A Matter of Life and Death


1h 44m 1947
A Matter of Life and Death

Brief Synopsis

An injured aviator argues in celestial court for the chance to go on living.

Film Details

Also Known As
Stairway To Heaven, Störst är kärleken
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Fantasy
Release Date
1947

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 44m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White, Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

Returning home from a bombing mission over Germany, Royal Air Force squadron leader Peter Carter, survives a jump from his burning plane without a parachute. Due to the incompetence of an angel, Carter escapes his appointment with death, which causes great consternation in Heaven. To further complicate matters, Carter falls helplessly in love with an American radio operator. Caught in the nether world between Earth and the next life, Carter must plead his case before a heavenly tribunal.

Videos

Movie Clip

Matter Of Life And Death, A (1947) - Camera Obscura Clever Dr. Reeves (Roger Livesey) shows off his "Camera Obscura" for American friend June (Kim Hunter) in a moment of gratuitous razzle-dazzle in A Matter of Life and Death, 1947, a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven, directed by Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger.
Matter Of Life And Death, A (1947) - Full Dress Affair June (Kim Hunter) and Dr. Reeves (Roger Livesey) enter suspended animation as "Conductor 71" (Marius Goring) visits Peter (David Niven) in Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell's A Matter of Life and Death, 1947, a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven.
Matter Of Life And Death, A (1947) - This Is A Story Of Two Worlds Ambitious celestial animation and narration by John Longden in this framing piece from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death, 1947, a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven.
Matter Of Life And Death, A (1947) - Court Of Appeal The Judge (Abraham Sofaer) and the set take center stage in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death, 1947, a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven.
Matter Of Life And Death, A (1947) - All These Great Men To Choose From Brit flier Peter (David Niven) and heavenly escort "Conductor 71" (Marius Goring), himself an executed French aristocrat, on director Michael Powell's famous 266-step staircase, discuss possible advocates for his death-sentence appeal, in A Matter of Life and Death, 1947, a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven.
Matter Of Life And Death, A (1947) - G For George Following credits, from the filmmaking partners known as "The Archers" (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger), David Niven as a British bomber pilot and Kim Hunter the American radio operator receiving his signal, in A Matter of Life and Death, 1947, a.k.a. Stairway to Heaven.
Thelma Schoonmaker on Michael Powell -- (TCM Original) A Matter of Life and Death Academy Award-winning film editor Thelma Schoonmaker on her late husband Michael Powell's film A Matter of Life and Death, 1947, a.k.a. "Stairway to Heaven."

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Also Known As
Stairway To Heaven, Störst är kärleken
MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Fantasy
Release Date
1947

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 44m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White, Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Articles

A Matter of Life and Death (aka Stairway to Heaven)


The most elaborate fantasy film attempted by the British cinema since Alexander Korda's 1940 production of The Thief of Bagdad, A Matter of Life and Death (aka Stairway to Heaven, 1946) began production on the day that Japan surrendered to General MacArthur, bringing an end to the Pacific campaign. The timing was fortuitous for the resulting film captured the imaginations of World War II veterans and their countrymen through its magical blend of romance, comedy and tearful drama. Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, A Matter of Life and Death was significant in several respects: Its bold and startling use of Technicolor is still considered one of the peak achievements of that process. David Niven became a major star after this, far surpassing his earlier successes in Hollywood. Most importantly, the film addressed the quickly deteriorating relations between Great Britain and the U.S. at the war's end through its depiction of the fragile romance between a RAF pilot and his American sweetheart.

Reminiscent of other celestial fantasies such as Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) and Down to Earth (1947), Stairway to Heaven alternates between the real world and a fantasy realm. When the movie opens, bomber pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) is seen inside his burning plane, desperately trying to make radio contact. His distress signal is picked up by June (Kim Hunter), an American WAC, and her soothing voice inspires the romantic in Carter. He leaps from the plane without a parachute and miraculously survives unharmed - to all appearances. In reality, he actually suffered brain damage in his fall and must undergo a serious operation. During the procedure, Carter enters a hallucinatory state in which his life is put on trial before a heavenly court. Having cheated death in his fall from the plane, Carter must defend his right to live under an intense prosecution by Abraham Farlan (Raymond Massey), the first man to die in the American War of Independence and an anti-British zealot.

The production of A Matter of Life and Death proved a daunting task for the filmmaking team of Powell-Pressburger and included a long pre-production phase. According to author Scott Salwolke (in The Films of Michael Powell and the Archers), "Forty-six detailed sketches were prepared and twenty-four series of architectural drawings drawn up, while detailed scale models were created, primarily for the sequences set in Heaven. The largest set piece for the film was the enormous escalator in heaven than weighed eighty-five tons and had 266 twenty-foot steps. The decision was made to film the heaven sequences in black and white, creating further difficulties. The footage was filmed in black-and-white, then re-produced in dye monochrome." In addition, the sequences on earth were shot in Technicolor which required the permission of the British Ministry and a nine-month wait due to the scarcity and expense of Technicolor stock: it was mostly requisitioned for aerial combat training films at the time. Certain scenes in the film also presented technical challenges such as the moment when David Niven washes up on the shore (cinematographer Jack Cardiff deliberately fogged the lens with his breath to achieve the misty, dreamlike look) and the twenty-five minute trial sequence, set in an enormous auditorium with seemingly endless rows of spectators - among them famous military leaders from each nation and historical period. "We did an awful lot of work on the film before it began to assume the shape and the rhythm of the film you know now," recalled Powell in his autobiography, A Life in Movies. "The sound track was a production in itself. Almost everything we had shot on location with sound had to be revoiced, and nearly all those voices had to be brought down from the Western Isles. There were voices from Mallaig, from Tobermory, and from Colonsay itself, the island which we used for the unattainable island, Kiloran."

The screenplay for the film was partially inspired by Powell and Pressburger's desire to examine current U.S./Great Britain relations through a fantastical looking glass and by a true account of a Royal Air Force sergeant who leaped from a plane in flames and survived with only minor injuries. David Niven, who had so impressed Powell in his previous film, The Way Ahead (1944), was the director's first and only choice to play pilot Peter Carter. Niven, who had been out of the Hollywood spotlight for six years, later remarked, "Six months is too long for an actor to be out of business - six years is almost certain disaster." Thanks to Powell, the actor's success in A Matter of Life and Death relaunched his career as an international leading man. The casting of female lead Kim Hunter, on the other hand, was attributed to Alfred Hitchcock who recommended her to Powell after working with the actress on several screen tests.

