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 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard George ...
...
Raymond Lovell ...
Lieutenant Kuhnecke
...
Vogel
Peter Moore ...
Kranz
John Chandos ...
Lohrmann
Basil Appleby ...
Jahner
...
Johnnie - the Trapper
...
The Factor
Ley On ...
Nick - the Eskimo
...
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

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the British war film documentary episode Best of British: The War Game (1987), this film's " . . . main message was to pluck the conscience of the neutral USA to come to the aid of Britain [in the Second World War]." See more »

Goofs

Even in mirror image h2 x g3 was incorrect. h would be the outside file and g the second outside file. The pawn capture was from the second outside file to the third outside file. The correct designation for the moves is b2 x c3, and g7 - g5. 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

Referenced in BBC Proms: Prom 2: Music from Great British Films (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Absorbing Adventure
14 December 2007 | by See all my reviews

Released a couple of months before the bombing at Pearl Harbor, this is a propaganda film aimed at rallying the world against the Nazi threat. After a disjointed start, it slowly gathers momentum and ultimately proves to be a satisfying adventure about a group of stranded Nazi soldiers surreptitiously trying to make its way across Canada. Although Howard, Olivier, and Massey get top billing, they have small roles. Olivier is a hoot as a French Canadian. Interestingly, Vaughan Williams gets above the title billing for his fine score, although it is underused. Powell, working from a script by partner Pressburger, tells the story in a stark, documentary style.


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