A Matter of Life and Death

Whilst returning home to England after a mission over Germany during World War II, RAF pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) reports back to American radio operator June (Kim Hunter) and alerts her to the presence of his squad, who all bailed out of their severely damaged aircraft. With his own radio technician, Bob (Robert Coote), dead and no intact parac/hutes remaining, Carter knows he will not survive the return journey, but plans to eject anyway, preferring to jump rather than fry, but during his brie dialogue with June the pair develop an attraction. Suffice to say, Carter bails out and his plane crashes but, miraculously, he awakes on shore, fully alive. You see there has been an error in Heaven and, due to the heavy fog across the English Channel, Carter’s body could not be found. An agent of Heaven, Conductor 71 (Marius Goring), is sent to retrieve him, but alas he has met in person with June and the two have fallen hopelessly in love, and therefore Carter is far from willing to accept his allotted demise, and instead intends to fight his case to the end.
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The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

Character driven and with a meandering, unhurried pace, this is most definitely not the war epic I had always assumed it to be. Following Roger Livesey’s Clive Candy over a forty year period as he climbs the ranks of the British army, insulting the entire German movement during the Boer War, retiring twice, forming a firm bond with a German officer and three separate relationships, all portrayed by Deborah Kerr. Livesey is excellent, adeptly showing the difficulties Candy faces trying to impose his old school sportsmanship and honourable values on the more modern ideology of total warfare. Admittedly, I would have liked more battle scenes, but this is more than made up for with the absurd comedy of the technicalities and formality of a duel, and the inclusion of Dad’s Army’s Frazer, a young John Laurie.

Choose film 7/10