duties of an--?

Of an angel?

Sometimes, Henry, angels must rush in where fools fear to tread.

I haven't the faintest idea what that means and I don't want it explained to me.

Dudley, you can go now.

I've solved my problem. Have you?

Mrs. Hamilton is giving the money for the cathedral.

Oh, but that was a foregone conclusion...

...if you were willing to make a slight sacrifice of your principles.

Don't you think it's worth it for this glorious edifice?

I'm not so sure of its glory at a time like this.

Oh, you're not? No, Henry, I'm not.

You know, these are lean years for the world.

So many people need food, so many people need shelter.

That big roof could make so many little roofs.

But we're dealing with a materialistic woman.

She wouldn't listen to talk like that.

Did you try?

It's all arranged. It's finished. You came here so I could have a cathedral.

I've got it, now I want you to go.

I want you to get out of my house, out of my life and away from Julia.

I suppose you'd pray for that. it was your prayer that brought me here.

Mm-mm.

Henry, that was no prayer.

It was right from my heart. I want you to go.

Julia doesn't. Julia.

Get out! Get out!

Julia is about to come down the stairs.

Now, don't let her see you like that.

Try to calm yourself, Henry.

Dudley.

Oh, Debby wants Dudley to come up and say good night to her.

Where is he? He's gone.

Where? How should I know?

Well, why did he leave so suddenly?

I got rid of him. I told him to go away. I fired him.

Why? Because he's incompetent.

He's no good at his job and I cannot stand the sight of him!


Mommy, I'm sure that Dudley's never coming back.

Darling, you must never say "never."

But where is he?

Come here, dear.

Now, listen to me.

Dudley wouldn't leave us without saying a word.

Besides, he promised me he was going to tell you about Santa Claus.

He knows Santa Claus very well.

But it's almost Christmas Eve.

Soon I'll have to go to bed.

But I told you, dear, he wouldn't leave us without saying a word.

Would he, Matilda? Oh, no. No.

That wouldn't be like him, not like Mr. Dudley.

Come along, Debby. I'll get you ready for dinner.

Would you come see me when you get back, Mommy?

Well, of course, dear.


Here is the list of your calls, bishop, ending at Mrs. Hamilton's.

Thank you.

Miss Cassaway, here is the manuscript of my Christmas sermon.

I shall want the original in five carbons for issuing to the press.

If you get the typing done before I come back, leave copies on my desk.

I'm sorry to keep you so long on Christmas Eve.

Of course, sir, I understand. It must be done.

Henry, I'm ready to start out now.

We go first to the Tropshores', then we--

Then we go to the Vandovers'.

Goodbye, Miss Cassaway.

Sylvester.

Oh, hello, Julia. Hello. What are you doing here?

I've been waiting around here for about an hour...

...hoping there'd be another skating party.

Where's Dudley? Oh, you've got a preacher with you.

This is my-- Oh, I know.

There's gonna be a wedding ceremony, you and Dudley.

Sylvester, this is my husband, Bishop Brougham.

How do you do? Oh.

Oh. 247 North Maple.

247 North Maple.

Mildred. Oh!

Oh, why, Dudley, it's you.

Why, I didn't see-- Where have you been? All of us have been worrying about you.

And poor Mrs. Brougham. What about Mrs. Brougham?

Why, she's been popping in and out of here asking:

"Have you seen Dudley? Have you heard from him?"

Where is she, Mildred?

She and the bishop had some calls to make, finishing at Mrs. Hamilton's.

Let me type that sermon for you.

Oh, no. No. You go on.

Bishop told me-- Almost Christmas Eve.

You must have shopping to do. Oh...

Well-- Go on, Mildred.

Thank you, Dudley.

Merry Christmas, Mildred.

Merry Christmas, Dudley. Merry--


Take a sermon.

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.

Have you got that?

Good.

We haven't forgotten that down the centuries.

We celebrate it with stars on a tree...

...and the cry of bells and gifts, especially with gifts.

We buy them and wrap them...

...and put them under the tree.

You give me a tie...

...I give you a book.

Aunt Martha always wanted an orange squeezer.

Uncle Harry can use a new pipe.

Oh, we forget nobody, adult and child.

All the stockings are filled.

All, that is, except one.


Oh...

I'm sorry, Matilda.

Oh, Mr. Dudley. I knew you'd come back.

I knew you hadn't walked out on us.

Of course not.

Debby's been so worried.

And as for Mrs. Brougham--

Well, run upstairs, Matilda.

Tell Debby I'll see her later. I have some work to do.

I'll tell her.


One moment, please.

