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49th Parallel [2 Discs] [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [English] [1941]

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$29.99
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Overview

Special Features

  • Disc One: The Film -
  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Audio commentary by film and music historian Bruce Eder
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Disc Two: The Supplements -
  • The Volunteer, a 1943 Powell and Pressburger war-effort short starring Ralph Richardson
  • Excerpts from Michael Powell's audio dictations for his autobiography
  • A Pretty British Affair, a BBC documentary on the careers of Powell and Pressburger, which considers their World War II - era collaborations and features rare footage of the filmmakers together
  • Plus: A new essay by film scholar Charles Barr and an excerpt from Powell's 1941 speech

Synopsis

The 49th Parallel
49th Parallel is a British wartime entreaty for Empire solidarity, concentrating on rousing the patriotic fervor of the citizens of Canada. A group of Nazi naval officers and crewmen are stranded on Canadian soil (we have no sympathy for the castaways, inasmuch as we have just seen them refusing food and water to a group of torpedoed British seamen). Led by lieutenant Eric Portman, the Nazis try to stir up sympathy amongst the Canadians, beginning with apolitical Quebeckian trapper Laurence Olivier. Failing to convert Olivier--even by force--the Germans move on to a Hutterite farming community, where again they are unsuccessful in winning adherents (though, conversely, German seaman Niall Mac Ginnis defects to the other side). They then cross the path of professorial author Leslie Howard, who is living amongst the Indians to soak up "local color". Even Howard proves too formidable for the Nazis, and by film's end the surviving invaders are hiding out in a train, where they are discovered and captured by AWOL Canadian soldier Raymond Massey. Most TV viewers know 49th Parallel under its alternate title, The Invaders. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Leslie Howard
    Leslie Howard - Philip Armstrong Scott
  • Raymond Massey
    Raymond Massey - Andy Brock
  • Laurence Olivier
    Laurence Olivier - Johnnie
  • Anton Walbrook
    Anton Walbrook - Peter
  • Glynis Johns
    Glynis Johns - Anna
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