A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
Chosen by me because I have a stack of dvds I've owned for years but haven't watched
I sometimes wonder if I'm not just kinder to older films than I would be if this was made as a new release. Not because of the advance on special effects or anything technical but just story telling.
A Matter of Life and Death hinges on the fact that the love between two people could change the very fates themselves but it kind of skimps on the actual love part. Small moments almost make it work (she drops her bike on seeing him and he catches it) but most of the time spent together is actually with David Niven being quite ill, she in fact spends more time and has more of a relationship with the village doctor.
Also David Niven disappears for a chunk of the movie which is given over to a dull debate over Britain or America being better that has no effect on the story what-so-ever.
And yet, this is a rather brilliant film, filled with some amazing, haunting even, shots. Niven is terrific and despite no real relationship between the leads at all it would be a cold heart indeed who doesn't well up a little at the end.
Of course that is me so fuck 'em.
If Niven hadn't stayed alive maybe the doctor, a far more interesting character would have survived.