All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
A Matter of Life and Death
Neither Heaven nor Earth could keep them apart!
When a young airman miraculously survives bailing out of his aeroplane without a parachute, he falls in love with an American radio operator. But the officials in the other world realise their mistake, and despatch an angel to collect him.
The December Challenge: Film #100
What is life without love?
This is a question at the heart of Powell and Pressburger’s classic, A Matter of Life and Death: a movie I adore unreservedly and the only fitting choice for my 100th film of the December Challenge.
It seems to me that your first introduction to the work of The Archers often ends up becoming a lifelong favourite. Their films, particularly those made between ‘43-’48, are magical and transformative experiences that open your eyes to a whole new world of cinema you never even knew existed. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that your first taste is always going to be the sweetest and most enduring. Whilst A Matter of Life and Death…
I had seen this back in the day when I was a young pup under the title of "Stairway To Heaven" and loved it! David Niven and Kim Hunter were wonderful together as the star crossed lovers!
A marvelously charming and whimsical tale that was a real treat to watch!
My one and only gripe was the totally unnecessary and quite frankly unwanted heavy handed spiel about this American versus British garbage! Barring that little misstep it's still a winner in my book!
Film was recommended by Viktor Prentovski via my Movie Request Hotline List! Thank You Viktor for recommending it, it was a real blast from the past!
I LOVED this!
With a wonderful opening that's eerily reminiscent of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life from the same year, but far superior in both execution and elocution, and a central conceit that may have been influenced by Alexander Hall’s Here Comes Mr. Jordan, but turned on its head, A Matter of Life and Death is simply charming.
There’s something about that particular time where it’s ok for true love to blossom in the space of minutes over the wireless. We believe it. Completely. When by chance, and I’m so glad that chance always works for the better in these types of films, our soon to be lovers meet, against all odds on heaven and earth, you know this…
Film #21 of Project 40
”A weak mind isn't strong enough to hurt itself. Stupidity has saved many a man from going mad.”
The eternal power of true love. That seems to be a very clichéd statement, something that has been repeated so many times in cinema, soap operas and teenage romance novels that has lost its meaning and power. But long before all these heartless romantic fiesta that surrounds us these days two visionary, incredible and modernistic artists created something which even by today’s standards and after all the technological and structural advancements of cinema looks avant-garde, profound and technically breathtaking. A Matter of Life and Death is a movie full of fine thematic, anatomical and technical details meaning…
PTAbro's World Tour Stop 2: United Kingdom
If I had to make a list of all-time great openings for films, A Matter of Life and Death would certainly be in the top 20. It's a bit of genius to start a film with the emotional and visual power of a scene that by all rights would be the climax of a lesser film. Niven immediately blew me away with the achingly cool banter he traded with June, and his demeanor cements him instantly as the centerpiece of the film, even more so than the lush sets and plot's concept. Using that level of emotional intensity within the first ten minutes asks a lot of the rest of your film to…
If I had been smart, I would have prepared myself for this review by finding an online thesaurus and finding all the synonyms for 'wonderful' that I could possibly could.
I didn't do that, though, because I was too busy watching this film. It was a completely different experience watching this today compared to when I first saw it as a 19 year old. Back then my film tastes were not particularly defined (in fact, they're still not) and I was just watching anything that was on and that I fancied the look of. I didn't know anything about A Matter Of Life And Death when it came on Channel 4…
This movie goes all the places.
Below is an essay I wrote for a film class pertaining to A Matter of Life and Death. The purpose of the paper was to analyze a single scene shot-for-shot and explain how it stylistically and thematically relates to the film as a whole.
Films seldom achieve nationalistic agenda in addition to being wildly entertaining. British cinema auteur, Michael Powell, with his filmmaking partner, Emeric Pressburger, achieve such a feat with their movie, A Matter of Life and Death, in 1946. Released shortly after the end of World War II, the romantic fantasy film A Matter of Life and Death tells the story of pilot and poet, Peter Carter, who inexplicably survives jumping out of his burning Lancaster bomber plane…
Gets a little clunky when we arrive at the obligatory sequence proclaiming its wartime propaganda Message, but otherwise as near-perfect of a film as any I can think of. My first time watching this I was smiling from the opening credits until about an hour after the film had ended. Not much change in my experience the second time round.
I lied. I don't have enough self-restraint to not watch another P&P production after yesterday's Colonel Blimp.
There's not much to say about this film other than that it got as close to perfection as any film can possibly get. Certainly much better than other films that had similar intentions such as Faust, Seventh Seal, Wings of Desire, or that Tom and Jerry episode where Tom goes to Heaven.
My version of the film opened up with "A Production of the Archers" sequence followed soon after by an arrow hitting the bullseye of the target center-screen. That's exactly what this film is: Another bullseye from an extremely skilled duo, a success that luck had nothing to do with.
The film opens very well and introduces you to the two star-crossed lovers. Peter Carter's (David Niven) personality makes him likeable from the very beginning. Beautifully shot (in three-strip Technicolor) by Jack Cardiff, the film sucks us into its sometimes-reality-sometimes-fantasy world where a man and woman will have to prove their to the....Heavens? It's really a good movie except that I felt that there were moments that dealt too much with Anglo-American relations. Still, I recommend you see it.
The first minutes of the film already have you wondering just where anything is going, and it just doesn't let up.
There's really just his extra layer of quality to the whole thing that I'm having some trouble properly conveying at this time. Sure it should be one of the first films you bring up when you want an old fashioned story about the power of love, but at the same time that would be a disservice to just everything this brings you.
The two worlds divided between monochrome and technicolor, and the seamless transition of both. The pre-greenscreen sfx that for 1946 are a little headscratching. That stairway, and its story…
"Life without love is life not worth living". Well this film is the exact opposite, proving that love makes life worth living, in the wonderful story of Squadron Leader Peter Carter (David Niven) who has to jump from his burning plane to certain death, but due to a bit of a mix-up with fog misses his appointment with Conductor 71 (Marius Goring) who should have accompanied him to the next world. By the time that the Conductor gets to Carter he has fallen in love with June (Kim Hunter), and she with him, and that changes the question of death and second chances entirely.
This is a marvellously romantic film, just right for Valentine's day (a great film like this is right for any day) with fabulous performances from Niven, Goring and Roger Livesey (playing Doctor Reeves). One of the best films ever!
This metaphysical masterpiece looks stunning on an HD projector and is more than deserved of my positing as the best output by The Archers. That's right, even better than The Red Shoes.
Directors Project: Michael Powell
I've always loved the look of early Technicolor. There's just something about it that tickles the pleasure center in my reptile brain. And among early Technicolor films, the work of Powell and Pressburger (and Jack Cardiff!) might be the most beautiful of them all.
A Matter of Life and Death is certainly evidence for that. Not only is the Technicolor beautiful but the black and white scenes of the afterlife (and the stairway to heaven) are amazing as well. I'm also a sucker for these kinds of fantasy scenarios that peer into the afterlife, so that aspect of it really worked for me as well (though the weird digression into an America vs. Britain squabble was certainly unneeded).
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
- Citizen Kane
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Tokyo Story
- The Rules of the Game