A Matter of Life and Death is a movie about a pilot facing a life-or-death situation.
On 2 May 1945, Squadron Leader Peter Carter, an RAF pilot, is flying a badly damaged and burning Lancaster bomber over the English Channel, after a mission over Germany.
Carter is expecting to die, after ordering his crew to bail out, without revealing to them that his own parachute has been destroyed.
The only radio operator receiving him is June, at a USAAF base on the coast of England. For a few minutes, Carter converses with June, before jumping from the Lancaster without a parachute.
Peter should have died at that point, but Conductor 71, heaven’s guide is sent to escort him to heaven and misses him in the thick fog over the English Channel.
The airman wakes up on a beach near June’s base.
On 2 May 1945, Squadron Leader Peter Carter, an RAF pilot, is flying a badly damaged and burning Lancaster bomber over the English Channel, after a mission over Germany. At first, he assumes he is in the afterlife but, when a de Havilland Mosquito flies low overhead, discovers to his bewilderment that he is still alive.
Peter meets June cycling back to her quarters after her night shift, and they fall in love. Conductor 71 stops time to explain the situation, urging Peter to accept his death and accompany him to the Other World, but Peter demands an appeal.
While Conductor 71 consults his superiors, Peter continues to live.
Conductor 71 returns and informs him that he has been granted his appeal and has three days to prepare his case. He can choose a defence counsel from among all the people who have ever died, but he has difficulty picking one …
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Directed by : Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Written by : Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Produced by : Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Narrated by : John Longden
Cinematography : Jack Cardiff
Edited by : Reginald Mills
Music by : Allan Gray
Production Companies : The Archers, J. Arthur Rank
David Niven, Kim Hunter, Roger Livesey, Kathleen Byron, Michael Trubshawe, Richard Attenborough, Bonar Colleano, Joan Maude, Marius Goring, Robert Coote, Robert Atkins, Bob Roberts, Edwin Max, Betty Potter, Tucker Reeves, Raymond Massey, Abraham Sofaer, Robert Beatty, Robert Rietti, Eric Cawthorne.
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