Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
or
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here

49th Parallel

Leslie Howard , Laurence Olivier , Michael Powell    Unrated   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
Price: CDN$ 34.39 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: CDN$ 8.60 (20%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Tuesday, July 29? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.

Product Details


Product Description

Product Description

At once a compelling piece of anti-isolationist propaganda and a quick-witted wartime thriller, 49th Parallel is a classic early work from the inimitable British filmmaking team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. When a Nazi U-boat crew, headed by the ruthless Eric Portman, 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. Both soul-stirring and delightfully entertaining, 49th Parallel features a colorful cavalcade of characters played by larger-than-life actors Laurence Olivier, Raymond Massey, Anton Walbrook, and Leslie Howard.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Customer Reviews

4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sur toute la ligne ! Feb. 6 2013
By MFJ
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Le produit m'a été livré dans le délai prévu. La qualité mentionnée était exacte. Je suis très satisfait et je recommande fortement ce vendeur. Excellent sur toute la ligne !
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Germans are coming! The Germans are coming!! Jan. 7 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Michael Powell directed this odd wartime propaganda film, set in Canada, before the American entry into WWII. A German U-boat has infiltrated the Canadian coastline, seeking to attack and subvert our neighbors to the North, before Uncle sam can wake up and get into the fight. The Canucks make short work of the Nazi, sub, sinking it in Hudson Bay, but a reconnaissance team, now stranded in Newfoundland, sets out to smuggle themselves into the US, where, sheltered by American neutrality, they intend on spreading Nazi propaganda, or perhaps even blowing up the American capitol, or some other act of terrorism. Viewed in the wake of the September 11th, 2001 bombings, this was a remarkable film, particularly as the German strategy was specifically to subvert the openness and freedom of the "decadent" democracies, and turn the rule of law into a weapon against them. Sound familiar? Two sequences bear the unique Powellian stamp of the director's odd, askew sense of humor. The first is a prolonged "Witness"-like interlude in a rural Mennonite community, where the gentleness and loving acceptance of the farmers threaten to upend the authority of the fanatical German leader. Once he manages to peel his men away from the embrace of pacifism and equality, the commandant leads his men Westward in a reckless race towards the border in the Pacific Northwest. The film's most brilliant scene unfolds as the manhunt traps them in an "Indian Days" celebration at a national park: when the police take over the PA system and address the crowd to warn them of the hidden spies, the Germans shrink with terror as they are described to the tiniest, most accurate detail. Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Why America should fight the Nazis June 26 2000
Format:VHS Tape
A damaged U-boat is stranded in a Canadian bay in the early years of World War II. The Fanatical Nazi captain and his crew must reach the neutral United States or be captured. Along the way they meet a variety of characters each with their own views on the war and nationalism. In this film Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger show their ideas of why the United States should join the Allied fight against the Nazis.
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!! July 21 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This film is genuinely great. Eric Portman is absolutely
perfect as a Nazi. Niall McGinniss is terrific as a "good"
Nazi. Leslie Howard is wasted. Laurence Olivier, a really
overrated actor, is completely ridiculous (what an AWFUL accent).
The scenery and music are really good for a war picture. Concentrate on Portman, ignore Olivier, and enjoy a great movie.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  46 reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "today Europe, tomorrow the world !" March 13 2005
By Alejandra Vernon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
These are the words spoken by the Nazis in this film to strike enough fear into the hearts of Americans to encourage them to join WWII, in this all-star propaganda vehicle that is riveting and features terrific performances; some of the big names involved in this production were also behind the camera, with Michael Powell directing, Emeric Pressburger as writer, Freddie Young as cinematographer, David Lean as editor, and a score by Ralph Vaughn Williams.

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.
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent WWII Propaganda piece from Powell and Pressburger... Fine DVD presentation from Criterion March 9 2007
By dooby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This was Powell and Pressburger's contribution to the British war effort. It's main aim was to help sway the American public into joining the war on the British side. By 1940, Britain and it's Empire, including Canada, were at war with Nazi Germany. America remained adamantly neutral. The US Neutrality Act forbade any direct appeal by the British to the American people but P&P sidestepped this by having the Germans stage a landing in Canada instead and showing how the Nazis were a threat even to far-away America.

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. Leslie Howard plays to type, the caricature of the glib, upper-crust, Anglo-Canadian gentleman, totally uninterested in the war half a world away, but who finally stands up when it truly counts. Raymond Massey plays a Canadian soldier gone AWOL. We see Blackfoot Indians in full regalia, in the Canadian Rockies, staring balefully at the invaders, as the valiant RCMP hunt down the fugitives. Even German Canadians, in the form of a German Hutterite community (similar to the Amish), make their loyalty to Canada clear, when they proudly avow their German heritage while disdainfully forswearing any kinship with the Nazis. It is unabashed wartime propaganda and it is none too subtle. But it was and remains enjoyable. P&P won an Oscar for the film's original screenplay.