When A Matter of Life and Death was completed, it was chosen to be the first of an annual series of Royal Command Film Performances, an event attended by British loyalty and diplomats. While it was certainly an honor for Powell and Pressburger it also stirred up considerable controversy among British critics. The Daily Graphic wrote "There will be widespread editorial indignation at the choice for our first Royal Film Performance of a picture which might have been made specially to appeal to isolationist and anti-British sentiments in the United States." A reviewer for The Observer remarked that the film "leaves us in grave doubts whether it is intended to be serious or gay. When they tell me that it is a "stratospheric joke" I reply that a matter of life and death can never be a good joke." Some particularly took issue with the scenes set in Heaven, which in the words of one critic depicted a "futuristic Utopia. It's a planned society....bureaucratic, idealistic, totalitarian, colourless, theoretic." American critics, however, were overwhelmingly enthusiastic with Bosley Crowther of the New York Times leading the charge with his remarks "If you wished to be literal about it you might call it romantic fantasy with psychological tie-ins. But literally is not the way to take this deliciously sophisticated frolic in imagination's realm. For this is a fluid contemplation of a man's odd experiences in two worlds...it's a delight."

Like most original Technicolor film negatives, A Matter of Life and Death was in serious need of restoration several years after its original release. Luckily the British Film Institute agreed to perform some restoration work on it in 1995 and their subsequent work convinced them to completely restore the entire feature with the financial assistance of Sony Pictures. According to Cathie Christie in an article on the restoration, "They discovered that when the original film was edited the three strips [of Technicolor] were slightly out of alignment. Although this was less of the problem in 1946, it became more of a problem in 1999 when in addition to the misalignment, the technicians found that the three strips had shrunk in the ensuing 50 plus years. Adding to the challenge was the fact that each strip had shrunk at a different rate....The team was further tested, surprisingly, by the black and white sequences. There was no original black and white negative from the film, which was apparently cut together with duplicate negatives. The delicate process involved shooting a new positive of the black and white with black and white film stock. From the positive three separate fine grain negatives were made. The team then discovered that the original black & white negative had its own set of defects which transferred to the three newly printed negatives. However, not all the negatives had inherited the same defects. It became clear that it was impossible to cut the three new negatives together because of the varied defects, and in the end they chose the best of three b&w negatives and cut it into the new film." After all the extensive restoration, A Matter of Life and Death now looks as glorious and as striking as it did in 1946.

It is not surprising that Powell cites A Matter of Life and Death as his favorite Archers production and critics and film scholars continue to praise the film to this day such as Roger Ebert who wrote "Stairway to Heaven [the U.S. release title] is one of the most audacious films ever made - in its grandiose vision, and in the cozy English way it's expressed....There's also sly humor. Heaven has a Coke machine for the arriving Yanks; newly appointed angels are seen carrying their wings under their arms in plastic dry-cleaner bags...Today's movies are infatuated with special effects, but often they're used to create the sight of things we can easily imagine: crashes, explosions, battles in space. The special effects in "Stairway to Heaven" show a universe that never existed until this movie was made, and the vision is breathtaking in its originality."

Producer: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Director: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Screenplay: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Cinematography: Jack Cardiff
Film Editing: Reginald Mills
Art Direction: Alfred Junge
Music: Allan Gray
Cast: David Niven (Peter Carter), Kim Hunter (June), Robert Coote (Bob), Kathleen Byron (An Angel), Richard Attenborough (English Pilot), Bonar Colleano (American Pilot).
BW&C-104m.

by Jeff Stafford
A Matter Of Life And Death (Aka Stairway To Heaven)

A Matter of Life and Death (aka Stairway to Heaven)

