Portrays in warm-hearted detail the life and loves of one extraordinary man. We meet the imposingly rotund General Clive Wynne-Candy, a blustering old duffer who seems the epitome of stuffy... See full summary »
Returning to England from a bombing run in May 1945, flyer Peter Carter's plane is damaged and his parachute ripped to shreds. He has his crew bail out safely, but figures it is curtains for himself. He gets on the radio, and talks to June, a young American woman working for the USAAF, and they are quite moved by each other's voices. Then he jumps, preferring this to burning up with his plane. He wakes up in the surf. It was his time to die, but there was a mixup in heaven. They couldn't find him in all that fog. By the time his "Conductor" catches up with him 20 hours later, Peter and June have met and fallen in love. This changes everything, and since it happened through no fault of his own, Peter figures that heaven owes him a second chance. Heaven agrees to a trial to decide his fate. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
The animation scene of the star fields leading to Earth at the start of this film were later re-used in the 1970s as the background image for the Rank Screen Advertising logo. Note this is a J. Arthur Rank film. See more »
When the table tennis game is frozen, the ball moves back a few inches from the first shot of the game to the second, and the position of Frank's left arm changes. See more »
Foreword (Scrolled up the screen at the start of the film): This is the story of two worlds, the one we know and another which exists only in the mind... of a young airman whose life and imagination have been violently shaped by war. [Pauses, then scrolls up to reveal] Any resemblance to any other world, known or unknown, is purely coincidental. See more »
Enchanting, romantic, innovative, and funny. The vision of this extraordinary film is almost unparalleled, exceeding better known "death romances" such as Ghost. While we know intuitively that Peter and June will find ultimate happiness at the end of that long-long stairway, the joy is in the journey. The moral of the tale, of course, is timeless: love conquers all. But the struggle to achieve that victory is played in a celestial arena of sweeping vision and gripping grandeur. With more than 500 suitably clad extras portraying various ages and cultures, the directors' vision of heaven remains memorable six decades later, far into the CGI era.
Yet for all the cosmic scale, Powell and Pressburger knew an essential truth: the best story is told at the smallest level. The wonderfully, determinedly romantic aspect of "Stairway" is captured with ultimate simplicity: June's teardrop, preserved on a rose petal.
This film, like the story and the set itself, is one for the ages.
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