- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
I'm as up for a Noble Canadian/Evil Nazi propaganda pic as the next person (unless that person is this site's H.A.C.) but I'll be damned if I'll put up with two hours of hammy Olivier sporting an Inspector Clouseau accent.
I don't recommend it
I didn't like it as much as other reviewers. First off- I usually don't mind whatever accent an actor wants to use, but Olivier's French accent was pretty bad. Second- I thought it was a mistake to show so much of the film from the POV of the Germans. Because they were the protagonists, I was rooting for them, which I don't think I was supposed to do! Their faces were so sad when they saw their boat being sunk, how could you not feel bad for them? Some of the Germans really were nice, but the movie took pains to show their leader as ruthless- however, the actor gave such a strong performance that I liked the character anyway. I also know quite a bit about World War II, and so I knew that the things that the Germans did that everyone in the film said were evil (such as sinking passenger ships with women and children) were also things the Allies did. If you think about it, the German characters were doing exactly what the Allied heroes were doing in the Great Escape- causing as much trouble as they could in the country they were trapped in. I have to add that I'm really not pro-Nazi (as I'm probably sounding!)- the film just failed to convince me as a propaganda piece, and as just a film I didn't like it either- I thought the script and some of the acting of other characters could have been a lot better. Maybe they should have gotten a less likeable group of actors to play the Germans :). I was only watching for Leslie Howard, and he takes a while to appear. The Germans spend the film wandering from one group of stars to the next- and somehow manage to walk across Canada in a short amount of time! The Canadian scenery, though is magnificent.
Exalting Leslie Howard (LH)
- Will Fox
Born April 3, 1893, Leslie Howard Steiner was one of two sons of Hungarian immigrant to England, a London stockbroker married in 1892. Debonair Englishman LH excelled, playing disillusioned intellectuals and gallant gentlemen on stages and screens in Britain and America for about 30 years. Painfully shy as a child traumatized by World War I, LH turned to the theater for therapy. Acclaimed in London, then in America on Broadway in the 1920s, he debuted Hollywood in "Outward Bound" (1930, intriguing allegory of "crossing over" on oceanliner to Heaven or else, 3.5-stars). "The Animal Kingdom" (1933, 3.5 stars) followed with publisher LH besotted by free-spirited Ann Harding, while married to manipulative Myrna Loy. Ditto depressing Bette Davis in "Of Human Bondage" (1933). He is best remembered for four, 4-stars roles: 1) swashbuckling hero in "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (1934), 2) wandering wise writer meets dreamer Davis and escaping gangster Bogart in "Petrified Forrest" (1936), 3) witty egoist, Prof. Henry Higgins in "Pygmalion" (aka "My Fair Lady," 1938, 4 stars for director star LH), and 4) milquetoast Ashley Wilkes in "Gone With the Wind" (1939). Despite his success, Howard held Hollywood in contempt. "I haven't the slightest intentions of playing another weak, watery character. I've played enough ineffectual characters already." LH told "GWTW" producer David O. Sleznick before accepting his part. In 1940 LH returned to England to fight for freedom. Leslie Howard's airplane shot down by Nazis, June 1, 1943.
- Dashiell Barnes
The first successful propaganda film from Powell & Pressburger. Fine supporting work from Howard, Massey, Olivier & Walbrock; Portman is chilling leading a cast if Nazi's. Pressburger won an Oscar for writing, although some scenarios are too abstract & by today's standards, portray Canadians as one-dimensional stereotypes. A thrilling cross-country tour of Canada overall. I give it a 4/5.
Been played more fairly recently.May have been propaganda,but it's still good film.
- Greg Williams
Excellent movie. Just proves the strangeness of Canadians. So easy going, but when pushed unstoppable and stubborn as hell. Man I love this country.Does a decent job of conveying the shear size of the country as well. Those Germans had to spend a LOT of time travelling to get anywhere.
- Tom Nicholson
Fantastic film. All the reasons to love Canada and hate Hitler.
If the release date of the 49th parallel is 1941, how come the first reported activity of U Boats in the St. Lawrence river is May/October 1942? Were the writers that good?Great Movie.
I am glad TCM chose today to air this wonderful film. I had saw it only one time before - hereat TCM and fell in love with it immediately. Wonderfully played out as it unfolds from one stageto the next. I particularly liked Leslie Howard's character immensely as Phillip Armstrong Scott.Seeing a very young Lawrence Olivier adds to its encapsulated intrigue. Seeing the world of theHutterite Farmers is mindful of the Mennonites - (where I love to eat). If your into a well acted film, a history buff, or a WWII romanticist, then this film was tailor made for you.
John if you see this I wrote to tcm on another subject . They are help ful.
This movie shows the Evil of terrorism in WW II.
- craig brewster
It shows the evil we had to endure the brain washing and evil of Hitler.
- John Dandie
Hi, Was wondering if you could help me, In the 1941 Film 49 Parallel, there was a French Canadian Trapper, Johnny, singing in the cabin , playing his Accordion, It was a French Canadian song, my wife's Grandfather used to sing it to her, but in French, and she doesn't know the words, Is there any way I can find the name of this tune, and then is it possible that it is still available ?? Regards John Dandie