0202: A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

A Matter of Life and Death

Rating: 7.5/10

I guess this movie is also known as “Stairway to Heaven” as I found nothing but posters with that title before I found the one above. Anyway, this movie is about a man who goes down in his plane during a war (probably WWII but it never actually says). He decides to bale out without his parachute as he’d rather die that way then when his plane crashes. He doesn’t survive, but Heaven isn’t able to find him so he remains on Earth. Also, he’s in love with his radio woman, something he proclaims to her as his plane goes down, even though they’ve just met.

The first act of this movie is very good. It does all the things I’m always telling other movies to do instead of their terrible first acts. It develops characters as things are happening, it doesn’t over explain anything, we know everything we need to about our main character and the woman he loves as he’s going down in the plane. It makes everything that’s happening interesting to watch.

What I don’t like is most of the second act, though the scenes with the Frenchman who is our main character’s consultant from Heaven are all very good scenes. The rest of the second act spends a bit too much time on the “he’s insane and we need to operate on his brain or something” plot and it just gets a bit tiresome. And the stuff that happens right at the end of it just feels maybe a bit too convenient. This part definitely could have been cut down with no ill effects.

It comes back around in the third act though. I think the acting throughout this movie is very good all around too. It really stands out throughout the movie and really boosts the movie from just a retelling of Faust with a modern twist to a very entertaining fantasy-drama about life and death.

Why you should watch it before you die: It has some pretty good themes and great acting throughout. I would most recommend this film to people who like dramas and don’t mind that it’s a bit sappy.


+7.5: Good dramatic story with fantasy elements

+1: Good acting all around

-1: 2nd act is somewhat boring

Donate to help me build an actual Stairway to Heaven!

Note: Unrelated to Led Zeppelin in any way.


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