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A Matter of Life and Death (Stairway to Heaven) (1946)

Directed by


Starring (View all)
Frederick Valk Frederick Valk
RAF Chaplain
Robert Rietty Robert Rietty
Man on Stairway
Roger Snowdon Roger Snowdon
James Monahan
Laurence Payne Laurence Payne
Prosecuting Council
Richard Neilson Richard Neilson
Minor Role
Wally Patch Wally Patch
ARP Warden
Lois Maxwell Lois Maxwell
Actress


Written by
Emeric Pressburger Emeric Pressburger
(written by)
Michael Powell Michael Powell
(written by) and


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A Matter of Life and Death Videos



Cover art, photos and screenshots

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Reviews

Review

12 years, 5 months ago at May 25 19:20
1 vote
A really clever plot, and a beautiful film in general. I don't want to give a synopsis; its so clever, I think it would be too much of a spoiler. This romance/war film is timeless and should be viewed by everyone, no exceptions.

For the time the cinematography and set designs were epic, despite being an 'old' film it is in no way dated or cheesy. A classic, and an underrated one a... read more

Review

8 years, 5 months ago at May 13 13:22
1 vote
A Matter of Life & Death also named as Stairway to heaven is a romantic story in the wake of world war II when a pilot whose plane got hi going to crash. While in contact with the control tower during communication the pilot and the lady in the control tower fell in love> The Pikot cheated death miracoulsy after jumping the plane without parachute and thereafer it is a metaphysical tale between th... read more

A classic

1 year, 8 months ago at Feb 22 9:13
1 vote
Since this movie has a really good reputation, I was quite eager to check it out. First of all, I have to confess that I was actually really tired even before I started to watch the damned thing and I actually struggled not to fall asleep through most of the duration. It’s too bad because it was actually pretty good, in fact, it was easily one of the best movies I have seen so far directed by Mi... read more
View all A Matter of Life and Death reviews
Description: Returning to England from a bombing run in May 1945, flyer Peter Carter's plane is damaged and his parachute ripped to shreds. He has his crew bail out safely, but figures it is curtains for himself. He gets on the radio, and talks to June, a young American woman working for the RAF, and they are quite moved by each other's voices. Then he jumps, preferring this to burning up with his plane. He wakes up in the surf. It was his time to die, but there was a mixup in heaven. They couldn't find him in all that fog. By the time his "Conductor" catches up with him 20 hours later, Peter and June have met and fallen in love. T ... (more)
Release date: 15 December 1946
UPC: 043396037298
Tags: 1940s (7), Fantasy (6), War (5), Drama (4), England (4), WWII (4), Romance (4), Afterlife (3), Love (3), Surrealism (3), World War II (3), 1946 (3), Death (3), Pilot (2), Table Tennis (2), British (2), Operation (2), Doctor (2), Universe (2), Ambulance (2)
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JxSxPx posted a review 11 months ago

A Matter of Life and Death

“Much like James Stewart got a glimpse of the spiritual world in It’s a Wonderful Life and chose to remain in the corporeal, so too does David Niven’s RAF pilot opt to stay with the living. Of course, A Matter of Life and Death argues for the healing and redemptive power of love and mankind’s brotherhood, but there’s something trickier, even thornier, about how it goes about arguing these facts. While the dividing line between the afterlife and the living was easier to navigate in It’s a Wonderful Life, A Matter of Life and Death gives ample room for interpreting the afterlife as Niven’s imagination run wild.   After completely a successful air raid, Niven’s plane is struck, and his parachute is no good. He manages to contact American radio operator June (Kim Hunter), and s” read more

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johanlefourbe posted a review 1 year, 8 months ago

A classic

“Since this movie has a really good reputation, I was quite eager to check it out. First of all, I have to confess that I was actually really tired even before I started to watch the damned thing and I actually struggled not to fall asleep through most of the duration. It’s too bad because it was actually pretty good, in fact, it was easily one of the best movies I have seen so far directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and I guess I should check it again at some point in the future. Anyway, it was probably their most ambitious and most surreal picture, some kind of surreal romantic take on the PTSD syndrom. That was probably the most interesting thing about this flick the fact you can watch it as something quite literal but also as something quite metaphorical but, on both lev” read more

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" Notes: I have to confess that I was actually really tired even before I started to watch the damned thing and I actually struggled not to fall asleep through most of the duration. It’s too bad because it was actually pretty good, in fact, it was easily one of the best movies I have seen so far directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and I guess I should check it again at some point in the future. Anyway, it was probably their most ambitious and most surreal picture, some kind of su"


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"A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH - PING-PONG PAUSED Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's 'A Matter of Life and Death' is a film that presents us with numerous wonders throughout. It asks us to believe that a seemingly doomed airman and a radio operator can fall in love over a short broadcast, and we accept it. It presents us with a vast escalator between our own world and 'another' and we gladly grant the concept. It differentiates worlds by contrasting Technicolor with black and white and we appla"


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"January 10th Directed by: Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger The first 10 - 15 minutes of this movie are so fucking fantastic, so epic in scope, unfortunately the film gets quite a bit less interesting visually and otherwise afterwards but c'mon, this is Powell and Pressburger, you know it still looked amazing. This film was definitely almost a favorite of mine, the story I think nowadays would be seen as "preachy", I would be guilty of this probably, but the message is so genuine and so love"


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" 10.12 Imaginative set decoration and unconventional storytelling (at its time) make this fantasy starring a young David Niven a classic."


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