A Matter of Life and Death

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH
A Matter of Life and Death
Review: A British wartime aviator cheats death. He must argue his life before a celestial court.
Director: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Actors: David Niven, Kim Hunter, Robert Coote, Kathleen Byron, Richard Attenborough and Roger Livesey
Year: 1946
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance and Sci-Fi
Conclusion: 5/5
The US title for this film is Stairway to Heaven. This was because the studio were advised that you couldn’t use the word ‘death’ in a title in the US. It was released just after the Second World War. I can’t believe how good the special effects are even at such an early era. Shocked that this wasn’t even nominated or even got a look in at any of the Award Ceremonies. I love all of the Powell and Pressburger films (my favourite being The Red Shoes). The script was very well written. When this film premiered on 1st November 1946, at the Empire, Leicester Square it was held in the presence of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and it also became the first ever Royal Film Performance. According to the BBFC website there were cuts made to this film when it was released but the details are not available. At the start of 2012 film critic Barry Norman produced a list of his 100 Greatest Films of all time in the Radio Times and also in 2013 he produced a list of 50 Greatest British films and this film was listed in both lists.

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