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A Matter of Life and Death

Street Date:
July 24th, 2018
Movie Release Year:
1946
Studio:
Criterion
Length:
104 Minutes
Release Country
United States
This disc has not yet been reviewed. The following information has been provided by the distributor.

Genres:

Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Starring:

David Niven, Kim Hunter, Robert Coote

Director:

Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

Plot Synopsis:

After miraculously surviving a jump from his burning plane, RAF pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) encounters the American radio operator (Kim Hunter) to whom he’s just delivered his dying wishes and, face-to-face on a tranquil English beach, the pair fall in love. When a messenger from the afterlife arrives to correct the clerical error that spared his life, Peter must mount a fierce defense for his right to stay on earth—painted by production designer Alfred Junge and cinematographer Jack Cardiff as a rich Technicolor Eden—climbing a wide staircase to stand trial in a starkly beautiful, black-and-white modernist heaven. Peppered by humorous jabs intended to smooth tensions between the wartime allies Britain and America, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s richly humanistic A Matter of Life and Death traverses time and space to make a case for the transcendent value of love.

Technical Specs

  • Blu-ray

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/AVC MPEG-4

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.37:1

Audio Formats

  • English LPCM Mono

Supplements

  • Introduction from 2009 with filmmaker Martin Scorsese
  • Audio commentary from 2009 featuring film scholar Ian Christie
  • New interview with editor Thelma Schoonmaker, director Michael Powell’s widow
  • New interview with film historian Craig Barron on the film’s visual effects and production design
  • The Colour Merchant, a 1998 short film by Craig McCall featuring cinematographer Jack Cardiff
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek