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Thumbnail for A Matter of Life and Death (1946) A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

Basics Critics:89Viewers:76Rusty:79
Category: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, WarNotable as: DramaSub-Category: Fantasy, Romance Film, War film, DramaMain subject: World War II, aviationNarrative location: EnglandRuntime: 104 - 108 minutesLanguage: English, FrenchCountry: United Kingdom, EnglandDirector: Michael Powell, Emeric PressburgerScreenwriter: Michael PowellMusic: Allan GrayCinematography: Jack CardiffStars: David Niven, Roger Livesey, Kim Hunter, Raymond Massey, Marius Goring, Richard Attenborough, Lois Maxwell, Robert Coote, Kathleen Byron, Joan Maude Producer: Michael PowellStudio: Powell and PressburgerAward details: (details at IMDb)

A Matter of Life and Death is a romantic fantasy film created by the British writing-directing-producing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, and set in England during the Second World War. It stars David Niven, Roger Livesey, Raymond Massey, Kim Hunter and Marius Goring. The film was originally released in the United States under the title Stairway to Heaven, which derived from the film's most prominent special effect: a broad escalator linking Earth to the afterlife. The decision to film the scenes of the Other World in black and white added to the complications. They were filmed in Three-strip Technicolor, but the colour was not fully developed, giving a pearly hue to the black and white shots, a process cited in the screen credits as "Colour and Dye-Monochrome Processed in Technicolor". This reversed the effect in The Wizard of Oz. Photographic dissolves between "Technicolor Dye-Monochrome" and Three-Strip Technicolor are used several times during the film. In 2004, a poll by the magazine Total Film of 25 film critics named A Matter of Life and Death the second greatest British film ever made, behind Get Carter.

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