IMDb > 49th Parallel (1941)
49th Parallel
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49th Parallel (1941) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   3,737 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Emeric Pressburger (original story and screenplay)
Rodney Ackland (scenario) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for 49th Parallel on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 April 1942 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
THE MIGHTEST MANHUNT THAT EVER SWEPT THE SCREEN! (original poster-all caps) See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The best of all propaganda films. See more (57 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Richard George ... Kommandant Bernsdorff
Eric Portman ... Lieutenant Hirth
Raymond Lovell ... Lieutenant Kuhnecke
Niall MacGinnis ... Vogel
Peter Moore ... Kranz
John Chandos ... Lohrmann
Basil Appleby ... Jahner

Laurence Olivier ... Johnnie - the Trapper

Finlay Currie ... The Factor
Ley On ... Nick - the Eskimo
Anton Walbrook ... Peter

Glynis Johns ... Anna
Charles Victor ... Andreas
Frederick Piper ... David

Leslie Howard ... Philip Armstrong Scott
Tawera Moana ... George - the Indian
Eric Clavering ... Art
Charles Rolfe ... Bob

Raymond Massey ... Andy Brock
Theodore Salt ... A United States Customs Officer
O.W. Fonger ... A United States Customs Officer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Robert Beatty ... RCMP Mountie in Alberta (voice) (uncredited)

Elisabeth Bergner ... Anna (uncredited)
Eric Berry ... Nazi Radio Announcer (uncredited)
Gron Davies ... Officer on Submarine (uncredited)
Leslie Falardeau ... Aviator on Seaplane (uncredited)
Lionel Grose ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Jack Hynes ... Aviator on Seaplane (uncredited)
Stuart Latham ... Second Nazi Radio Announcer (uncredited)
Norman Luxton ... Man in fringed jacket on balcony at Banff Indian Day (uncredited)
Vincent Massey ... Prologue Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Percy Parsons ... Hi-Jacked Canadian Motorist (uncredited)
Gerry Wilmot ... Canadian Radio Announcer (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Powell 
 
Writing credits
Emeric Pressburger (original story and screenplay)

Rodney Ackland (scenario) and
Emeric Pressburger (scenario)

Produced by
Michael Powell .... producer
George H. Brown .... associate producer (uncredited)
Roland Gillett .... associate producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Ralph Vaughan Williams 
 
Cinematography by
Freddie Young (director of photography) (as Frederick Young)
 
Film Editing by
David Lean 
 
Art Direction by
David Rawnsley 
 
Makeup Department
George Blackler .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Harold Boxall .... in charge of production
George H. Brown .... associate in charge of production (as George Brown)
Roland Gillett .... associate in charge of production
John Sutro .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arthur Seabourne .... associate director (as A. Seabourne)
 
Art Department
Frederick Pusey .... associate art director
Sydney Streeter .... associate art director (as Sydney S. Streeter)
Peter Cushing .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Walter Darling .... sound recorder
C.C. Stevens .... sound recorder
A.W. Watkins .... sound supervisor
Dex Harrison .... sound engineer (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Osmond Borradaile .... photography: special backgrounds (as Osmond Borrowdaile)
Henty Henty-Creer .... cameraman
Skeets Kelly .... cameraman
Jim Body .... clapper boy (uncredited)
Fred Daniels .... still photographer: portraits (uncredited)
Leslie Falardeau .... camera grip (uncredited)
Jack Hynes .... still photographer (uncredited)
David Mason .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Oscar Paulin .... camera grip (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Hugh Stewart .... associate editor
 
Music Department
Muir Mathieson .... musical director
Phyllis Sellick .... musician: piano, Philip Armstrong Scott segment, on radio (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Nugent M. Clougher .... advisor: Canada
Abraham Bloomfield .... interpreter: Eskimo (uncredited)
Betty Curtis .... continuity (uncredited)
Betty Curtis .... production secretary (uncredited)
Captain Halfyard .... master of "The Continent" (uncredited)
Bill Paton .... assistant: Mr Powell (uncredited)
Bill Paton .... double: Leslie Howard, Lake O'Hara (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The 49th Parallel" - International (English title) (informal title)
"The Forty-Ninth Parallel" - International (English title) (informal title)
"The Invaders" - USA (informal title)
See more »
Runtime:
123 min | USA:104 min | USA:122 min (TV version: M-G-M print)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | Norway:12 (re-rating) (1962) | Norway:16 (1946) | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:Not Rated | USA:TV-14 (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
While some may think that this film was inspired by Franz von Werra's escape from a Canadian POW camp (as portrayed in The One That Got Away (1957)), von Werra wasn't sent to Canada until January 1941 and his escape wasn't reported until he got back to Germany in April 1941. This film was written as Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger went to Canada in late 1940 and production was underway by January 1941. Powell and Pressburger wouldn't have heard about von Werra until the film was almost completed.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Showbiz Goes to War (1982) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Prelude: The New CommonwealthSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
64 out of 98 people found the following review useful.
The best of all propaganda films., 1 July 1999
Author: Spleen from Canberra, Australia

Unless you believe George Orwell's claim that all art is propaganda; which, with all due respect to one of the twentieth century's finest minds, is poppycock. The propaganda film is a special kind of film, usually unbearable garbage. This one is an exception.

A German U-boat is sunk just off the coast of Canada and the surviving crew must make it through hostile enemy country to the neutral United States. After a short while their plight becomes known and the whole world is watching to see which nation, Canada or Germany, can manage to win the metaphorical battle.

The most interesting thing - considering the movie as propaganda - is that Powell's intended audience was the United States: he wanted to get that country involved in the war, or at least get the people of that country to support the war. Realise this and you realise how remarkably subtle the film is. Not once is Powell's goal explicitly stated or even alluded to; and even the underlying message (the USA *is* involved in the war, whether it wants to admit it or not) requires some thought to work out. Yet it's an integral part of the story. More explicit is the democracy vs. dictatorship theme, which is hammered home a number of different ways, not all of them obvious. (This theme is handled a bit too obviously now and then, I'll admit.)

Another interesting fact is that the hero of the story is either democracy, or Canada, or the Western Allies, or some such - no one person plays the role. The central characters are the Germans. In fact they're all quite likable (except for the doctrinaire Nazi, of course). Powell bends over backwards to inhibit anti-German sentiment. Despite all this we are not once on the Germans' side. We want them to be captured so long as they continue to serve an evil regime.

It's also a beautifully shot travelogue of Canada. And Ralph Vaughan Williams's score is lovely. He was seventy or so when he wrote it; he'd never written for the cinema before; he had his own ideas about what film music should be like.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (57 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for 49th Parallel (1941)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Chippewa Canal ndenton-1
I love this film pierre-albertini3
If in western Canada why go back to Niagara Falls? SashaDabinski
Courageous Movie! keechelus
The Value of 'Propaganda' (possible Spoilers) annatrope
Powell's and Pressburger's kind of humour-possible spoilers! Equinox23
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