Sunday, 12 February 2012

a matter of life and death (stairway to heaven) 1946 - michael powell and emeric pressburger

Although an oldie, this is one of my favourite films, with a decent story, superb effects (especially for when it was made), and a Frenchman (Marius Goring as conductor 71) who dresses wildly, is pretty camp and funny, and could easily have been my role model.
A Matter Of Life And Death was renamed Stairway To Heaven in the USA, even though it specificity does not state in the film that the celestial type place is Heaven, and in fact, was probably all just in the imagination of Peter Carter (David Niven) who is a pilot who jumped out of his damaged plane, but somehow miraculously survived, even though he bailed out minus a parachute.
Carter meets the female radio operator he had been talking to when he jumped, falls in love with her, and refuses to join the afterlife when he is visited  by apparitions encouraging him to do so (as his time on Earth should have been up). He then has to argue his case to stay for longer before a celestial court, while he is simultaneously under a life threatening operation.
A mixture of black and white for the imagination/afterlife parts and technicolor for the earthly bits is used, which is the opposite of 'The Wizard of Oz' (but l prefer this film).
There is plenty of upper class 'What Ho!' type language, arguments whether 'the rules' or love should be followed, and disagreements regarding the merits of England and The USA.
A spiffing tale

toodle pip

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