“49th Parallel” is a 1941 war drama directed by Michael Powell and starring Leslie Howard, Laurence Olivier, and Raymond Massey. The movie tells the story of a group of German sailors who become stranded in Canada during World War II.
The sailors are on a mission to gather intelligence and establish a base for the German invasion of North America. However, their plans are thwarted when their U-boat is sunk by the Royal Canadian Air Force. The surviving crew members must now make their way across Canada, avoiding detection by the authorities.
As they travel through Canada, the sailors encounter a variety of characters, including a French-Canadian trapper (played by Olivier), a pacifist writer (played by Howard), and a group of Hutterites (played by Massey and others). These encounters force the sailors to confront their beliefs and assumptions about the world.
The sailors’ journey becomes increasingly desperate as they are pursued by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They resort to violence and theft to survive, leading to tragic consequences for some of the people they encounter.
In the end, the sailors are brought to justice and forced to confront the consequences of their actions. The movie ends with a message of hope and unity, as the characters from different backgrounds come together to fight against the common enemy of fascism.
“49th Parallel” is notable for its anti-fascist message and its portrayal of Canada as a diverse and multicultural society. The movie was nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and is considered a classic of British cinema.
Emeric Pressburger, Rodney Ackland
Leslie Howard, Laurence Olivier, Raymond Massey