LOVE ACTUALLY: A Century Of British Romance

~1940~A Matter of Life and Death

What today’s audiences will find amazing is the sheer energy of its invention.
Roger Ebert


Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger


  • David Niven
  • Kim Hunter
  • Robert Coote
  • Kathleen Byron
  • Richard Attenborough
  • Bonar Colleano
  • Joan Maude
  • Marius Goring
1946, 104 mins, UK
Fantasy | Romance

Ranked in Total Film’s critic poll as the second greatest British film of all time, A Matter of Life and Death comes from the legendary director duo of Powell and Pressburger (The Red Shoes). This romantic fantasy tale is set in 1940s England during the Second World War.

British Air Force pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) is returning to England after a dangerous bombing mission left his plane badly damaged. When he believes he will not make the trip back to land, he contemplates death. Before he makes this fateful decision he contacts June (Kim Hunter), a radio operator that he will spend his last moments conversing with. Amazingly, Peter miraculously survives, and with a new lease on life returns to June and they fall in love. Complications arise when a divine messenger from heaven visits Peter, telling him that his survival was not part of the plan and a case for his mortality begins with judge, jury and executioner in tow. Can love conquer death after all?

    • Festival de Cannes 1946