A Matter of Life and Death

The wonder movie of 1946 sees the Archers infusing the ‘Film Blanc’ fantasy with amazing images and powerful emotions. Imagination and resourcefulness accomplishes miracles on a Stairway to Heaven, with visual effects never bettered in the pre-cgi era. Michael Powell’s command of the screen overpowers a soon-obsoleted theme about U.S.- British relations.

A Matter of Life and Death


The Criterion Collection 939

1946 / Color / 1:37 flat Academy / 104 min. / Stairway to Heaven / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date July 26, 2018 / 39.95

Starring: David Niven, Kim Hunter, Marius Goring, Roger Livesey, Robert Coote, Kathleen Byron, Richard Attenborough, Bonar Colleano, Joan Maude.

Cinematography: Jack Cardiff

Film Editor: Reginald Mills

Production Design: Alfred Junge

Original Music: Allan Gray

Written, Produced and Directed by Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger came into their own making wartime movies, most of which steered far clear of the accepted definition of propaganda. After their Anglo-Dutch

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