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49th Parallel (1941)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, War, Thriller  |  15 April 1942 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 4,055 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 45 critic

A WW2 U-boat crew is stranded in northern Canada. To avoid internment, they must make their way to the border and get into the still-neutral USA.

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(original story and screenplay), (scenario), 1 more credit »
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Title: 49th Parallel (1941)

49th Parallel (1941) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard George ...
Eric Portman ...
Raymond Lovell ...
Lieutenant Kuhnecke
Niall MacGinnis ...
Vogel
Peter Moore ...
Kranz
John Chandos ...
Lohrmann
Basil Appleby ...
Jahner
...
Johnnie - the Trapper
...
The Factor
Ley On ...
Nick - the Eskimo
Anton Walbrook ...
Peter
...
Anna
Charles Victor ...
Andreas
Frederick Piper ...
David
...
Philip Armstrong Scott
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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

Plot Keywords:

nazi | u boat | canada | seaplane | fight | See All (43) »

Taglines:

THE MIGHTEST MANHUNT THAT EVER SWEPT THE SCREEN! (original poster-all caps) 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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Commissioned by the Ministry of Information to raise worldwide awareness (American in particular) of the Nazi threat. However, it was intended for Canadian consumption also, as many French Canadians did not want to be at war with Germany and did not want to fight. Vichy France was an ally of Nazi Germany, and many French Canadians in Quebec were pro-German. One of the reasons Laurence Olivier, the biggest star in the film, played a French Canadian trapper named Johnny who tells the Nazi officer he is a "Canadian" in the film and not "French" was that it was intended also as propaganda to promote pro-British feeling in Quebec. When Canada resorted to conscription to swell the ranks of its army, there were draft riots throughout Quebec against the UK, which had subjugated New France less than 200 years before. Anti-war sentiment was so rife throughout Canada that Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King declared that only volunteers would be shipped off to Europe. See more »

Goofs

The woman heard over the Factor's radio (the wife of the man he plays chess with via radio) speaks with a thick Brooklyn accent ("sub*moige*"), when in fact she lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 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

The Lake in the Mountains
Written by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Played by Phyllis Sellick
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 ...


16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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