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A Matter of Life and Death [Region 2]

David Niven , Richard Attenborough , Emeric Pressburger , Michael Powell  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)


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DVD 1-Disc Version $16.98  
  1-Disc Version --  
Region 2 encoding (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada [Region 1]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)


Product Details

  • Actors: David Niven, Richard Attenborough, Marius Goring, Raymond Massey, Kim Hunter
  • Directors: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell
  • Producers: A Matter of Life and Death ( Stairway to Heaven ) ( A Matter of Life & Death ), A Matter of Life and Death, Stairway to Heaven, A Matter of Life & Death
  • Format: Import, PAL
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Universal
  • Run Time: 100.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000V1KFEY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,918 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: it WILL NOT play on standard US DVD player. You need multi-region PAL/NTSC DVD player to view it in USA/Canada: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), English ( Subtitles ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Biographies, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Short Film, SYNOPSIS: Returning to England from a bombing run in May 1945, flyer Peter Carter's plane is damaged and his parachute ripped to shreds. He has his crew bail out safely, but figures it is curtains for himself. He gets on the radio, and talks to June, a young American woman working for the USAAF, and they are quite moved by each other's voices. Then he jumps, preferring this to burning up with his plane. He wakes up in the surf. It was his time to die, but there was a mixup in heaven. They couldn't find him in all that fog. By the time his "Conductor" catches up with him 20 hours later, Peter and June have met and fallen in love. This changes everything, and since it happened through no fault of his own, Peter figures that heaven owes him a second chance. Heaven agrees to a trial to decide his fate. ...A Matter of Life and Death ( Stairway to Heaven ) ( A Matter of Life & Death )

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical, magical movie. May 20, 2005
Format:DVD
David Niven stars as Peter, a squadron leader during World War II whose plane is about to crash after being hit by the enemy. All of his crew are dead. The radio controller from the airbase is a young American, June, who tries to persuade Peter to bail out before it is too late. Peter intends to do that but unfortunately he has no parachute. Still, deciding it's a better way to die, he jumps.

No one is more surprised than him when he awakes on a beach having been washed ashore close to his airbase. He meets June and it's love at first sight. However, Peter wasn't supposed to survive the crash but the `angel' sent to meet him got lost in the fog and missed the `appointment'. Now this being wants Peter to give up life and return with him to heaven. Peter refuses on the basis of his love for June and decides to appeal against his fate, something that hasn't been seen before, and a trial in Heaven follows.

In a reversal from most films of this type, the scenes in Heaven are shot in black and white whilst the Earthly scenes are shot in wonderfully vivid colour. This is a film that has stood the test of time and is as good to watch today as it has ever been, proof that special effects and a frenetic pace do not beat a good, well acted story. The DVD has very little in the way of extras (region 2 version) but there are subtitles for the hard of hearing and a brief interview with the main cameraman. Wonderful movie.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously, what's going on? November 20, 2005
By YLD
Format:DVD
I adore this movie. Even despite its heavy toned moralizing, it is a colorful, off balance, headturner of a film.

So where's this DVD? I got a notification from amazon about its release around a year and a half ago. And still it sits in limbo. I've got my twenty dollars in hand, just itching to plunk it down for this pristine ghostly romance.

