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

Directed by


Starring (View all)
David Niven David Niven
Peter Carter
Kim Hunter Kim Hunter
June
Robert Coote Robert Coote
Bob Trubshaw
Kathleen Byron Kathleen Byron
An Angel
Richard Attenborough Richard Attenborough
An English Pilot
Bonar Colleano Bonar Colleano
An American Pilot
Joan Maude Joan Maude
Chief Recorder
Marius Goring Marius Goring
Conductor 71


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


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A Matter of Life and Death Videos



Cover art, photos and screenshots

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Reviews

Review

13 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

9 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

2 years, 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), Romance (4), England (4), WWII (4), Love (3), Death (3), World War II (3), Afterlife (3), Surrealism (3), 1946 (3), British (2), UK (2), Angel (2), Pilot (2), Ambulance (2), Doctor (2), Universe (2)
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SA-512 posted a image 2 months ago

JR1220 posted a review 4 months ago

“This one really holds up. Outstanding performances throughout matched with some mind-blowing special effects (especially considering the time)

Some powerful messages about love and our place in the universe.” read more

fernando posted a review 4 months, 1 week ago

“(OK) Thanks criterion fot the technicolor wonderful copy. Tha fantastic set designs are as touching and (i)realistic than the terrenal ones. The gaze come from heaven being so human. The romance begins in a radio call, but what a call; a man in flames coming to earth and a sensitive operator....” read more

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JxSxPx posted a review 1 year, 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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A classic

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