It's night over Europe, the night of 2nd of May 1945. A crippled Lancaster Bomber struggles home across the English Channel, all crew dead save for the young pilot desperately scanning the radio for signs of life. His prayers are answered, June (Hunter), a young radio operator, picks up his signal, and in the final moments of the young flyer's life, a special bond is formed. The next morning washed up on an English beach, Squadron Leader Peter Carter (Niven) is alive. He finds June, and the two fall in love. Somehow he survived. It's a miracle... or is it? Peter Carter should have died that night; a heavenly escort missed him in the fog above the Channel, and now he must face the celestial court of appeal for his right to live.
- A Matter of Life and Death review by Swambi
I found this heavy going. Old films just don't have the same standards as more modern ones. The scenery is much more static, and effects much more similar to a theatre.
There is an element of rather Biggles type British humour, antics between a very strange (black and white) version of heaven, with holes in the floor, and earth in technicolour. Otherwise there was nothing of note, or to engage the viewer, and no real reason to watch this, unless this genre (and vintage) of film is something you are really into.
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Aaah those good old films!
- A Matter of Life and Death review by CSF
The pilot of a war plane is about to die and on the ground, a young woman tries to accompany his death moment by talking to him on the radio. This film is romantic (pure love), fantasist (disney like), innocent (even the bady is sweet), almost lyrical, extremely naive. They don't make them like that anymore! It probably reflects the change of our society. To watch with a scone/crean/strawberry jam and a pot of tea when the weather is awful and you feel lonely. However David Niven is not triggering any emotion. He is too stuck up, like a dummy.