The most elaborate fantasy film attempted by the British cinema since Alexander Korda's 1940 production of The Thief of Bagdad, A Matter of Life and Death (aka Stairway to Heaven, 1946) began production on the day that Japan surrendered to General MacArthur, bringing an end to the Pacific campaign. The timing was fortuitous for the resulting film captured the imaginations of World War II veterans and their countrymen through its magical blend of romance, comedy and tearful drama. Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, A Matter of Life and Death was significant in several respects: Its bold and startling use of Technicolor is still considered one of the peak achievements of that process. David Niven became a major star after this, far surpassing his earlier successes in Hollywood. Most importantly, the film addressed the quickly deteriorating relations between Great Britain and the U.S. at the war's end through its depiction of the fragile romance between a RAF pilot and his American sweetheart. Reminiscent of other celestial fantasies such as Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) and Down to Earth (1947), Stairway to Heaven alternates between the real world and a fantasy realm. When the movie opens, bomber pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) is seen inside his burning plane, desperately trying to make radio contact. His distress signal is picked up by June (Kim Hunter), an American WAC, and her soothing voice inspires the romantic in Carter. He leaps from the plane without a parachute and miraculously survives unharmed - to all appearances. In reality, he actually suffered brain damage in his fall and must undergo a serious operation. During the procedure, Carter enters a hallucinatory state in which his life is put on trial before a heavenly court. Having cheated death in his fall from the plane, Carter must defend his right to live under an intense prosecution by Abraham Farlan (Raymond Massey), the first man to die in the American War of Independence and an anti-British zealot. The production of A Matter of Life and Death proved a daunting task for the filmmaking team of Powell-Pressburger and included a long pre-production phase. According to author Scott Salwolke (in The Films of Michael Powell and the Archers), "Forty-six detailed sketches were prepared and twenty-four series of architectural drawings drawn up, while detailed scale models were created, primarily for the sequences set in Heaven. The largest set piece for the film was the enormous escalator in heaven than weighed eighty-five tons and had 266 twenty-foot steps. The decision was made to film the heaven sequences in black and white, creating further difficulties. The footage was filmed in black-and-white, then re-produced in dye monochrome." In addition, the sequences on earth were shot in Technicolor which required the permission of the British Ministry and a nine-month wait due to the scarcity and expense of Technicolor stock: it was mostly requisitioned for aerial combat training films at the time. Certain scenes in the film also presented technical challenges such as the moment when David Niven washes up on the shore (cinematographer Jack Cardiff deliberately fogged the lens with his breath to achieve the misty, dreamlike look) and the twenty-five minute trial sequence, set in an enormous auditorium with seemingly endless rows of spectators - among them famous military leaders from each nation and historical period. "We did an awful lot of work on the film before it began to assume the shape and the rhythm of the film you know now," recalled Powell in his autobiography, A Life in Movies. "The sound track was a production in itself. Almost everything we had shot on location with sound had to be revoiced, and nearly all those voices had to be brought down from the Western Isles. There were voices from Mallaig, from Tobermory, and from Colonsay itself, the island which we used for the unattainable island, Kiloran." The screenplay for the film was partially inspired by Powell and Pressburger's desire to examine current U.S./Great Britain relations through a fantastical looking glass and by a true account of a Royal Air Force sergeant who leaped from a plane in flames and survived with only minor injuries. David Niven, who had so impressed Powell in his previous film, The Way Ahead (1944), was the director's first and only choice to play pilot Peter Carter. Niven, who had been out of the Hollywood spotlight for six years, later remarked, "Six months is too long for an actor to be out of business - six years is almost certain disaster." Thanks to Powell, the actor's success in A Matter of Life and Death relaunched his career as an international leading man. The casting of female lead Kim Hunter, on the other hand, was attributed to Alfred Hitchcock who recommended her to Powell after working with the actress on several screen tests. When A Matter of Life and Death was completed, it was chosen to be the first of an annual series of Royal Command Film Performances, an event attended by British loyalty and diplomats. While it was certainly an honor for Powell and Pressburger it also stirred up considerable controversy among British critics. The Daily Graphic wrote "There will be widespread editorial indignation at the choice for our first Royal Film Performance of a picture which might have been made specially to appeal to isolationist and anti-British sentiments in the United States." A reviewer for The Observer remarked that the film "leaves us in grave doubts whether it is intended to be serious or gay. When they tell me that it is a "stratospheric joke" I reply that a matter of life and death can never be a good joke." Some particularly took issue with the scenes set in Heaven, which in the words of one critic depicted a "futuristic Utopia. It's a planned society....bureaucratic, idealistic, totalitarian, colourless, theoretic." American critics, however, were overwhelmingly enthusiastic with Bosley Crowther of the New York Times leading the charge with his remarks "If you wished to be literal about it you might call it romantic fantasy with psychological tie-ins. But literally is not the way to take this deliciously sophisticated frolic in imagination's realm. For this is a fluid contemplation of a man's odd experiences in two worlds...it's a delight." Like most original Technicolor film negatives, A Matter of Life and Death was in serious need of restoration several years after its original release. Luckily the British Film Institute agreed to perform some restoration work on it in 1995 and their subsequent work convinced them to completely restore the entire feature with the financial assistance of Sony Pictures. According to Cathie Christie in an article on the restoration, "They discovered that when the original film was edited the three strips [of Technicolor] were slightly out of alignment. Although this was less of the problem in 1946, it became more of a problem in 1999 when in addition to the misalignment, the technicians found that the three strips had shrunk in the ensuing 50 plus years. Adding to the challenge was the fact that each strip had shrunk at a different rate....The team was further tested, surprisingly, by the black and white sequences. There was no original black and white negative from the film, which was apparently cut together with duplicate negatives. The delicate process involved shooting a new positive of the black and white with black and white film stock. From the positive three separate fine grain negatives were made. The team then discovered that the original black & white negative had its own set of defects which transferred to the three newly printed negatives. However, not all the negatives had inherited the same defects. It became clear that it was impossible to cut the three new negatives together because of the varied defects, and in the end they chose the best of three b&w negatives and cut it into the new film." After all the extensive restoration, A Matter of Life and Death now looks as glorious and as striking as it did in 1946. It is not surprising that Powell cites A Matter of Life and Death as his favorite Archers production and critics and film scholars continue to praise the film to this day such as Roger Ebert who wrote "Stairway to Heaven [the U.S. release title] is one of the most audacious films ever made - in its grandiose vision, and in the cozy English way it's expressed....There's also sly humor. Heaven has a Coke machine for the arriving Yanks; newly appointed angels are seen carrying their wings under their arms in plastic dry-cleaner bags...Today's movies are infatuated with special effects, but often they're used to create the sight of things we can easily imagine: crashes, explosions, battles in space. The special effects in "Stairway to Heaven" show a universe that never existed until this movie was made, and the vision is breathtaking in its originality." Producer: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger Director: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger Screenplay: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger Cinematography: Jack Cardiff Film Editing: Reginald Mills Art Direction: Alfred Junge Music: Allan Gray Cast: David Niven (Peter Carter), Kim Hunter (June), Robert Coote (Bob), Kathleen Byron (An Angel), Richard Attenborough (English Pilot), Bonar Colleano (American Pilot). BW&C-104m. by Jeff Stafford

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH and AGE OF CONSENT Are Featured in The Films of Michael Powell DVD Set


Sony's The Films of Michael Powell combines two of the revered English filmmaker's most difficult-to-see features, a lavish Technicolor fantasy from 1946 and the director's final film, a sunny idyll about art and creativity on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger came into their own making wartime movies that didn't fall into the accepted definition of propaganda. Instead of stern morale-builders about sacrifice to the flag, their "Archers" films criticized cultural contradictions in the military (The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp) and in the countryside (A Canterbury Tale) in a way that promoted the English way of life as something worth preserving. A Matter of Life and Death (re-titled Stairway to Heaven for America) was produced just as the war ended. An unusually creative fantasy that strains the limits of color technology, it's also the closest the Archers came to a standard message picture, with an overt intent to propagate postwar harmony between England and the United States.