All 18 minutes worth of footage previously deleted from the American release has been replaced. This includes the German Lieutenant Hirst's exposition on Nazi racial theory, where he lumps the Canadian Eskimos (Inuit) together with Negroes as "semi-apes", just "one-degree" above the Jews. Also restored is the scene with the Inuit, Nick, lying dead on the floor with his skull shattered by a rifle butt. Also restored are references to the priest Father Malotte as a German spy - this latter sequence being deleted for fear of offending American Catholics. The ending works almost like an early Hitchcock thriller - will they or will they not reach the safety of America and what will the Americans do when they arrive?

The picture has been handsomely restored with only an occasional instance of dirt seen. It is presented in a slightly window-boxed 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Contrast, black level and grey scale are perfect. The sound is presented in its original 1.0 mono, with clear dialogue and fine music reproduction. Optional English subtitles are provided. There is an excellent full-length commentary from film and music historian Bruce Eder. Aside from the film he talks at some length on Ralph Vaughan Williams' fine score, relating it to Vaughan Williams' various other works. The first disc is rounded out with the original theatrical trailer.

The second disc contains three items. The first is another P&P wartime effort, "The Volunteer", a 46-minute recruitment film for the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm. It stars then Lt. Cmdr. Ralph Richardson with a cameo by his friend Laurence Olivier. It has extensive footage of the FAA, which by then (1943) was equipped with the Seafire (naval variant of the famous Spitfire). We follow the Royal Navy as it sails around the Mediterranean with the Seafires being put through their paces. The second item is an hour-long audio exerpt from the memoirs of Michael Powell detailing the making of 49th Parallel. The final item is a 50-minute BBC Arts documentary "A Pretty British Affair" chronicling the life-long partnership of Powell and Pressburger with tributes from younger America directors like Francis Coppola and Martin Scorcese. Picture and sound are excellent throughout. There is a 10-page booklet with a fine article on P&P's various wartime efforts, followed by the transcript of Michael Powell's speech at the premier of 49th Parallel.

Note: The 49th Parallel refers to the US-Canada border, which as the film states at the beginning, remains the only undefended border in the world.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Germans are coming! The Germans are coming!! Jan. 7 2003
By DJ Joe Sixpack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
Michael Powell directed this odd wartime propaganda film, set in Canada, before the American entry into WWII. A German U-boat has infiltrated the Canadian coastline, seeking to attack and subvert our neighbors to the North, before Uncle sam can wake up and get into the fight. The Canucks make short work of the Nazi, sub, sinking it in Hudson Bay, but a reconnaissance team, now stranded in Newfoundland, sets out to smuggle themselves into the US, where, sheltered by American neutrality, they intend on spreading Nazi propaganda, or perhaps even blowing up the American capitol, or some other act of terrorism. Viewed in the wake of the September 11th, 2001 bombings, this was a remarkable film, particularly as the German strategy was specifically to subvert the openness and freedom of the "decadent" democracies, and turn the rule of law into a weapon against them. Sound familiar? Two sequences bear the unique Powellian stamp of the director's odd, askew sense of humor. The first is a prolonged "Witness"-like interlude in a rural Mennonite community, where the gentleness and loving acceptance of the farmers threaten to upend the authority of the fanatical German leader. Once he manages to peel his men away from the embrace of pacifism and equality, the commandant leads his men Westward in a reckless race towards the border in the Pacific Northwest. The film's most brilliant scene unfolds as the manhunt traps them in an "Indian Days" celebration at a national park: when the police take over the PA system and address the crowd to warn them of the hidden spies, the Germans shrink with terror as they are described to the tiniest, most accurate detail. But the celebrants -- typical consumers of spectacle and passive entertainment -- don't even bother to look sideways at the sweating, tense terrorists in their midst. Why bother? Isn't that someone else's job? This is a fun film, both an historical oddity and prescient reminder that wicked people may always prey on the goodwill of those they see as "weak." Recommended!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Old War Time Classic Sept. 4 2003
By Roger Kennedy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
While it bit heavy-handed for today perhaps, this fine movie provides some interestig viewing and amusing portraits. Olivier's cameo as a Qubecois is highly hilarious, and worth seeing for its humor. The German sub-crew are portrayed as hardend Nazi's as they struugle across the depths of Canada attempting to reach a still neautral US. War time scenes of Canada and Canadian outlook at the time are interesting, but will probably be lost on most viewers today. Leslie Howard does a classic scripted scene as a neutral rustic turned into anti-Nazi patriot. Again, much here is pretty standard fare for 1940s war propaganda films, but the acting is solid, and the Germans are not all shown as fanatics. Worth seeing as a period piece, for some good acting, and for lesser known roles by well known actors.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A legendary five stars film! Dec 18 2006
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This is a gripping war drama around the misfortunes of the famous German U- boat, sunk off Canada and the eventual dramatis personae of its survivors trying to reach some safety in neutral territory. One of the most reminded films of the WW2. Cast and direction are superb.

Another point game for that unforgettable British director: Michael Powell (The red shoes, Peeping Tom, Black Narcissus, I know where I'm going)
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category


Feedback