49th Parallel (The Invaders) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

49th Parallel (The Invaders) Reviews

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½ May 28, 2012
An early Powell & Pressburger production features the story of six Nazi soldiers stranded in Canada after their sub is bombed. The unit makes its way toward freedom, but they find they've underestimated the opposition. Interestingly, this anti-isolationist propaganda manages to keep the Nazis front and center (and the story compelling) without generating sympathy for them. Lightheartedness is present in Pressburger & Ackland's script, but balanced with the very real threat the fugitives represent. