The Masters  
The Powell & Pressburger Pages

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.

A lot of the documents have been sent to me or have come from other web sites. The name of the web site is given where known. If I have unintentionally included an image or document that is copyrighted or that I shouldn't have done then please email me and I'll remove it.

I make no money from this site, it's purely for the love of the films.

[Any comments are by me (Steve Crook) and other members of the email list]

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A Matter of Life and Death

[They have this image on the nice new poster at the NFT. WHY don't they sell them?]

Written, Directed and Produced by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

104 Mins B&W/Colour New 35mm print Cert U

Opens 24 March 2000 at London's National Film Theatre and Curzon Soho, followed by key UK venues

Powell and Pressburger's tenth glorious collaboration was commissioned as a propagandist attempt to smooth over fractured post-war US/UK relations. In their tale of two worlds, beautifully shot by Jack Cardiff, love is proved to be the all-conquering force.

David Niven plays an RAF pilot forced to bail out without a parachute. But the sky is foggy and instead of entering heaven, he lands at the feet of Kim Hunter's American air controller. They fall in love. But all is not so well in the monochrome vision of heaven. The number of admissions don't tally and an epic trial ensues. Meanwhile on Technicolor earth, the young airman must battle over the ever-precious matter of his life and death.


David Niven as Peter David Carter
Roger Livesey as Dr Frank Reeves
Raymond Massey as Abraham Farlan
Kim Hunter as June
Marius Goring as Conductor 71
Kathleen Byron as an officer angel
Richard Attenborough as an English pilot

What the press said about A Matter of Life and Death

"Celestially wonderful"
Time Out

"It's a story with humour and heart, a genuine classic that rewards with repeat viewings"
Emma Cochrane,
[I hope ("no, I KNOW") so, I've got tickets to see it 5 times this month]

"An undeniable masterpiece"
David Stubbs,
[So why dir he only give it 4 stars? Is that their maximum?]

"One of the best movies ever produced in these shores"
Anwar Brett,
Film Review

"A romantic, daring and beautiful allegorical fantasy - one of the best of the Powell/Pressburger movies"
Martin Scorsese
[One of the best Marty? So you still prefer ToH do you?]

"Quite simply A Matter of Life and Death is a visual feast"
Jonathan Wright,
Total Film

"To modern audiences who revile bad CGI effects, Life and Death's seamless visual magic is still amazing"
Total Film
[Especially when they walk through that glass panelled door]

"One of the most original, stimulating and entertaining films ever made in England"
Daily Telegraph

"An outrageous fantasy full of wit, beautiful sets and Technicolor, and perfectly judged performances .... works like a dream ..."
Geoff Andrew,
Time Out

(A Matter of Life and Death is number 20 in the bfi 100)

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