Is Mrs. Hamilton expecting you?

Not exactly, but she'll see me. I'm the bishop's assistant.

The bishop is expected, but not the assistant.

I told you, Stevens.

She'll wish to see me.

Yes, sir.

Yes, sir.


"This was composed for you, my darling, and you only. Allan."

But her husband's name was George.


Good evening.

That music you were playing...

...there's no one but me that knows that composition.

Yes, it's a shame that only you and I appreciate...

...the lost genius of Allan Cartwright.

You know about Allan Cartwright?

Oh, yes.

The world lost a brilliant young composer when he was-- When he died.

That was nearly 40 years ago.

You couldn't have known him.

I'm much older than you think.

Come, let us sit down.

What is your name?

My name is Dudley.

But tell me about Allan and you.

Tell me.

Allan Cartwright was the only man I ever loved.

We were engaged to be married...

...but I got frightened.

He had nothing and I was afraid of poverty.

He went away.

I never saw him again.

I never loved George Hamilton.

He was very much in love with me and he was wealthy.

I've spent a fortune honoring his memory in empty monuments.

The Hamilton mansion.

I never took a call here before.

What do I owe you now? Oh, no charge.

I got nothing better to do. Thank you.

I'll be seeing you, Julia.

There's someone at the door. That must be Henry and Julia.

Oh, the bishop. No, I won't-- I can't see him now.

Oh, yes, you will. No.

Yes.

That's right, Agnes.

Just go out and greet them in your usual warm-hearted manner.

The bishop and Mrs. Brougham are calling, madam.

Yes.

You'll stay for dinner, Dudley?

Oh, I'm afraid I can't, Agnes.

I have a great deal of work to do.

But don't keep Henry and Julia waiting.

Julia.

How do you do, Mrs. Hamilton?

How nice of you to come and see me.

And Henry.

A Merry Christmas. A Merry Christmas.

Come. Let's go into the drawing room.

Henry. Oh, yes, Mrs. Hamilton.

Merry Christmas to you too.

Come now, Henry. We're very old friends.

You must call me Agnes.

And you too, Julia, dear.

Oh, yes. Yes, of course.

Oh.

But he's gone already.

Who?

Dudley.

He was here? Yes.

I should have known it.

Where did he go? Oh, the poor man.

He said he had so much work to do.

Henry, you must make him take some rest.

I've been trying to make him do that.

Oh, I can't thank you enough for sending him to me.

Oh, but do sit down.

You know, my dear, meeting Dudley...

...has been the greatest spiritual experience of my life.

I'm glad you've seen him.

How did you ever find him, Henry? it was more or less of an accident.

It was a miracle. Oh, indeed, it was.

Talking with this wonderful, understanding man has--

Henry, I've changed my mind about the cathedral.

I'm going to give my money to those who need it.

To the poor and the homeless...

...and the unappreciated people here in the city and all over the world.

And I want you to direct the spending of the money.

Now, Henry, you see what Dudley has done?

Yes. Now you understand.

Well, thank you, Mrs. Hamilton.

I'll be home later for dinner or something.

I don't know what time--

Goodbye.


Hello, professor.

Henry.

Come in, my dear fellow. Come in.

Sit down, Henry. Let me take your coat.

No, thanks. Oh, no, not there. Here.

This is the only reliable chair.

Well, this is a surprise and an honor.

We must have a glass of sherry.

No, thank you, professor. Oh, but I insist.

I wanna show you something.

You see this bottle?

You note that it is full?

Now watch.

This is something that even you can't explain...

...with all your vast ecclesiastical knowledge.

You will observe that it's still full.

Now, how do you account for that?

And what's more, the sherry itself.

It stimulates, it warms, it inspires...

...but no matter how much you drink, it never inebriates.

I think I can account for it.

Dudley's been here. Yes.

And that bottle isn't all.

He told me some things about history that opened my eyes.

And today, I went up to the university library, I looked into some ancient texts...

...which no living scholar has been able to decipher.

Suddenly, I found that I could understand them.

And look.

This is what I've done, thanks to Dudley.

My history, I'm actually writing it.

Let's face it, Henry.

This Dudley is no mortal man like the rest of us.

Is he?

How did you know? Well, I can't tell.

Who is he? What is he? He says he's an angel.

An angel?

Funny. Nothing stopped me from saying it.

From heaven?

That I'm not sure about.

An angel.

Too bad. He's such a nice fellow.

I suppose I should have known it.

Nothing less than an angel could've put me to work.

I'm glad he'd done some good for somebody.

He brought nothing but disaster for me.

That's absurd.

He and Julia were in here the other day...

