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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 4,035 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:

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When releasing the film for distribution in the US, Columbia Pictures changed the film's title from "49th Parallel" to "The Invaders". 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

(Spoken introduction) "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 by a handshake and kept ever since. A boundary which divides two nations yet marks their friendly meeting grounds, the 49th parallel, the longest undefended frontier in the world." See more »

Connections

Featured in The Ultimate Film (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude: The New Commonwealth
Composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams
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User Reviews

 
Nazis in North America
27 September 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

This film, being labeled as propaganda, seems to be different from the usual fare Hollywood presented for the same purpose during the years of WWII. It takes a director like Michael Powell, working with his usual collaborator, Emeric Pressburger, to turn this movie into a riveting case against fascism. The screen play, by Mr. Pressburger and Rodney Ackland involves the viewer from the start.

Mr. Powell and his crew did wonders with their budgets. Things were done in a much modest scale in England, especially during those days of hardship as the country was already involved in the conflict. By bringing the production to Canada, Mr. Powell achieved a coup by shooting the film in locations that show the majesty of the country.

In a way, "49th Parallel" shows the difference in ideology from the stranded Nazis with the friendliness and openness of Canada. The generosity of that country in receiving, and accepting all the people in need of refuge, is also in sharp contrast with the philosophy advocated by Hitler and his ilk in Europe.

One of Mr. Powell's accomplishment with this film is to present the biggest stars of the English cinema in roles that were not what one expected from these actors to assume. Thus, we watch Leslie Howard, Lawrence Olivier, Anton Walbrook, Raymond Massey in roles that are self effacing, at best, but which leave their mark on us, the viewers. Eric Portman is the only one that is seen throughout the film, as he got the best opportunity of his career where to shine as the hateful Lt. Hans Hirth. A young Glynis Johns is seen at the rural commune.

The great cinematography of Freddie Young and the elegant editing of David Lean are hidden assets of this film. The musical score by Ralph Vaughan Williams is heard in the background.

This is a highly recommended film to realize the greatness of Michael Powell at work.


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