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4.3
1,384 Ratings

A Matter of Life and Death

United Kingdom, 1946
Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis

Fantasy film about Peter Carter, a World War II RAF pilot who is forced to bail out of his crippled plane without a parachute. He wakes up to find he has landed on Earth utterly unharmed… which wasn’t supposed to happen according to the rules of Heaven.
(Also known as Stairway to Heaven.)

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A Matter of Life and Death Directed by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Life is not only a beginning, just as death is hardly an ending. There’s so much in between, and so much beyond. How do you put all the “in between” and all the “beyond” into one movie? Powell and Pressburger pulled it off in A Matter of Life and Death, a work of great audacity and joy. This is the universe. And yes, it’s bigger than we’d ever imagined.
July 24, 2018
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In its execution it stands alone, not only in the Archers’ body of work but also in the entire spectrum of British cinema. It is hard to imagine another British film quite so consciously vulnerable to the charge of utter absurdity, yet which nonetheless succeeds triumphantly on its own terms—through its fierce intellect, its poetic confidence, and most of all, its unerring, consummate sincerity.
February 25, 2015
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In STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN (a.k.a. A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH; 1946, 104 min, 35mm), The Archers’ fantasy is infused with wartime unity, highlighting our countries’ shared democratic ideals but tempering it with a burdensome bureaucracy and common history.
April 06, 2012
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