Somebody, somewhere...Get on the ball!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Available version is perfectly fine July 25, 2006
By linda
Format:DVD
I've loved this movie since I was young and only would catch it from time to time when it came on tv. From a note somewhere in searching for it (maybe here, maybe another site), I did find the Time-Warner oldies version in DVD and it was great... and readily available (Region 1) for a reasonable DVD price. I'm not sure why that version is not sold here. It's funny how you see things years later and it's rather slow paced from my memory, but it still "got it". Really wonderful movie... should be up there with Casablanca and Robin Hood in those classics.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Classic and A Gem of the Cinema May 21, 2005
Format:DVD
A Matter of Life and Death is a picture that defines the term 'classic film'. Always inventive in their efforts, The Archers - Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger - have here created yet another true cinematic masterpiece that at once is entertaining, thought-provoking and moving. And they do so with great style, taste and wit. This picture is a seamless interweaving of drama, fantasy and humor of the highest order, sprinkled throughout with profound philosophical questions. The attention to detail is superb. Powell and Pressburger employ an ingenuous use of three-strip Technicolor and monochrome dye-transfer photography which compliment the story perfectly - as does the excellent musical score by Allan Gray. David Niven, Kim Hunter, Roger Livesey, Marius Goring and Raymond Massey lead a fine cast, and are quite excellent. (Goring, who plays the foppish Conductor 71, also plays the young English composer Julian Craster in another of the Archers' extraordinary films, "The Red Shoes" - portrayals which are testaments to fine acting.)
Right from the opening credit, when the archer's bull's-eye fades into Technicolor after the arrow finds its mark, the viewer is in for a grand cinematic treat! A picture that only improves with repeated viewings, A Matter of Life and Death deserves to be as well-known as any film the reader can think of - and more so than many which are.
At long last, Region 1 is about to have this cinematic gem available on DVD - well, at least those fortunate to be North of the 49th Parallel (another fine Archers film).
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where is the DVD?? December 5, 2005
Format:DVD
The 5 stars are for the incredible film. 0 stars for whatever the cause of the DVD release hold up. Release this great film on DVD!!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, whimsical, a true classic March 6, 2006
Format:DVD
I know a lot of my friends are probably going to be sick of me saying this - I'm not used to old "classic" movies, but I have to say I really enjoyed this one. Filmmakers Michael Powell and Emric Pressburger were told by the Ministry of Information to make a movie that would foster a British/US alliance after the War and establish the need for goodwill between the 2 nations, and they came up with this - a truly extraordinary fantasy/romance. A pilot, Peter Carter (David Niven) must justify his exsistance to a heavenly panel because he has made the mistake of falling for an American girl (Kim Hunter) when he really should have been dead after falling out of his plane without a parachute. Interestingly, the "heaven" sequences are black and white, while the "earth" sequences are in Technicolor.

The film is very touching and also very funny in the way it lampoons national stereotypes as the panel debates Niven's fate - the prosecution are led by a man from the 18th Century called Abraham Farlan (Raymond Massey), who presents "The sound of England in 1945" as boring cricket on the radio, but "The sound of America in 1945" as hip swing-band jazz.

Jack Cardiff's cinematography mixes black and white and colour, and I also liked the way the film played with time lapses and would freeze the action, something normally associated with science fiction rather than a romance.

I'm very pleased I saw this - what a superb film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie "A Matter of Life an Death" is definately a cult Classic!
This little gem of a movie was made back in 1946 and Stars The Wonderful
actor David Niven. He has to go on trial to defend his life (he's dead of course but does not realize... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Robert Pylant
5.0 out of 5 stars A brain teaser
The Film has an all star cast. You can tell from the quality and pacing that this is a Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger movie. It was made after WWII. Read more
Published 6 months ago by bernie
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my region
I made a mistake and ordered a DVD for a different part of the world, and not the U.S. It was my mistake in ordering. I was e-mailed that I will get a credit. Read more
Published 8 months ago by redlin51
5.0 out of 5 stars Karen Jane Austen Admirer
Unless that reviewer has a different DVD (and the one I have has been changes, which I doubt.) you are wrong, in that scene he told June that he ordered his crew (except for his... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Karen A. Langro
5.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining Romantic Love Story
This is a great movie about finding love just before you are about to die and being given a chance to live and hold onto that love and to be with them. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Richard W.
1.0 out of 5 stars A matter of Life or Death
DVD didn't play on American Players, Would show only Region Error. DVD was returned to Supplier and they issued credit for the return. Read more
Published 13 months ago by paco
5.0 out of 5 stars Old movie with a great cast
I got this for my mom as she had a really bad VHS copy. She remembers it well. It is a talkie movie and kind of a chick flick. It is best to watch at night when nothing else is on. Read more
Published 15 months ago by NormaJean Lamontagne
5.0 out of 5 stars "One is starved for Technicolor up there."
Today, on May 2, 1945, the celestial Chief Recorder is a bit out of sorts. She's done the tally and has come up with an invoice of 91,716 incoming souls, and yet only 91,715 have... Read more
Published 18 months ago by H. Bala
5.0 out of 5 stars A Matter of Life and Death
Excellent movie but, was not able to watch it in the region 2 format, so I purchased another copy in region 1 format. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Neriman Stavitzke
1.0 out of 5 stars A Matter of European Format
The DVD that I recieved was for Region 2 and would not play on my DVD player. There
was no life.
Published 21 months ago by lola i. milash
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