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The Preacher's Wife
1996 - USA - 124 min - Color


An angel wonders if love can be Heaven on Earth in this family-themed romantic fantasy. Rev. Henry Biggs (Courtney B. Vance) is the pastor of a struggling Baptist church in a poor section of New York City. Biggs is devoted to serving his flock and his community, but things are not easy; membership is down, money is tight, the furnace is broken, and real estate mogul Joe Hamilton (Gregory Hines) wants to buy the property and put up condominiums. The strain is taking its toll on Biggs' marriage to his childhood sweetheart Julia (Whitney Houston), and in a moment of desperation, he prays to the Lord for help. The prayer is answered in the form of Dudley (Denzel Washington), an angel sent to earth to assist Biggs. The preacher doesn't believe that Dudley is a divine being, but he'll take any help he can get, while Julia, who thinks that Dudley is just another community volunteer, welcomes him into their home. However, Dudley is sidetracked in his earthly mission when he finds himself falling in love with Julia. Leading lady Whitney Houston takes the opportunity to sing several gospel numbers along the way. — Mark Deming


    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 ..... Narrator/Jeremiah Biggs
    Lionel Richie ..... Britsloe
    Paul Bates ..... Saul Jeffreys
    Lex Monson ..... Osbert
    Darvel Davis Jr. ..... Hakim
    William James Stiggers Jr. ..... Billy Eldridge
    Marcella Lowery ..... Anna Eldridge
    Cissy Houston ..... Mrs. Havergal
    Victor Williams ..... Robbie
    Charlotte d'Amboise ..... Debbie Paige
    Delores Mitchell ..... Mary Halford


    Penny Marshall - Director
    Samuel Goldwyn Jr. - Producer
    Elliot Abbott - Executive Producer
    Robert Greenhut - Executive Producer
    Timothy M. Bourne - Co-producer
    Debra Martin Chase - Co-producer
    Amy Lemisch - Co-producer
    Bonnie Wells-Hlinomaz - Associate Producer
    Nat Mauldin - Screenwriter
    Allan Scott II - Screenwriter
    Robert Nathan II - novel "The Bishop's Wife"
    Robert E. Sherwood - earlier screenplay
    Leonardo Bercovici - earlier screenplay
    Miroslav Ondrícek - Cinematography
    Hans Zimmer - Music (Original score)
    Mervyn Warren - Songs
    Ralph E. Tresvant - Song
    George Bowers - Film Editing
    Stephen A. Rotter - Film Editing
    Paula Herold - Casting
    Bill Groom - Production Design
    Dennis Bradford - Art Direction
    George DeTitta Jr. - Set Decoration
    Cynthia Flynt - Costume Design
    Jalil Jay Lynch - Stunts


  • Director: Penny Marshall
  • Genre: Musical Fantasy, Heavenly Comedy
  • Box Office: $48,093,211 (USA) (by April 20, 1997)
  • Release: December 13, 1996 (USA)