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 crew's return to the Fatherland. He needs to reach the neutral U.S., or be captured. Along the way, they meet a variety of characters, each with their own views on the war and nationalism. In this movie, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger show their ideas of why the U.S. should join the Allied fight against the Nazis.Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
The dedication states: "This film is dedicated to Canada, and to Canadians all over the Dominion who helped us to make it; to the Governments of the U.S.A., of the Dominion of Canada, and of the United Kingdom, who made it possible; and to the actors who believed in our story and came from all parts of the world to play in it." See more »
The shots of the freighter sunk by the U-boat are clearly of two different vessels. (The first and third shots are of a ship with a large, rounded stern, while the ship seen in the second shot -- through the Germans' binoculars -- has a sharp, shallow stern. The funnels and some deck equipment are also different.) See more »
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.
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(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 »
They also cut the montage of the Germans working at the Hutterite settlement, and a bit from Hirth's zig-zag escape after Banff Park -- the part with him aboard the airplane and its attendant radio report, though the rest of the scene is left in. See more »
The score of this film should not be left out of any appreciation...
I should only like to add to the already comprehensive, very well observed and intelligent review of this film on the previous pages, namely, that the film score by the great Ralph Vaughan Williams should not be left out of any discussion of the picture. As the film starts with the magnificent mountain scenery and Eric Portman's fantastic introductory speech ("shook hands on it and kept it ever since...", "the 49th parallel, the only undefended border in the world...") you seem to be immediately transported into the spirit and persuasion of this exercise in trying to convince all Americans, not just Canadians, that they should join the fight, their place is with all the others, Europeans, British, French, all peoples under the Nazi yoke.
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