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Trivia / A Matter of Life and Death

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  • BFI Top 100 British Films: #20
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Marius Goring was offered the role of the Conductor, but insisted that he wanted to play Peter instead; however, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger were set on David Niven playing the part, and eventually told Goring that the Conductor was his only choice: if he turned it down, they would approach Peter Ustinov to play the part.
  • Completely Different Title: The film was released in America as Stairway to Heaven. Some European countries released it as A Question of Life and Death.
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  • Dawson Casting: Peter is explicitly stated to be 27, but David Niven was 36 at the time of filming.
  • From Entertainment to Education: An actual medical paper was written by Diane Friedman describing the film's unusually accurate depiction of a real medical condition, with clinically accurate dialogue used by characters and symptoms portrayed accurately, in addition to the surgical details.
  • Throw It In!: Marius Goring improvised Conductor 71's line about Technicolor on the day and Michael Powell decided to keep it in.


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