A Matter of Life and Death


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Studio: Criterion Collection
Director: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Year: 1946
Format: DVD
Genre: Romance
Cast: Abraham Sofaer, Betty Potter, Bob Roberts, Bonor Colleano, David Niven, Edwin Max, Joan Maude, Kathleen Byron, Kim Hunter, Marius Goring, Raymond Massey, Richard Attenborough, Robert Atkins, Robert Coote, Roger Livesey
Original Language: English
Subtitle Language:
Number of discs: 2
Street Date: 24-Jul-18
Runtime (minutes):

SKU: CC2927DDVD Categories: , ,


After miraculously surviving a jump from his burning plane, RAF pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) encounters the American radio operator (Kim Hunter) to whom he has just delivered his dying wishes, and, face-to-face on a tranquil English beach, the pair fall in love. When a messenger from the hereafter arrives to correct the bureaucratic error that spared his life, Peter must mount a fierce defense for his right to stay on earth—painted by production designer Alfred Junge and cinematographer Jack Cardiff as a rich Technicolor Eden—climbing a wide staircase to stand trial in a starkly beautiful, black-and-white modernist afterlife. Intended to smooth tensions between the wartime allies Britain and America, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s richly humanistic A Matter of Life and Death traverses time and space to make a case for the transcendent value of love.

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Interview from 2008 with filmmaker Martin Scorsese
  • Audio commentary from 2009 featuring film scholar Ian Christie
  • New interview with editor Thelma Schoonmaker, director Michael Powell’s widow
  • New short documentary on the film’s special effects featuring film historian Craig Barron and visual-effects artist Harrison Ellenshaw
  • The Colour Merchant, a 1998 short film featuring cinematographer Jack Cardiff
  • The South Bank Show: “Michael Powell,” a 1986 television program featuring Powell
  • Restoration demonstration
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek

New cover by Laura Smith

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A Matter of Life and Death
$37.98 $26.59 Add to cart