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49th Parallel (The Criterion Collection)
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
- New, restored high-definition digital transfer
- Commentary by film and music historian Bruce Eder
- The Volunteer, a 1943 Powell and Pressburger short starring Ralph Richardson
- A Pretty British Affair, a BBC documentary on the careers of Powell and Pressburger
- Original theatrical trailer
- Booklet with new essay by film scholar Charles Barr and an excerpt Powell's 1941 premiere speech
Top Customer Reviews
As the German U-boat gets bombed by the Canadian Air Force, stranding the six man landing party led by Lt. Hirth (Eric Portman), you follow them as they try to "blend" into the Canadian populace, with the intentions of crossing the border into the US.
Some of the stellar performances include Sir Laurence Olivier as a French Canadian trapper who has spent so long in the wild he is not aware the world is at war, Anton Walbrook ("The Red Shoes") is fabulous and so handsome as the leader of a peaceable community, where we also find a lovely young Glynis Johns, who is an orphan living there. Leslie Howard, an actor who I could watch read the proverbial telephone book, is marvelous as a writer who invites the strangers into his teepee in the woods, and Raymond Massey gives a delicious portrayal of a young man who has overstayed his leave from the military.
Also starring in this film is the Canadian landscape, which we get to see and admire as the Nazis make their way from coast to coast.
Though the plot has some gaping holes, it is well written, fast-paced, and quite exciting, and is a fascinating film from an historical perspective, and because of the participation of so many great performers and filmmakers.
The crew of the German raider U-37, after torpedoing a Canadian merchant ship, is sunk by the RCAF in northern Hudson Bay, near the Canadian Arctic (Talk of propaganda - as we learn in the commentary, the three B-10 bombers we see attacking the sub, actually made up the entire fleet of the RCAF in 1940). Six of the U-37 crew make it to shore alive. They have to cross hostile Canadian territory to reach the safety of neutral America. The film contrasts the kindness and decency of Canadians, emphasising their kinship with their American brethren to the south, against the brutality and inhumanity of the Nazis. As the U-37 crew trek southward, they encounter various Canadians who prove their loyalty in one way or another, often delivering ringing lectures about the rightness of the allied cause. Laurence Olivier is almost unrecognisable as the jolly French trapper whom the Nazis try to tempt by declaring that Hitler has sworn to free French Canadians from the tyranny of the British. Instead he risks his life trying to warn the Americans. Eskimo hunters (Inuit), described as semi-apes by the Nazis, manage to kill one of the Germans as they flee south.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Early in World War 2, a German U-Boat is sunk in Hudson Bay, stranding a raiding party of six men. They decide to head across Canada to the United States, where they hope that they... Read morePublished 3 months ago by The Reviewer Formerly Known as Kurt Johnson
Great transfer to DVD. Good movie that reflects the times it represents. Good watch.Published 3 months ago by larry j
Well made, suspenseful, and made for the times, before the U.S. got into the war.Published 8 months ago by 4:10 Miler
My Dad's PCP suggested this book to him. Got it, he loved it and enjoyed reading it.Published 9 months ago by Deedles
WW2 classic. Originally intended as propaganda, but a worthy movie in it's own right.Published 9 months ago by Robert I. Baker
This film is mostly propaganda, entertainingly done. The German U-37, a wood mockup that looks decent enough, sinks a freighter in the St. Read morePublished 13 months ago by C. Andrews
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