Out on Video

A weekly update of video releases

THE BISHOP'S WIFE - No fewer than five Academy Award nominations went to this 1947 comedy, remade as "The Preacher's Wife" almost 50 years later. The hero is an angel sent to help an anxiety-filled clergyman who wants to build the most impressive new church that money can buy. Things get more complicated when the heavenly visitor meets the bishop's neglected spouse and nearly gets sidetracked by his determination to cheer her up. Cary Grant is irresistible as Dudley the angel, David Niven brings offbeat humor to the clergyman, and Loretta Young is refreshingly low-key as the title character. The picture is more witty than laugh-out-loud funny, but director Henry Koster serves up some fetching scenes, and there are snappy second-string performances from old pros like Monty Woolley, Elsa Lanchester, and James Gleason. (Not rated; HBO Home Video)

ROMEO AND JULIET - Franco Zeffirelli's movie was unbelievably popular in 1968, and it remains the all-time-best film version of William Shakespeare's romantic tragedy, filling the wide screen with zesty performances, colorful compositions, and high-spirited images of teenage love and adventure. Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey are picture-perfect as the title characters, receiving energetic support from Milo O'Shea as the churchman who helps them and Michael York as the kinsman who bedevils them. Nino Rota composed the catchy score, a haunting hit in its own right. Not surprisingly, the picture earned four Academy Award nominations, consolidating the huge acclaim it received from moviegoers. (PG; Paramount)

TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER - The title refers to a Paris housing project and also to the main character, a housewife who becomes a part-time prostitute to fill out her family's strained budget. Jean-Luc Godard directed this philosophical drama shortly before he left storytelling to spend several years on filmed essays with sociopolitical themes. It stands with the most original and thought-provoking works of his long career. Marina Vlady heads the cast. (Not rated; New Yorker Video)

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