A Matter of Life and Death was the film's British release title - it was changed to Stairway to Heaven for the U.S. release as the studio felt it would be more audience-friendly. Guess Sony wants to stick with the U.S. title for the Region 1 release (it still goes by Stairway to Heaven in the TCM database)?
Regardless, best news ever, easily my most anticipated R1 DVD. Just sad it won't be out in time for Xmas, as it would easily make #1 on my list. Need details NOW.
The few details I have come from P&P guru Steve Crook over at the Britmovies Forum:
It'll [AMOLAD] be packaged with Age of Consent in their "Collectors Choice" series. An odd choice but Columbia have the rights to both of them in the States.
AMOLAD will have a commentary by Ian Christie and Martin Scorsese has done an interview and introduction to both films.
AoC will be the one with the original soundtrack restored and there are also interviews with some of the people involved in the making of it like Helen Mirren, Tony Buckley (editor), Peter Sculthorpe (composer), Ron and Valerie Taylor (underwater camera) and Kevin Powell.
Thelma [Schoonmaker] and some friendly people at Columbia have worked hard to get all of this done. They've done some tidying up on the prints of both films and the soundtracks.
AGE was recently on TCM. Can't say it is one of Powell's better films. In her autobiography, I guess Mirren wasn't happy during the making of it. Powell was said to yell a lot. It will be interesting to hear what she has to say.
Under the "impossible trivial dream wish" category I would put my hope that Columbia/Sony/TriStar (whatever) has seamless branching so we can enjoy the movie with either it's British or American title. ;-)
What worries me is the version known as "Stairway to Heaven" was censored for American audiences. A fairly significant scene involving Peter on the beach after his near death experience was excised from American prints because it features a nude boy on the beach playing a flute or fife. Peter, believing he's dead, assumes the boy is some sort of angel, and asks for directions, which the boy, does, assuming he is just a lost soldier. The scene is necessary because it sets up Peter's fortuitous encounter with June.
But then again, with Thelma Schoonmaker's involvement, I can't see how she would allow anything other than the original, uncut version to be released...which begs the question as to why she would assent to having it released under the American title, despite Powell's vocal preference for A.M.O.L.A.D.
This is about as odd a double feature as you'll ever see. Age of Consent contains copious nudity and is most definitely not for family audiences, whereas A Matter of Life and Death (Stairway to Heaven is an atrocious title) is the complete opposite.
Let's be clear - while the boy is nude you see nothing that could be construed as offensive in any way. No posterior, no front, no nothing. So, yes, the scene was in the TCM broadcast and I don't think there's cause for worry on the DVD.