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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Original at Evening Standard Reviews
A Matter Of Life And Death (Re-issue)
(PG) David Niven, Roger Livesey, Kim Hunter, Raymond Massey.
Dir: Powell/Pressburger. UK. 1946. 104mins.
by Alexander Walker
Powell and Pressburger's innovative mix of reality and fantasy, monochrome and Technicolor, is being shown in a brand new print at the NFT.
David Niven plays the downed wartime pilot whose body lies on the operating table, hovering between life and death, while upstairs, in a heavenly courtroom, the arguments are mustered for and against letting him live.
Heaven can wait: David Niven and Kim Hunter
Made in 1946 at the nudging of the Ministry Of Information, in the hope it would cement Anglo-American relations, the film too often feels as if it has literally set them in concrete. Ironically, its selection as the first Royal Film Performance went askew when the next day's papers criticised what their reviewers detected as cultural cringe in front of the Yanks.
Still, it's got a great cast, including Roger Livesey - star of the much superior The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp - Raymond Massey, Marius Goring, Kim Hunter and Abraham Sofaer.
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