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49th Parallel (1941)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller, War | 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 U.S.

Director:

Michael Powell

Writers:

Emeric Pressburger (original story and screenplay), Rodney Ackland (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Howard ... Philip Armstrong Scott
Raymond Massey ... Andy Brock
Laurence Olivier ... Johnnie - The Trapper
Anton Walbrook ... Peter
Eric Portman ... Lieutenant Ernst Hirth
Glynis Johns ... Anna
Niall MacGinnis ... Vogel
Finlay Currie ... The Factor
Raymond Lovell Raymond Lovell ... Lieutenant Kuhnecke
John Chandos John Chandos ... Lohrmann
Basil Appleby Basil Appleby ... Jahner
Eric Clavering Eric Clavering ... Art
Charles Victor Charles Victor ... Andreas
Ley On Ley On ... Nick - the Eskimo
Richard George Richard George ... Kommandant Bernsdorff
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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 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 <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 | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

15 April 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

49th Parallel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP132,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ortus Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All of the opening travelogue was shot by Freddie Young with a handheld camera out the windows of planes, trains, and automobiles. See more »

Goofs

When the train is going over the railroad bridge at Niagara Falls ostensibly traveling from Canada to the U.S., it actually is heading from the U.S. into Canada. The water in the Niagara River under the bridge in the scene is coming toward the camera, with the train moving across the bridge from left to right. Canada would be on the right in the shot, the direction the so-called U.S. bound train is traveling. 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

Along with the credits for the actors at the beginning of the film, there is a 'starring' credit for 'The music of Ralph Vaughan Williams'. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original film shows Hirth standing in a crowd in the rain while a woman is reading the latest bulletins to the blind soldier; meanwhile the other two sell their binoculars for money to eat, after which Hirth tells them of his plan to walk to Vancouver to catch a Japanese freighter home, based on his visit to a travel bureau. But in the American film, the entire scene after the news bulletin part is cut out, which leads to an enormous amount of confusion. Until then the Germans had been making south for the US border; suddenly, with no explanation, they're shown hiking along the road headed west, only a few miles north of the border. (The overlaid maps confirm this.) This made no sense whatsoever, and until we finally saw the complete film it was the major lapse in the film's progression. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Return to the Edge of the World (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Alouette
(uncredited)
Traditional French folksong
Sung to accompaniment of accordion by Laurence Olivier
See more »

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User Reviews

 
" Your leader is hell bent on wrapping the world in Barbed Wire? "
28 April 2014 | by thinker1691See all my reviews

Emeric Pressburger wrote the book which inspired this movie called " 49th Parallel " or 'The Invaders' and which was later directed by Michael Powell, neither could have dreamed, such a small movie could have ever garnered such world wide attention. From it's inception to the finished scene, one is impressed by the remarkable journey of the main characters and their trek through the rugged Canadian wilderness. That journey begins when a German U-Boat surfaces in the waters of Canada. Stopping for supplies, the Submarine is suddenly attacked by the Canadaian military and within minutes is sunk. Only a handful of men escape and they proceed to the interior of the country where they hope to be rescued by German compatriots. all the while they kidnapped, maim and murder anyone who confronts their Nazi Philosophy. Throughout the rest of the movie the Germans which include their leader try to blend in wherever they travel weather it be through religious settlements or high mountain campsites. For American audiences, it's disturbing to visually search for the international actors like Laurence Olivier, Leslie Howard and Raymond Massey scattered throughout the film. Still, it's worth it as they do so well at keeping our interest glued to the screen. It's also noteworthy to learn the film and it's author as well as the director secured a multitude of awards. Therefore, the movie is easily recommended to any and all seeking entertainment. ****


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