Representing the two countries are Brit flier Peter Carter (David Niven) and American WAC June (Kim Hunter). They meet and fall in love over the radio, when Peter reports that he's about to bail out of a plane with no parachute. He wakes up on a beach, alive but suffering from concussion damage that Doctor Frank Reeves (Roger Livesey of I Know Where I'm Going) plans to cure with a risky brain operation. But Peter experiences the crisis in the form of bizarre hallucinations in which a heavenly emissary known as Conductor 71 (Marius Goring) arrives to escort him to the afterlife. Peter refuses to go with the 18th century French dandy, arguing that his miraculous survival and romance with June are events that Heaven didn't count on, and shouldn't revoke. As Peter is wheeled into the operating room, a celestial court convenes to determine his fate.

The premise is an elaborate variation on the film blanc form, that fantasy sub-genre dealing with heavenly waiting rooms and "lost souls" in limbo between terra firma and the heavenly gates. Reversing the particulars of Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Powell and Pressburger's script shows the heavenly bureaucracy dealing with a mix-up that leaves a mortal alive when he should be dead. In this case, Earth is in Technicolor, and Heaven in B&W. A properly ethereal angel (Kathleen Byron of Black Narcissus) dressed as a servicewoman presides over a glassy reception hall that offers a Coca-Cola machine for the comfort of American fliers. It's basically the same setup as MGM's A Guy Named Joe, minus that film's vindictive suggestion that non-Allied aviators go straight to Hell. All of this heavenly hoo-haw is kept on the edge of ambiguity -- it could all simply be a figment of Peter's concussion. The notion that dreams and reality can coexist is further echoed in rehearsal scenes for an amateur play of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Heaven is populated by multitudes from every culture and time period, which accounts for Conductor 71's presence as Peter's personal contact man. Marius Goring is given the film's most famous line, upon arrival in the full-color real world: "Ah, how one is starved for Technicolor up there!" Peter's trial prosecutor is a Yankee patriot from the American war of independence, the stern Abraham Farlan (Raymond Massey). Farlan would rather not see June, a daughter of Boston, entangled with a no-account Englishman who ought to be dead. Thanks to Alfred Junge's designs the fantastic heavenly trial is a wonder to behold, but it's also the weakest part of the film. Powell and Pressburger were asked to counter grumblings in the U.S. government that America shouldn't be aiding a monarchy ruling over a far-flung empire. The spirited debate simply acknowledges that the two countries are bound by similar values. The film's real climax comes with a replay of the cosmic dilemma from Fritz Lang's silent Destiny (Der müde Tod): faced with a terrible decision, June volunteers to take Peter's place in the afterworld.

Powell's visual imagination makes A Matter of Life and Death a sheer wonderment, aided immensely by Jack Cardiff's Technicolor artistry. Live action is routinely combined with matte overlays of abstract artwork. Dramatic scenes are accompanied by splashes of expressive color, reds and yellows that suffuse the film frame with a stylized theatricality. The beach where Peter Carter washes up is a hazy plain with waves converging on a vanishing point. It and a subsequent encounter with a nude goatherd convince Peter that he is indeed dead: "Where do I report?" Visual magic is a major theme. Dr. Reeves' camera obscura is like a private cinema that he uses to observe life around, while the beginning of the brain operation is seen from Peter's POV, with the camera peering through a giant set of eyelids.

The big illusions take place in heaven, dominated by a stone escalator that stretches into a galactic infinity. When the two domains meet, B&W combines with full color in several shots. Disembodied ghosts "walk through a wall" in what must have been a very difficult traveling matte. A pink rose marks transitions between worlds, and conveys the tears that prove June's love.

Powell and Pressburger's penchant for eccentricity doesn't loosen their film's grip on our emotions. Peter and June have formed a spiritual bond that heaven cannot, as they say, pull asunder. The most memorable images remain the enormous Technicolor close-ups of David Niven and particularly Kim Hunter, radiant in the center of the miracles. A Matter of Life and Death is a playful, reassuring transition between the tragedy of war and the hopes for the future.

The bright and breezy Age of Consent was released in 1969, twelve years after the Powell-Pressburger creative breakup. It comes from another era altogether, when Powell's directing career was coming to a close. Produced by its star James Mason from a book written in the 1930s, Peter Yeldham's screenplay follows celebrated artist Bradley Morahan (Mason) on a retreat to a remote island to recharge his creative batteries. Bradley is pursued by a rascally associate and freeloader (the wonderful Jack MacGowran) but makes his main contact with Cora Ryan (Helen Mirren), a curious local teen living in isolation. Cora initially seems a male sex fantasy, a mermaid selling seashells by the seashore a la James Bond's Honeychile Ryder in Dr. No. But Bradley's interest is channeled into his art, and Cora's wild child is his stimulating muse. For once we see a movie about a serious artist that actually convinces.

Age of Consent presents the beautiful and uninhibited Cora as the key element in Morahan's beach-combing paradise. In the midst of her self-discovery as a sexual being, Cora must dodge the repressive fury of her witch-like mother (Neva Carr-Glyn). She poses in the nude for Morahan, happy to be earning money and intrigued to see her body transformed into artworks. Cora dives to the reef, becoming an erotic aquatic sculpture for Bradley's sketches.

The newly adopted ratings system opened a flood of gratuitous nudity in mainstream filmmaking, and Age of Consent could easily have become a movie for dirty old men. Michael Powell instead opens up an autobiographical examination of the relationship between Art and Life. When jealous Cora accuses Bradley of "thinking only of the pictures", we can easily imagine the cinema-obsessed Powell having similar disputes with the women in his life.

It's typical of Michael Powell that he would use the freedom of the screen to express such a positive, healthy attitude toward sensuality. By contrast, Powell's contemporary Alfred Hitchcock gave us the sick sadism of Frenzy, and the talented Val Guest found himself doing smarmy nudie pictures like Au Pair Girls.

Sony's 2-DVD set The Films of Michael Powell has been in the works for quite some time; Sony completed a remastering of A Matter of Life and Death seven or eight years ago. The version on the disc bears the original English title. The color is dazzling, with only a couple of B&W sections suffering from excessive grain. Sony has restored Age of Consent to its original version, before Columbia cut it by several minutes and replaced its entire music score. Its transfer is equally spotless, although an occasional shot also exhibits more grain than one would expect.

