A Matter of Life and Death (1946) is a romantic fantasy film set in World War II by the British writer-director-producer team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. It was originally released in U.S. under the title Stairway to Heaven, which derived from the film’s most prominent special effect: a broad escalator linking the Other World and Earth. Reversing the effect in The Wizard of Oz, the supernatural scenes are in “Technicolor mono-chrome” (a special process developed jointly by Director of Photography Jack Cardiff and Technicolor London), while the natural scenes on Earth are in Technicolor. Photographic dissolves between “Technicolor mono-chrome” (the Other World) and Three-Strip Technicolor (Earth) are used several times during the film.
In 2004, A Matter of Life and Death was named the second greatest British film ever made by the magazine Total Film in a poll of 25 film critics, behind Get Carter.