A Matter of Life and Death Blu-ray Review – 1946 Heavenly Classic Starring David Niven

It’s time for another classic film and there’s some good news this is my A Matter of Life and Death blu-ray review. The film in question has been digitally restored. A Matter of Life and Death (1946) released at the back end of 2018 on blu-ray by ITV Studios. I’ll give a brief review of the film and then move on to the actual blu-ray release.

  • A Matter of Life and Death (1946) – 4K Digital Restoration Steelbook
  • Genre: Romantic Comedy
  • Directed by Michael Powell / Emeric Pressburger
  • UK Rating U
  • Discs: 1
  • Released By ITV Studios
  • Blu-ray Released: 8 October 2018


An RAF Lancaster Bomber pilot, Squadron Leader Peter David Carter finds himself in a hopeless predicament. His bomber is on fire, the crew has bailed out and he has no parachute. The only comfort he has left is the young American woman he is talking with over the radio. He decides to jump rather than be burned alive and fully expects to die. However there seems to have been an error in heaven that leads to him surviving the fall.

However the department of records up in heaven want their error corrected. There’s just one problem, in the meantime Peter has fallen in love with the woman on the radio. Now he must launch an appeal to stay on earth!

Style / Direction

The film is directed by Michael Powell / Emeric Pressburger whilst the cinematography is handled by Jack Cardiff.

Both colour and black and white are used to differentiate between the real world and heaven. This works well and avoids any confusion that may have otherwise occurred.

Music / Audio Effects

The music is composed by Allan Gray and suits the tone and genre perfectly.

Acting / Characters

There three main characters in A Matter of Life and Death. David Niven is Squadron Leader Peter David Carter a man helplessly in love. The woman he’s fallen for is June played by Kim Hunter. These two have a good chemistry and it really does help to keep you fully invested in their plight.

David Niven seems to like being in films about heaven and angels. For those not familiar he was the Bishop in the classic The Bishop’s Wife which starred Cary Grant as an angel called Dudley.

The other character is Dr. Frank Reeves played by Roger Livesey. He’s Peter’s doctor and the one who whilst not believing his story knows that he must play along if Peter is to become well again. He produces the perfect performance and is the perfect counterpoint.


  • David Niven as Squadron Leader Peter David Carter
  • Kim Hunter as June
  • Roger Livesey as Dr. Frank Reeves
  • Kathleen Byron as an Angel
  • Richard Attenborough as an English Pilot
  • Bonar Colleano as an American Pilot
  • Joan Maude as Chief Recorder
  • Marius Goring as Conductor 71
  • Robert Coote as Flying Officer Bob Trubshawe
  • Bob Roberts as Dr. Gaertler
  • Robert Atkins as the Vicar
  • Edwin Max as Dr. Mc Ewan
  • Betty Potter as Mrs. Tucker, Reeves’ housekeeper
  • Raymond Massey as Abraham Farlan
  • Abraham Sofaer as The Judge

Conclusion: A Matter of Life and Death Film Review

A Matter of Life and Death is an easy to watch romantic comedy I highly recommend. It has a tremendous cast and David Niven always worthy of watching.

A Matter of Life and Death Blu-ray Review

If you enjoyed my A Matter of Life and Death blu-ray review so far you may want to check out the following films:

A Matter of Life and Death Blu-ray Review

The film has been restored as I mentioned earlier and thankfully it looks fantastic. There really is nothing to complain about on the audio and picture quality side.


  • Biographies
  • The Colour Merchant: A Short Film About Cinematographer Jack Cardiff

Popcorn Cinema Rating:

A Matter of Life and Death (1946)




A Matter of Life and Death (1946) Blu-ray is available now from Amazon.

The Amazon links on this page are affiliate / associate links. By buying through the links we may receive a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price you pay.

A Matter of Life and Death (1946) Trailer

For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…

Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version

That concludes my A Matter of Life and Death Blu-ray review. If you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below. Alternatively you can comment over on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Summary: A Matter of Life and Death (1946) Blu-ray Review

Movie title: A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

Duration: 104 mins

Director(s): Michael Powell

Actor(s): David Niven, Kim Hunter, Roger Livesey, Kathleen Byron, Richard Attenborough, Marius Goring

Genre: Romantic, Comedy

  • Movie Rating
  • Blu-ray Picture Rating
  • Extras


A thoroughly entertaining classic romantic comedy