Sony's disc producers have come up with worthy extras. Historian Ian Christie provides an incisive commentary for Life and Death and Kent Jones does the honors for Age of Consent. Martin Scorsese appears in video introductions for both features. Consent comes with three featurettes. A brief making-of piece has the composer Peter Sculthorpe and Powell's son Kevin discussing the film's production. Most welcome is an interview with the charming Helen Mirren, who looks back on her first feature film with pride and gratitude.

A third short focuses on the underwater photography of noted shark specialists Ron and Valerie Taylor, who explain how risky it was for Ms. Mirren to dive nude among the poisonous coral. They report that the Great Barrier Reef is no longer the paradise seen in the movie; after forty years of agricultural pollution the large fish are gone and the coral is dying out.

Sony's packaging is an attractive folding disc holder decorated with well-chosen graphic art.

To order The Films of Michael Powell, click here. Explore more Michael Powell titles here.

by Glenn Erickson

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH and AGE OF CONSENT Are Featured in The Films of Michael Powell DVD Set

Sony's The Films of Michael Powell combines two of the revered English filmmaker's most difficult-to-see features, a lavish Technicolor fantasy from 1946 and the director's final film, a sunny idyll about art and creativity on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger came into their own making wartime movies that didn't fall into the accepted definition of propaganda. Instead of stern morale-builders about sacrifice to the flag, their "Archers" films criticized cultural contradictions in the military (The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp) and in the countryside (A Canterbury Tale) in a way that promoted the English way of life as something worth preserving. A Matter of Life and Death (re-titled Stairway to Heaven for America) was produced just as the war ended. An unusually creative fantasy that strains the limits of color technology, it's also the closest the Archers came to a standard message picture, with an overt intent to propagate postwar harmony between England and the United States. Representing the two countries are Brit flier Peter Carter (David Niven) and American WAC June (Kim Hunter). They meet and fall in love over the radio, when Peter reports that he's about to bail out of a plane with no parachute. He wakes up on a beach, alive but suffering from concussion damage that Doctor Frank Reeves (Roger Livesey of I Know Where I'm Going) plans to cure with a risky brain operation. But Peter experiences the crisis in the form of bizarre hallucinations in which a heavenly emissary known as Conductor 71 (Marius Goring) arrives to escort him to the afterlife. Peter refuses to go with the 18th century French dandy, arguing that his miraculous survival and romance with June are events that Heaven didn't count on, and shouldn't revoke. As Peter is wheeled into the operating room, a celestial court convenes to determine his fate. The premise is an elaborate variation on the film blanc form, that fantasy sub-genre dealing with heavenly waiting rooms and "lost souls" in limbo between terra firma and the heavenly gates. Reversing the particulars of Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Powell and Pressburger's script shows the heavenly bureaucracy dealing with a mix-up that leaves a mortal alive when he should be dead. In this case, Earth is in Technicolor, and Heaven in B&W. A properly ethereal angel (Kathleen Byron of Black Narcissus) dressed as a servicewoman presides over a glassy reception hall that offers a Coca-Cola machine for the comfort of American fliers. It's basically the same setup as MGM's A Guy Named Joe, minus that film's vindictive suggestion that non-Allied aviators go straight to Hell. All of this heavenly hoo-haw is kept on the edge of ambiguity -- it could all simply be a figment of Peter's concussion. The notion that dreams and reality can coexist is further echoed in rehearsal scenes for an amateur play of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Heaven is populated by multitudes from every culture and time period, which accounts for Conductor 71's presence as Peter's personal contact man. Marius Goring is given the film's most famous line, upon arrival in the full-color real world: "Ah, how one is starved for Technicolor up there!" Peter's trial prosecutor is a Yankee patriot from the American war of independence, the stern Abraham Farlan (Raymond Massey). Farlan would rather not see June, a daughter of Boston, entangled with a no-account Englishman who ought to be dead. Thanks to Alfred Junge's designs the fantastic heavenly trial is a wonder to behold, but it's also the weakest part of the film. Powell and Pressburger were asked to counter grumblings in the U.S. government that America shouldn't be aiding a monarchy ruling over a far-flung empire. The spirited debate simply acknowledges that the two countries are bound by similar values. The film's real climax comes with a replay of the cosmic dilemma from Fritz Lang's silent Destiny (Der müde Tod): faced with a terrible decision, June volunteers to take Peter's place in the afterworld. Powell's visual imagination makes A Matter of Life and Death a sheer wonderment, aided immensely by Jack Cardiff's Technicolor artistry. Live action is routinely combined with matte overlays of abstract artwork. Dramatic scenes are accompanied by splashes of expressive color, reds and yellows that suffuse the film frame with a stylized theatricality. The beach where Peter Carter washes up is a hazy plain with waves converging on a vanishing point. It and a subsequent encounter with a nude goatherd convince Peter that he is indeed dead: "Where do I report?" Visual magic is a major theme. Dr. Reeves' camera obscura is like a private cinema that he uses to observe life around, while the beginning of the brain operation is seen from Peter's POV, with the camera peering through a giant set of eyelids. The big illusions take place in heaven, dominated by a stone escalator that stretches into a galactic infinity. When the two domains meet, B&W combines with full color in several shots. Disembodied ghosts "walk through a wall" in what must have been a very difficult traveling matte. A pink rose marks transitions between worlds, and conveys the tears that prove June's love. Powell and Pressburger's penchant for eccentricity doesn't loosen their film's grip on our emotions. Peter and June have formed a spiritual bond that heaven cannot, as they say, pull asunder. The most memorable images remain the enormous Technicolor close-ups of David Niven and particularly Kim Hunter, radiant in the center of the miracles. A Matter of Life and Death is a playful, reassuring transition between the tragedy of war and the hopes for the future. The bright and breezy Age of Consent was released in 1969, twelve years after the Powell-Pressburger creative breakup. It comes from another era altogether, when Powell's directing career was coming to a close. Produced by its star James Mason from a book written in the 1930s, Peter Yeldham's screenplay follows celebrated artist Bradley Morahan (Mason) on a retreat to a remote island to recharge his creative batteries. Bradley is pursued by a rascally associate and freeloader (the wonderful Jack MacGowran) but makes his main contact with Cora Ryan (Helen Mirren), a curious local teen living in isolation. Cora initially seems a male sex fantasy, a mermaid selling seashells by the seashore a la James Bond's Honeychile Ryder in Dr. No. But Bradley's interest is channeled into his art, and Cora's wild child is his stimulating muse. For once we see a movie about a serious artist that actually convinces. Age of Consent presents the beautiful and uninhibited Cora as the key element in Morahan's beach-combing paradise. In the midst of her self-discovery as a sexual being, Cora must dodge the repressive fury of her witch-like mother (Neva Carr-Glyn). She poses in the nude for Morahan, happy to be earning money and intrigued to see her body transformed into artworks. Cora dives to the reef, becoming an erotic aquatic sculpture for Bradley's sketches. The newly adopted ratings system opened a flood of gratuitous nudity in mainstream filmmaking, and Age of Consent could easily have become a movie for dirty old men. Michael Powell instead opens up an autobiographical examination of the relationship between Art and Life. When jealous Cora accuses Bradley of "thinking only of the pictures", we can easily imagine the cinema-obsessed Powell having similar disputes with the women in his life. It's typical of Michael Powell that he would use the freedom of the screen to express such a positive, healthy attitude toward sensuality. By contrast, Powell's contemporary Alfred Hitchcock gave us the sick sadism of Frenzy, and the talented Val Guest found himself doing smarmy nudie pictures like Au Pair Girls. Sony's 2-DVD set The Films of Michael Powell has been in the works for quite some time; Sony completed a remastering of A Matter of Life and Death seven or eight years ago. The version on the disc bears the original English title. The color is dazzling, with only a couple of B&W sections suffering from excessive grain. Sony has restored Age of Consent to its original version, before Columbia cut it by several minutes and replaced its entire music score. Its transfer is equally spotless, although an occasional shot also exhibits more grain than one would expect. Sony's disc producers have come up with worthy extras. Historian Ian Christie provides an incisive commentary for Life and Death and Kent Jones does the honors for Age of Consent. Martin Scorsese appears in video introductions for both features. Consent comes with three featurettes. A brief making-of piece has the composer Peter Sculthorpe and Powell's son Kevin discussing the film's production. Most welcome is an interview with the charming Helen Mirren, who looks back on her first feature film with pride and gratitude. A third short focuses on the underwater photography of noted shark specialists Ron and Valerie Taylor, who explain how risky it was for Ms. Mirren to dive nude among the poisonous coral. They report that the Great Barrier Reef is no longer the paradise seen in the movie; after forty years of agricultural pollution the large fish are gone and the coral is dying out. Sony's packaging is an attractive folding disc holder decorated with well-chosen graphic art. To order The Films of Michael Powell, click here. Explore more Michael Powell titles here. by Glenn Erickson