...she seemed happier than she's been in years.

In fact, quite like her old delightful self.

She's a different person when she's with him.

He's made her despise me.

Are you sure he has done that?

Do you think it's my fault? I didn't say that, Henry.

This whole thing is a mystery beyond my powers of comprehension.

Oh, I suppose I am to blame for everything.

I asked for this in more ways than one.

I suppose that Dudley came to me just to confirm...

...that I'd already lost the love of Julia and Debby.

I've got a confession to make to you, my old friend.

You sent me a coin. That was very generous of you.

I was mean enough only to see its commercial value.

It's gone. Don't know what's happened.

But I do. Here it is.

Now, where--? Oh, here it is.

Where did you find it?

Oh, don't tell me. Yes.

And what's more, he told me what it is. A museum piece. Worth a fortune.

No, I insist you keep it.

Give it to Julia as my Christmas present.

Who knows? it might bring luck to you both.

Henry, it seems strange.

I mean, you being a bishop, and I a broken-down old scholar...

...but I feel terribly sorry for you.

I wish there was something I could do to help.

Thank you, there's nothing to be done.

There must be.

You and Julia love each other. You always have.

It's only partially true. I love Julia.

Then why don't you fight for her?

How can I fight against--?

But you have a tremendous advantage over him.

Advantage? Over an angel?

That's precisely it.

He's an angel. Julia is a creature of earth.

She's a woman, Henry.

And you are a man.

Isn't it beautiful?

And he did every bit of it himself, and so quick too.

When I saw it, I couldn't believe my eyes.

What a blessing he's been to us.

The tree is lovely, Matilda. Lovely.

I'm glad you like it.

Been years since I've had a chance to work on a Christmas tree.

I usually get the more disagreeable jobs.

Good night, Matilda.

Sweet dreams.

Thank you, Mr. Dudley.

Julia. Yes?

I think my work here is almost finished.

I'll have to be moving along.

Oh.

My superior officers.

Will we ever see you again?

Mm-mm.

They seldom send us to the same place twice.

We might form attachments.

I don't know what you're talking about, Dudley.

Of course not.

Julia. Yes?

I don't want to leave. Why?

There are a few people who know the secret of making a heaven on earth.

You are one of those rare people.

I think you ought to go.

No, please, Julia. Don't send me away.

What are you saying, Dudley?

I'm tired of being a wanderer.

I'm tired of an existence where one is neither hot nor cold, hungry nor full.

No.

No. No, you must go away...

...and never come back.

Julia.

Julia.

I've never had to fight an angel, but take off your coat...

...and put up your dukes.

Now, why do you want to fight me, Henry?

Because you're a thief.

Trying to steal my wife and my child. The love that belongs to me.

Don't you realize that as an angel...

...I could possibly destroy you with a bolt of lightning?

I don't care. Julia means more to me than my life.

I'm not gonna lose her.

Ah.

Then I have news for you.

I'm going.

I'll accept that as a fact when I see it happen.

Oh, no, you won't.

Because when I'm gone, you will never know...

...that an angel visited your house.

And Julia? What about her?

There will be no memory with her, either.

Or with Debby or the professor or anyone else.

I don't trust you, Dudley.

You may, Henry.

Because your prayer has been answered.

My prayer has not been answered.

I was praying for a cathedral.

No, Henry. You were praying for guidance.

That has been given to you.

Just a minute, please.

Good bye, Henry.

Dudley, if we should need you again, will you come back?

Not I.

I should ask to be assigned to the other end of the universe.

Is that because I was so difficult?

Oh, no. This difficulty was in me.

When an immortal finds himself...

...envying the mortal entrusted to his care, it's a danger signal.

Take her in your arms and hold her tight.

Coming.

Kiss her for me, you lucky Henry.


Julia.

Julia!

Shh!

She's asleep.

Are you all right?

Why, yes, of course I am.

Henry, did you get that for Debby?

No.

Well, I can't imagine where it came from.

Henry, what is it?

I don't know, I--

I just had the most inexplicable feeling of happiness.

Oh...

You know something? What?

In the kitchen there's a bowl of cider.

Yes, that's for tomorrow afternoon. Well, let's drink it now.

Let's drink to us, to our happiness, and to what lies ahead.

And then let's smash the glasses in the fireplace.

Listen.

That's coming from St. Timothy's.

That cider's going to have to wait if you're gonna give your Christmas Eve sermon.

Oh, my sermon. Yes.

But that's better still. Ha, ha.


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 Harry could do with a new pipe.

Oh, 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.

It's 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 shining gifts that make peace on earth.