A Matter of Life and Death, starring David Niven, was made in 1946 and is this weeks Friday Night is Film Night – recommended to us by a friend.

The film is set in the Second World War and opens with a radio exchange between David Niven’s character, Pete Carter, and radio operator June.  Carter is on a Lancaster bomber returning home from a mission on 2nd May 1945.  The bomber is damaged and on course to crash.  The crew have parachuted out.  Left in the plane is a dead Bob and Pete with no parachute.  Over the radio, as Pete implores June not to be afraid and to telegram his mother he tells her that he will haunt her and that he loves her.  Not that they’ve met of course.

Cut to heaven where Bob is sitting waiting for Pete to arrive.  Pete doesn’t arrive and it turns out that the Conductor, a flamboyant French man who died in the French Revolution, missed him in the fog over the Channel.

  
Instead Pete wakes up on the sands.  He thinks he is in heaven but soon bumps into June and they start a proper romance on earth.  The Conductor (a much nicer version of The Grim Reaper) 

 
visits Pete to try to take him to heaven and fulfil his mission.  Pete refuses and tells him that he has messed up by not finding him and allowing him to fall in love with June.  He wants to appeal the decision.

  
The film follows Pete and June through the appeal process in heaven ably assisted by Doctor Frank Reeves who is an expert in neurology.  Frank knows what is wrong with Pete and why he is having hallucinations and headaches.  Until Frank dies in a car accident one night.  And turns up in heaven to run Pete’s defence case.

This was a great vintage film.  Set in the war and only made in 1947 the dress and hair, furniture, cars and language are all very authentic.  That beautiful way of speaking that gals only seemed to have during the second world war.  The clipped English accent.  Oh darling.  I remain perplexed that June could possibly think that David Niven is 27 years old and that, after one day, she doesn’t run a mile when he tells her that the conductor has been to see him to take him back to heaven.  But she is a canny lass and it all, of course, works out in the end!

Wish Vintage verdict is that this is a definite must see if only for the authentic hairstyles and clothing.

Next week – A Star is Born starring the one and only Judy Garland.

Love Wish Vintage  xx