When I first saw it, it was called 'Stairway to Heaven'. It's a remarkable title and so much better than 'A Matter of Life and Death'. Isn't it always a matter of life and death? Might as well call it 'Things Happen'. I like David Niven, but Marius Goring as the French fop was outstanding. "There's a lady who's sure \ All that glitters is gold \ And she's buying a stairway to heaven."
So deeply poigant and romantic and gosh darn beautiful to look at that you almost forget it's a bizarre propaganda attempt to make the British get on a bit better with their American allies! I honestly don't know if I can think of a film more charming than this. Christ, it almost makes love seem worth dying for - though far, far, far better to live for!
Inventive but full of the overripe touches that typify Powell/Pressburger. It's an enjoyable film and the three leads, particularly Livesey, are terrific but it is truly dated and not only for it's theme. I much prefer "Black Narcissus." The style is more integrated with the subject.
The cut-glass RAF accents. stiff upper lips and endlessly lecherous comments certainly reduce the timelessness of this classic - I half expected to see 3 silhouettes giving the film a good roasting during many of the early scenes - but this is such a singularly beautiful and surreal flight of wish-fulfilment fantasy that it hardly matters.
I loved the opening, you could literally feel the tension between the pilot and radio operator, unfortunately this slowly diluted as the film progressed... Stunning technicolor; beautifully shot WWII story with unusual fantasy, dreamlike elements. This film seems to be a reflection of port war trauma and in some regards it has obviously dated, some scenes, ideologies, like the court case part are a bit disturbing...
Probably the most enjoyment I have had with a film in years. The premise is great, the characters are amazing (particularly the French envoy), the cultural references add nice subtle comedic value without being chauvinistic. The astronomical shots are probably not the most exact, but who cares. Definitely one to watch.
My third P&P film, and probably my last. I know 'The Red Shoes' is Scorcese's favourite film, but I just don't get it. I'm British, so maybe that has something to do with it. All that tweed, those accents, the stiff upper lips and jingoism. I hate it all. This is the best one I've seen as there are some great sequences, but it's lumpy as hell and just a bit naff. Brexiters love this stuff. And Johnny foreigners.
I admire storytellers who aren't afraid of implementing supernatural elements in their stories. This film is basically a love story/ war drama but it opens like a sci-fi film with beautiful cosmic images and then there is a heaven for fallen soldiers and a French fairy-tale character who time travels. What genre would you classify this film in?
Un joli conte post-mortem, qui démarre un peu comme un épisode de la Twilight Zone. Mais le film vaut surtout pour sa 2e partie, avec l'introduction d'éléments "rationnels", donnant alors à l'ensemble une ambiguïté bienvenue. Malheureusement, le tout se clôt par un segment (le procès) inutilement long et pontifiant. La réalisation est très inventive, le technicolor flamboyant...Globalement un très bon moment.