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   3,708 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 only undefended frontier in the world" 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:
According to the book "The Great Adventure Films" by Tony Thomas, "The grand title ['49th Parallel']--referring to the line of latitude dividing much of Canada from the United States--is misleading since the film is not about American-Canadian relations, and the only point in which Americans are involved occurs at Niagara Falls, which is not on that latitude."See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: During the chess game, the coordinates given are backwards. White's move h2-g3, would be on the right-hand side of the board from White's perspective, while Black's pawn move from b7-b5 would be on Black's right side. In the movie, both moves are made from the respective player's left-hand side.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:
Soundtrack:
The Lake in the MountainsSee more »

FAQ

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
"The only undefended frontier in the world", 6 February 2009
Author: ackstasis from Australia

You'd be tempted to think that there's no way '49th Parallel (1941)' could have turned out anything less than excellent. Not only do Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger perform their famous double-act, but there's also the equally-enviable partnership of David Lean (here working as editor) and cinematographer Freddie Young. But we must remember that in the realm of WWII propaganda there lie dangerous waters, and only the most talented filmmakers (so far, I count Hitchcock, Wilder, Renoir, Curtiz and Reed) can navigate their war-themed picture towards any degree of lasting respectability. We can certainly add Michael Powell to that list of famous names. '49th Parallel' is different from most of its contemporaries because it presents the film solely from the German point-of-view. The portrayal is not favourable, of course, and at least their commander reeks of pure evil, but the German characters are nonetheless humanised to no small extent. These aren't cold, immoral monsters, but ordinary people, swept up in euphoric Nazi ideology and pining for the simpler life they can barely remember.

When a German submarine is destroyed in Hudson Bay, Canada, the surviving Nazi soldiers – led by the fiercely patriotic Kommandant Bernsdorff (Richard George) – must navigate their way across the country into the then-neutral United States of America. The native citizens they meet along the way are largely jovial and laid-back, many hardly aware of the war raging across the Atlantic, and the Germans haughtily deem them foes unworthy of the Fuhrer's might. But these Canadians, as placid as they first seem, can surely recognise fascism when they see it, and each of the soldiers is picked off one by one, like the characters from a war-themed version of Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None." Among the unwitting local patriots is French-Canadian trapper Laurence Olivier – a caricature but an entertaining one – anthropologist/author Leslie Howard, and grinning deserter Raymond Massey, each of whom shows the Nazis that they're dealing with an enemy whose sheer spirit overshadows all of Hitler's armies combined.

The film was apparently intended as a tribute to Canada's involvement in the war, and perhaps – as was Hitchcock's 'Foreign Correspondent (1940)' – a call-to-arms for the then-isolationist United States, who would hold back until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941. Many of the film's characters remark upon the sheer remoteness of the war relative to their own lives, unaware that it is actually standing before them; this idea was almost certainly aimed at American audiences. After the brilliantly suspenseful first act at Hudson Bay, I initially felt that the film was going off track by continuing to follow the Germans after their aerial departure from the remote village. However, as time wore on, I began to appreciate what the film was aiming for. Though the snow-swept slopes around Hudson Bay may seem leagues away from the Canadian/American border, Kommandant Bernsdorff and his ever-dwindling band gradually progress their way south, until, not only does he reach the border, but he physically crosses into the United States. The War had never been closer.

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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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