TCM Remembers - Kim Hunter


KIM HUNTER, 1922-2002

Kim Hunter, the versatile, distinguished actress who won the Supporting Actress Academy Award for her portrayal as the long-suffering Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and appeared as Dr. Zira in three Planet of the Apes movies, died in her Greenwich Village apartment from an apparent heart attack on September 11, 2002. She was 79.

Born Janet Cole in Detroit on November 12, 1922, where her mother was a concert pianist, she made her professional debut at 17 with a small theatre company in Miami. She gained notice immediately with her strong voice and alluring presence, and eventually studied at the Actors' Studio in New York.

She made a striking film debut in an eerie, low-budget RKO horror film, The Seventh Victim (1943), produced by Val Lewton. She played a similar ingenue role in another stylish cult flick, When Strangers Meet (1944) - a film directed by William Castle and notable for featuring Robert Mitchum in one of his first starring roles. Hunter's big break came two years later when Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger cast her in their splendid romantic fantasy, Stairway to Heaven (1946).

Despite her growing popularity as a screen actress, Hunter returned to the stage to make her Broadway debut as Stella in Tennessee Williams'A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). When Elia Kazan adapted the production for the silver screen, she continued her role as Stella opposite Marlon Brando, and won an Oscar as best supporting actress. A few more film roles followed, but sadly her screen career entered a lull in the late 1950s, after Hunter, a liberal Democrat, was listed as a communist sympathizer by Red Channels, a red-hunting booklet that influenced hiring by studios and the Television networks. Kim was blacklisted from both mediums despite never having been labeled a Communist, yet as a strong believer in civil rights she signed a lot of petitions and was a sponsor of a 1949 World Peace Conference in New York. She was widely praised in the industry for her testimony to the New York Supreme Court in 1962 against the publishers of Red Channels, and helped pave the way for clearance of many performers unjustly accused of Communist associations.

Hunter spent the next few years on the stage and didn't make a strong impression again in films until she was cast as Dr. Zira in the Planet of the Apes (1968), as a simian psychiatrist in the classic science fiction film. The success of that film encouraged her to continue playing the same character in two back-to-back sequels - Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) and Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971). Hunter spent the remainder of her career on the stage and television, but she a terrific cameo role in Clint Eastwood's Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil (1997), one of her last films. She is survived by her daughter Kathryn, from her first marriage to William Baldwin, and her son Sean, from her marriage to actor and producer Robert Emmett.

By Michael T. Toole

TCM REMEMBERS J. LEE THOMPSON, 1914 - 2002

Oscar-nominated director J. Lee Thompson died August 30th at the age of 88. Though he worked in several genres, Thompson was best-known for his action films. Thompson was born in Bristol England on August 1, 1914. After graduating from college he became a playwright and it was the appearance of one of his plays on London's famous West End that got him noticed by the British film studio, Elstree. His first filmed script was The Pride of Folly in 1937 and others appeared sporadically until his career was side-tracked during the war when Thompson served in the RAF as a B-29 tail gunner. (He also reportedly worked as a dialogue coach on Hitchcock's Jamaica Inn, 1939.) Thompson's directorial debut came in 1950 when he adapted his own play Double Error to the screen as Murder Without Crime. Throughout the decade he directed a variety of dramas and comedies until hitting it big in 1958 with Ice Cold in Alex (released in the US minus 50 minutes under the title Desert Attack). It was nominated for three BAFTAs and was enough of a commercial success that Thompson landed the film that made his career: The Guns of Navarone (1961). This enormous international hit snagged Thompson an Oscar nomination for Best Director. He immediately followed that with the original Cape Fear (1962) and his reputation was set. Though Thompson remained active almost three more decades he didn't reach that level again. He worked on Westerns (Mackenna's Gold, 1969), horror films (Eye of the Devil, 1967), literary adaptations (Huckleberry Finn, 1974) and others. During this time, Thompson directed two Planet of the Apes sequels but was kept most busy working with Charles Bronson, for whom he directed nine films. Thompson's last film was in 1989.

