49th Parallel

49th Parallel

DVD - 2007
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When a Nazi U-boat crew headed by the ruthless Lieutenant Hirth is stranded in Canada during the thick of World War II, the men evade capture by hiding out in a series of rural communities before trying to cross the border into the still-neutral United States.

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p
petruchio
Jul 02, 2019

Going through the Powell/ Pressberger films, I've got to say this my favorite. I've either lived in or visited almost all the locations. I remember seeing members of the Hutterite community in Manitoba grocery stores often. They had an air of mystery about them. Gorgeous film (obviously, it's Canada, eh.) Acting is superb. Olivier, Howard and Portman for sure, but Canadian Raymond Massey steals the film, imo. This film was respectful to Canadian culture and it's indigenous which says a lot about the integrity of the production team especially considering the year it was made.
P.S. Someone commented below that Canada wasn't in the war yet during the events of this film and that's incorrect. The States were neutral, not us.

r
Ron@Ottawa
Apr 01, 2019

Have to say this B/W film of the past is dated by today's standard. It was supposed to be war-time anti-Nazi propaganda as well. What is interesting is you get to visit a good part of Canada that existed over half a century ago. So there is definitely historic value for those interested in it.

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1860Colt
Sep 08, 2018

The strangest film I have ever seen. I have no idea if it's supposed to be a satire, propaganda, adventure, or war film. It honestly makes no friggin sense whatsoever. We follow the Germans, we see their adventure to return home, yet we don't sympathize with the Nazis. The ending follows a similar pattern: are we supposed to feel relieved the surviving Nazi reaches the border, and sadness when he is killed by a soldier? Or elation that a deserter redeems himself by killing a Nazi, a deserter who we have not seen until the last two minutes of footage? That's this movie in a nutshell, you have no idea what to think or feel. But it has small roles by Laurence Olivier, the actor who played Leslie in Gone With the Wind, and the mother from Mary Poppins, so it has that.

r
RobertPowers
Jul 27, 2015

1941 British film set entirely in Canada and dedicated with affection to all of us. Often funny and well-observed canadianisms are intermingled with a potent look at the progress of Nazi propaganda within this clearly western propaganda film. What is especially potent is that the enemy of the film is not made to appear ludicrous and the heroes are not also one-dimensional. Besides all this it's a hoot to see Canada from Newfoundland to Vancouver to Hudson's Bay in 1941. Great script - lots of fun.

g
garycornell
Jun 08, 2014

Please add my voice of approval at the work of English Director Michael Powell on The 49th Parallel. Not many movies show us the side of the Nazi's like the 49th Parallel. There is amazing footage of a crew from a sunken U Boat trying to cross Canada to the United States. (We had not entered World War II at the time). Powell had a great script, film crew and cast for this film. You can be sure that this will be one of your favorite English films!

Though quite fantasic, this is a well made and truly entertaining film that manages to transport the viewer into another reality. Action adventure near its best.

NightGoat72 Feb 23, 2014

Though often dismissed as a minor, early curiosity in the cannon of Powell/Pressburger films, this gem is quite a marvel. Though it was created as a piece of anti-isolationist WWII propaganda, the film's script is a surprisingly effective work of humanist persuasion. But all of that takes a back seat to the film's absolutely stunning location photography, filmed beautifully in black and white.

c
campingstove
Jan 08, 2013

It plays more like propaganda than an actual movie. But it is still pretty interesting, and the all star cast is fun to watch.

aaa5756 Oct 10, 2012

Sound and Very well done old school war movie. I would recommend this movie for all to see.

Glencoe_Mike Oct 08, 2012

Much of it is breathtaking but it also runs long and its propaganda does not necessarily make it hold up over time.

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