A Matter Of Life And Death A.K.A Stairway To Heaven.

The film stars David Niven, Roger Livesey, Raymond Massey, Kim Hunter.
It's a night over Europe, the night of the 2nd May 1945. A crippled Lancaster Bomber struggles home across the English Channel, all crew dead except for that of the young pilot Peter Carter (David Niven) desperately scanning the radio for any signs of life? Is there anyone to hear his final words before baling out to certain death.
Finally a young woman's voice is heard through the radio calling Peter back, the young radio operator is June (Kim Hunter) a special bond is there formed within the final desperate moments of Peter's life in which he then leaps from the aircraft to his death.
The next morning washed up on an English beach Squadron Leader Peter Carter awakes amid the soggy watery sand that he has been washed up on. He believes that he is dead and believes that he is in heaven until which a light Mosquito Bomber flies over head.
Some how a miracle takes place the very lady he was talking to over the radio is seen riding her bicycle along the sands? Peter does not know how was it he survived? Under such circumstances  especially with no parachute he should have died. Peter and Kim then fall in love and realise that fate has brought them together or was it fate?
Peter Carter should have died that night, a heavenly escort missed him in the fog above the Channel, and now he must face the celestial court of appeal for his right to live.

This film was obviously not an Ealing but because there are links within it dealing with Devon we had to take this one on board. The film was produced and Directed by Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger. Many film collectors will know of  Pressburger as one of the greatest film directors.

The actual area used for shooting the beach scene was in fact Saunton Sands Devon, although the dunes as well as the Burrows lightly touched upon by the young boy in the film these have not changed that much. However the area around Saunton Sands has changed greatly since this film was made. The other scenic views that cover around this beach are hidden in the film.

If you wish to know more concerning Powell & Pressburger click the link on Powell & Pressburger, We must say it is a wonderful site!

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