KATRIN CARTLIDGE, 1961 - 2002

The news of actress Katrin Cartlidge's death at the age of 41 has come as a shock. It's not just the age but the thought that even though Cartlidge was already a major actress--despite a slender filmography--she held out the promise of even greater work, a promise that so few artists of any type can make. "Fearless" is perhaps the word most often used to describe Cartlidge but emotions are never enough for an actor; much more is required. Director Mike Leigh said she had "the objective eye of an artist" while remarking on her "her deep-seated suspicion of all forms of woolly thinking and received ideas."

Cartlidge was born in London on May 15, 1961. Her first acting work was on the stage, in tiny independent theatres before she was selected by Peter Gill for the National Theatre. Cartlidge also worked as a dresser at the Royal Court where she later made one of her final stage appearances. She began appearing in the popular British TV series Brookside before making her first film in 1985, Sacred Hearts. A small role in the Robbie Coltrane-Rik Mayall vehicle Eat the Rich (1987) followed before Cartlidge had her first leading role in Mike Leigh's scathing Naked (1993).

Cartlidge never took a safe approach in her films. She told The Guardian that "I try to work with film-makers who I feel will produce something original, revealing and provoking. If something provokes a reaction, it's well worth doing." You can see this in her choice of projects. Before the Rain (1994) dramatized violence in Macedonia in the wake of the Yugoslavian break-up and made Cartlidge something of a star in the area. She appeared in Lars Von Trier's controversial look at redemption, Breaking the Waves (1996), Leigh's sharply detailed story of aging friends Career Girls (1997), as one of Jack the Ripper's victims in From Hell (2001), as a call girl trying to leave the business in Clair Dolan (1998) and in the Oscar-winning film about Bosnia-Herzegovina, No Man's Land (2001). Her last work included a BBC adaptation of Crime and Punishment (2002), playing Salvador Dali's wife Gala in the BBC comedy-drama Surrealissimo (2002) and an appearance in Rosanna Arquette's directorial debut, Searching for Debra Winger (also 2002), a documentary about women in the film industry.

Cartlidge died September 7th from septicaemia brought on by pneumonia.

By Lang Thompson

TCM Remembers - Kim Hunter

KIM HUNTER, 1922-2002 Kim Hunter, the versatile, distinguished actress who won the Supporting Actress Academy Award for her portrayal as the long-suffering Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and appeared as Dr. Zira in three Planet of the Apes movies, died in her Greenwich Village apartment from an apparent heart attack on September 11, 2002. She was 79. Born Janet Cole in Detroit on November 12, 1922, where her mother was a concert pianist, she made her professional debut at 17 with a small theatre company in Miami. She gained notice immediately with her strong voice and alluring presence, and eventually studied at the Actors' Studio in New York. She made a striking film debut in an eerie, low-budget RKO horror film, The Seventh Victim (1943), produced by Val Lewton. She played a similar ingenue role in another stylish cult flick, When Strangers Meet (1944) - a film directed by William Castle and notable for featuring Robert Mitchum in one of his first starring roles. Hunter's big break came two years later when Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger cast her in their splendid romantic fantasy, Stairway to Heaven (1946). Despite her growing popularity as a screen actress, Hunter returned to the stage to make her Broadway debut as Stella in Tennessee Williams'A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). When Elia Kazan adapted the production for the silver screen, she continued her role as Stella opposite Marlon Brando, and won an Oscar as best supporting actress. A few more film roles followed, but sadly her screen career entered a lull in the late 1950s, after Hunter, a liberal Democrat, was listed as a communist sympathizer by Red Channels, a red-hunting booklet that influenced hiring by studios and the Television networks. Kim was blacklisted from both mediums despite never having been labeled a Communist, yet as a strong believer in civil rights she signed a lot of petitions and was a sponsor of a 1949 World Peace Conference in New York. She was widely praised in the industry for her testimony to the New York Supreme Court in 1962 against the publishers of Red Channels, and helped pave the way for clearance of many performers unjustly accused of Communist associations. Hunter spent the next few years on the stage and didn't make a strong impression again in films until she was cast as Dr. Zira in the Planet of the Apes (1968), as a simian psychiatrist in the classic science fiction film. The success of that film encouraged her to continue playing the same character in two back-to-back sequels - Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) and Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971). Hunter spent the remainder of her career on the stage and television, but she a terrific cameo role in Clint Eastwood's Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil (1997), one of her last films. She is survived by her daughter Kathryn, from her first marriage to William Baldwin, and her son Sean, from her marriage to actor and producer Robert Emmett. By Michael T. Toole TCM REMEMBERS J. LEE THOMPSON, 1914 - 2002 Oscar-nominated director J. Lee Thompson died August 30th at the age of 88. Though he worked in several genres, Thompson was best-known for his action films. Thompson was born in Bristol England on August 1, 1914. After graduating from college he became a playwright and it was the appearance of one of his plays on London's famous West End that got him noticed by the British film studio, Elstree. His first filmed script was The Pride of Folly in 1937 and others appeared sporadically until his career was side-tracked during the war when Thompson served in the RAF as a B-29 tail gunner. (He also reportedly worked as a dialogue coach on Hitchcock's Jamaica Inn, 1939.) Thompson's directorial debut came in 1950 when he adapted his own play Double Error to the screen as Murder Without Crime. Throughout the decade he directed a variety of dramas and comedies until hitting it big in 1958 with Ice Cold in Alex (released in the US minus 50 minutes under the title Desert Attack). It was nominated for three BAFTAs and was enough of a commercial success that Thompson landed the film that made his career: The Guns of Navarone (1961). This enormous international hit snagged Thompson an Oscar nomination for Best Director. He immediately followed that with the original Cape Fear (1962) and his reputation was set. Though Thompson remained active almost three more decades he didn't reach that level again. He worked on Westerns (Mackenna's Gold, 1969), horror films (Eye of the Devil, 1967), literary adaptations (Huckleberry Finn, 1974) and others. During this time, Thompson directed two Planet of the Apes sequels but was kept most busy working with Charles Bronson, for whom he directed nine films. Thompson's last film was in 1989. KATRIN CARTLIDGE, 1961 - 2002 The news of actress Katrin Cartlidge's death at the age of 41 has come as a shock. It's not just the age but the thought that even though Cartlidge was already a major actress--despite a slender filmography--she held out the promise of even greater work, a promise that so few artists of any type can make. "Fearless" is perhaps the word most often used to describe Cartlidge but emotions are never enough for an actor; much more is required. Director Mike Leigh said she had "the objective eye of an artist" while remarking on her "her deep-seated suspicion of all forms of woolly thinking and received ideas." Cartlidge was born in London on May 15, 1961. Her first acting work was on the stage, in tiny independent theatres before she was selected by Peter Gill for the National Theatre. Cartlidge also worked as a dresser at the Royal Court where she later made one of her final stage appearances. She began appearing in the popular British TV series Brookside before making her first film in 1985, Sacred Hearts. A small role in the Robbie Coltrane-Rik Mayall vehicle Eat the Rich (1987) followed before Cartlidge had her first leading role in Mike Leigh's scathing Naked (1993). Cartlidge never took a safe approach in her films. She told The Guardian that "I try to work with film-makers who I feel will produce something original, revealing and provoking. If something provokes a reaction, it's well worth doing." You can see this in her choice of projects. Before the Rain (1994) dramatized violence in Macedonia in the wake of the Yugoslavian break-up and made Cartlidge something of a star in the area. She appeared in Lars Von Trier's controversial look at redemption, Breaking the Waves (1996), Leigh's sharply detailed story of aging friends Career Girls (1997), as one of Jack the Ripper's victims in From Hell (2001), as a call girl trying to leave the business in Clair Dolan (1998) and in the Oscar-winning film about Bosnia-Herzegovina, No Man's Land (2001). Her last work included a BBC adaptation of Crime and Punishment (2002), playing Salvador Dali's wife Gala in the BBC comedy-drama Surrealissimo (2002) and an appearance in Rosanna Arquette's directorial debut, Searching for Debra Winger (also 2002), a documentary about women in the film industry. Cartlidge died September 7th from septicaemia brought on by pneumonia. By Lang Thompson

