A Matter of Life and Death

TitleA Matter of Life and Death
Publication TypeFilm
Year of Publication1947
AuthorsPowell, Michael, and Emeric Pressburger
Running Time1h 44min
Date Released11/01/1946
DistributorEagle-Lion Films
CountryUnited Kingdom
Publication LanguageEnglish

This British fantasy-romance film explores life and death during World War II. British Air Force pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) is on his way home to England from a World War II bombing mission in a badly damaged aircraft. Before he bails out of the plane into the ocean, he contacts June (Kim Hunter), an Allied radio operator with whom he shares what he believes to be his final moments on Earth. But Peter survives, finds June and they fall in love. A problem arises when a divine messenger (Marius Goring) arrives to escort Peter to heaven to rectify his wrongful survival. The heavenly tribunal that Peter must face playfully comments on wars throughout the modern era, the new special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States, and love. The film was originally released in the United States under the title Stairway to Heaven, which derived from the film's most prominent special effect: a broad escalator linking Earth to the afterlife.

Alternate TitleStairway to Heaven
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