Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.
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A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
FilmFare, Winter 1946
Stars: David Niven, Kim Hunter
In the last issue of FILMFARE I wrote applauding the colour work in Men of Two Worlds. I can think of no higher praise for the camerawork in A Matter of Life and Death than to say that it takes up where the former film left off. Technically, this film is excellent; brilliantly directed; beautifully scripted and lavishly mounted and yet, for all that, one has fears as to how it will be received on its release.
The story, briefly, concerns a happy-go-lucky squadron leader whose machine is shot up whilst on an operational flight. After his crew has baled out he succeeds in making wireless contact with a pretty sergeant in the WACS. He falls in love with her voice and the deliberately jumps to what he considers is certain death. Miraculously he survives and is washed ashore at a point convienient to the aerodrome at which the American WAC is stationed. Inevitably, when they meet it is only natural that they should develop the love which blossomed in the ether. Manwhile however, there is consternation in the Elysian Fields owing to his non-arrival. The result is that a heavenly messenger is sent down to earth to bring him back. The squadron leader however pleads to be allowed to stay here with his love and succeeds in lodging an appeal with the Heavenly tribunal. His case is heard while he is undergoing an operation and, due to the efforts of his counsel, he wins and is allowed to stay.
On the acting side, honours go to David Niven for a very compelling performance as the squadron leader and Marius Goring as the aristocratic heavenly messenger. Roger Livesey too, does well as a neurologist who diagnoses the squadron leader's complaint and Kim Hunter is all that could be desired.
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