Quotes

After all, what is time? A mere tyranny.
- Conductor 71
Ah, these English! What is the good of kissing a girl if she does not feel it?
- Conductor 71
Received your message. We can hear you. Are you wounded? Repeat. Are you wounded? Are you bailing out?
- June
What's your name?
- Peter
June.
- June
Yes June, I'm bailing out. I'm bailing out but there's a catch, I've got no parachute.
- Peter
Tell me, do you believe in the survival of human personality after death?
- Doctor Frank Reeves
I thought you said you read my verses.
- Peter
Do you?
- Doctor Frank Reeves
I don't know, er, I'd never thought about it, do you?
- June
I don't know, I've thought about it too much.
- Doctor Frank Reeves
A weak mind isn't strong enough to hurt itself. Stupidity has saved many a man from going mad.
- Doctor Frank Reeves

Trivia

For the table tennis scene, 'Hunter, Kim' and Roger Livesey were trained by Alan Brooke, the British champion who played many games with International Champion Victor Barna. During a visit to Denham Studios the two champions played a couple of games before an admiring audience of artists and technicians. For luck, Hunter borrowed one of Brooke's tournament bats for her film game.

'Powell, Michael' 's golden cocker spaniels Erik and Spangle make their fourth and final appearance on film in Dr. Reeves' Camera Obscura.

The huge escalator linking this World with the Other, called "Operation Ethel" by the firm of engineers who constructed her under the aegis of the London Passenger Transport Board, took three months to make and cost 3,000 pounds (in 1946). "Ethel" had 106 steps each 20 feet wide and was driven by a 12 h.p. engine. The full shot was completed by hanging miniatures.

The backcloth of the High Court scene, suggesting tiers of seats stretching into infinity, measured 350 feet long and 40 feet high. Altogether 8 backcloths of similar large dimensions were used in Other World scenes, and 29 elaborate sets were constructed. In all these vast scenes 5,375 crowd artistes were used, including real R.A.F. crews, Red Cross nurses and W.A.A.C.s.

The inspiration for Peter's medical condition came from the semi-autobiographical novel "A Journey Round My Skull" by Hungarian novelist Frigyes Karinthy. More precise medical detail came from Emeric Pressburger's research in the British Library and consultations with 'Powell, Michael' 's brother in law, Dr. Joe Reidy, who was a plastic surgeon in London.

It was during a visit to Hollywood in 1945 that director Michael Powell decided to cast the then-unknown Kim Hunter as June, the American servicewoman, largely upon the recommendation of Alfred Hitchcock, who had done a series of screen tests of actors and actresses auditioning for parts in his upcoming production, "Notorious." Trouble was that in these tests, Hunter was not seen but, rather, heard off-camera, feeding lines and cues to the actors Hitchcock was actually testing. But Hitchcock assured Powell that he would arrange a "face-to-face" with Hunter and her agent, so that he could see for himself whether she fit the requirements of the "all-American" girl Powell had envisioned opposite David Niven. And upon first encountering Hunter, Powell agreed with Hitchcock that she indeed was a perfect choice for the role.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring March 1947

Re-released in United States April 14, 1995

Released in United States on Video October 14, 1997

Released in United States April 5, 1995

Shown at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City April 5, 1995.

Formerly distributed by Universal Pictures.

Formerly distributed by General Film Distributors (GFD).

Re-released in United Kingdom March 24, 2000

Released in United States Spring March 1947

Re-released in United States April 14, 1995

Released in United States on Video October 14, 1997

Released in United States April 5, 1995 (Shown at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City April 5, 1995.)