The Preacher's Wife

Synopsis: 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...
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Director(s): Penny Marshall
Production: Disney
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
123 min

% % [Choir Singing]

[Boy Narrating] Sometimes, I think

about what we must sound like to God.

% % [Men Singing]

How does He know

who's in trouble and needs help?

How did He know to come to us?

What you are about to see is true.

The names have not been changed...

because nobody believes me anyway.


% Help is on the way%

[Female Soloist]

% Help is on the way, hold on%

- % Hold on%

- % He's on His way%

% Help is on the way%

- % Hold on%

- % Hold on%

% He's on His way%

% Help is on the way%

- % Hold on%

- % Hold on%

- % He's on His way%

- % Help is on the way%

- % Hold on%

- % Hold on%

- % He's on His way%

- % Help is on the way%

% God is on His way

Hold on%

- % Hold on%

- % He's on His way%

% Help is on the way%

% Weeping may endure for a night%

% But joy will come

in the morning light%

% Hold on%

- % Hold on%

- % He's on His way%

% Help is on the way%

Hi, Saul. How're you doin'?

Beverly, it's so nice to see you.

- Hey, Mommy.

- % Help is on the way%

- % Ohh, He's on His way%

- % Hold on%

That's my mom. The Lord

blessed her with the gift of song.

She's been singing

in this church her whole life.

- % Say, He may not come%

- % He may not come%

- % When you want Him%

- % When you want Him%

% But He's right on time%

- % But He'll be right there%

- % He'll be%

- % On time%

- % He'll be on time%

Her father used to be

the reverend here.

But he's not anymore.

My daddy is.

That's him...

the one holding his head.

He's not looking too happy...

which is sort of how

this whole story happened.

- % Help is on the way, say%

- % Help is on the way%

- % Help is on the way, say%

- All right, now!

% Help is on the way, say%

% Help is on the way%

That's my grandma.

She's staying with us for the holidays.

Everyone says she needs a man...

whatever that means.

- % Help%

- All right!

- % Say help, cry for your help, say%

- % Help, help%

- % God is on the way, say%

- % Help%

% Help is on the way% %

Oh, yes!


Oh, yeah!

Let the church say, "Amen."

Look at this, Osbert.

Ninety-six dollars and a button.

Button! Who would put a button

in the collection...?


- Times are hard, Saul.

- The church can't pay its bills on that.


Beloved, in our exploration

of the text today...

I would like to talk to you

about temptation.



And not just the kind you find in

the liquor store or someone else's bed.

I'm talking about

temptation of the soul.


The kind that just kinda, kinda...

kinda creeps up on you

without you even knowing it.

- But God knows.

- % God knows%

God is that little voice inside

that says, "Don't give in."

% Don't give in%

- Don't give up.

- % Don't give up%

Be gone, temptation!

He knows you're tired.

That's why He says,

"Lean on me."

% Lean%

- % Lean%

- Aw.


He knows you're tempted.

That's why He says,

"Grab on to me...

and together we will rise above."


- [Applause]

- Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

If I didn't know any better,

I'd say you...

thought I needed

some help in there.

Well, when I realized you were

doing one of Daddy's old sermons...

I thought maybe you did.

I was...

hoping that he could make

a difference, even if I can't.

If you ask me,

you did even better than he did.


I appreciate your support, honey.


Father, forgive me.

I'd like to talk to you

about temptation.

The kind that creeps up on you.


And that's me, Jeremiah.

Are you after Daddy's job already?

Well, this is the story.

My didn't-make-it-up story.

- It was one week before Christmas.

- Come on.

The Christmas

I learned all about miracles.

I asked Santa Claus to bring me

a brother for Christmas.

Well, Santa doesn't make

those kinds of deliveries, baby.


Can Hakim have lunch with us?

Well, I think Hakim's grandma

might want him around today, you know?

But he's my best friend.

Well, maybe she won't

miss him for a while.

- But then you and I

are going downtown, okay?

- Okay.

- Be careful crossing the street.

- I will.

- Look both ways.

- Hakim!

- [Henry] Don't wake his grandma.

- Hakim!

Come on, come on!

Hurry up! All right!

Let's play, Jeremiah!


Let's build a snowman.

Come on over here.

Come on over here.

- [Boys Laughing]

- Huh! Huh!

% Hold on%

% Hold on%

% Help is on the way%

% Hold on%

% Hold on%

Child, I'm the only help

in this house.

- Mmm, mmm, mmm.

- Now that was a lovely sermon.

Even better the second time.

Mama, please.

I told you about smoking in the house.

You shouldn't be smoking at all.

Well, there's a lot of things

I shouldn't be doing at all.

[Boys Chattering]

Oh, poor Hakim.

Bad enough his mama ran out,

but to leave him with his grandma.

Bessie Adams can't

take care of no five-year-old!

You know that woman's

two days older than dirt!

Well, she won't

have to much longer.

- Child Welfare's gonna take him now.

- What?

Julia, they're closing

the youth center today.

I have to say good-bye to the kids.

What is his problem?

There is no problem, Ma.

Yeah, and I'm the Queen of the Nile!

Julia, something's been going on

in this house for months now.

I can hear it in your voice

over the phone.

- Mom, maybe you've been

dialing the wrong number.

- Oh, yeah?

Well, somebody just better get

their house in order. That's all I know.

- Well, don't look at me, Ma, okay?

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Nat Mauldin

Nat Mauldin is an American screenwriter, television writer and film producer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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