7.4/10
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49th Parallel (1941)

Not Rated | | Drama, War, Thriller | 15 April 1942 (USA)
A World War II U-boat crew are stranded in northern Canada. To avoid internment, they must make their way to the border and get into the still-neutral USA.

Director:

Writers:

(original story and screenplay), (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard George ...
...
Raymond Lovell ...
...
Peter Moore ...
John Chandos ...
Basil Appleby ...
...
...
The Factor
Ley On ...
Nick - the Eskimo
...
...
Charles Victor ...
Frederick Piper ...
David
...
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Storyline

In the early years of World War II, a German U-boat (U-37) sinks Allied shipping in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and then tries to evade Canadian Military Forces seeking to destroy it by sailing up to Hudson Bay. The U-boat's Fanatical Nazi captain sends some members of his crew to look for food and other supplies at a Hudson Bay Company outpost. No sooner than the shore party (lead by Lieutenant Hirth) reaches the shore, the U-boat is spotted and sunk by the Canadian Armed Forces leaving the six members of the shore party stranded in Canada. The Nazi Lieutenant then starts to plan his crews' return to the Fatherland. He needs to reach the neutral United States or be captured. Along the way they meet a variety of characters each with their own views on the war and nationalism. In this film Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger show their ideas of why the United States should join the Allied fight against the Nazis. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

and introducing MISS GLYNIS JOHNS (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Drama | War | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

15 April 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

49th Parallel  »

Box Office

Budget:

£132,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The British press complained about what it saw as the film's sympathetic portrayal of Nazis. Emeric Pressburger's rebuttal was that there must be reasonable Germans as well as ruthless ones. Michael Powell joined in by writing a letter to The Times, defending the film's stance. At any rate, it didn't impede the film's success--it was the biggest grossing film in the UK in 1941 and the biggest grossing British film to date in the US. See more »

Goofs

On the map of North America shown after the opening credits, the eastern boundary of North Dakota is inaccurately drawn, bulging out well into Minnesota, where in fact the border between the states is an almost straight, though slightly slanted, line. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prologue: I see a long, straight line athwart a continent. No chain of forts, or deep flowing river, or mountain range, but a line drawn by men upon a map, nearly a century ago, accepted with a handshake, and kept ever since. A boundary which divides two nations, yet marks their friendly meeting ground. The 49th parallel: the only undefended frontier in the world.
See more »

Crazy Credits

(opening dedication) This film is dedicated to the actors who believed in our story and came from all parts of the world to play in it. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Return to the Edge of the World (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Alouette
(uncredited)
Traditional French folksong
Sung a cappella by Laurence Olivier
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Extraordinary achievement
21 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Yes, it is (was) propaganda. But never has there been a more curiously right and true epitome of the sloppy yet resilient defense of transcontinental democracy than this. Canada wins because Canada is a mess; the Nazi neatness and demand for clear-cut lines falters, and in the end is clobbered with a roundhouse right. So long as I live, I will love this film; it's P&P at their best, and the Vaughan WIlliams score is second to none. What else can one say? I wish I were Canadian.

And since the IMDb, to which I contributed long before it became such a commercial concern, insists that I have at least 10 lines of text, I will keep on jabbering for a few more lines, in order to preserve the above comments for posteriority ...


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