A Matter of Life and Death

dir. Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

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After missing his scheduled date with the afterlife, a WWII bomber pilot (David Niven) undergoes a heavenly trial to justify his right to live, in The Archers' exuberantly inventive fantasy.

When WWII bomber pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) bails out of his crippled plane sans parachute, he miraculously survives — only to discover that he missed his scheduled date with the afterlife when the heavenly emissary sent to collect him failed to locate him in the thick English fog. Arguing that his newfound love for American nurse June (Kim Hunter) has earned him an extended lease on life, Peter demands the right to a celestial trial to learn the verdict on his fate. The Archers' exuberantly inventive fantasy was director Powell's personal favourite of the duo's films.