Archive for December 24th, 2008


by Allan Fish

(UK 1946 104m) DVD2

Aka. Stairway to Heaven

It’s heaven, isn’t it?

p/w  Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger  d  Michael Powell  ph  Jack Cardiff  ed  Reginald Mills  m  Allan Gray  art  Alfred Junge, Hein Heckroth, Arthur Lawson  cos  Hein Heckroth  spc  Douglas Woolsley, Henry Harris 

David Niven (Squ.Ldr.Peter David Carter), Kim Hunter (June), Roger Livesey (Dr Frank Reeves), Marius Goring (Conductor 71), Raymond Massey (Abraham Farlan), Abraham Sofaer (Dr Leiser), Robert Coote (Bob Trubshawe), Kathleen Byron (Angel), Richard Attenborough (English Pilot), Bonar Colleano (American Pilot), Joan Maude (Records Angel), Bob Roberts, Robert Atkins, Betty Potter,

Yes, Dickie, it really is.  Considering his excellent roles in everything from Brighton Rock to The Great Escape to 10 Rillington Place, if asked to recall the most famous line spoken by Richard Attenborough in his whole career, it would probably be his only line in Powell & Pressburger’s forties fantasy.  There are no movies that you must see before you die, contrary to S.J.Schneider’s aforementioned work, but this is perhaps one you should.  After all, who can say that Powell & Pressburger aren’t right?  Better to be prepared.

            That’s more than can be said for Conductor 71, the heavenly messenger sent down to collect Peter Carter when he jumps without a parachute from his burning plane to avoid frying.  You see, he misses him in a ruddy pea-souper and Carter wakes on a beach, falls in love with a woman he just happened to send out his last message to over the radio and, in such changed circumstances, refuses to go with the Conductor when he finally comes for him.  Can Peter survive the resultant heavenly trial and the neurological surgery he must undergo to correct what is seen as a cerebral abnormality?  (more…)

Read Full Post »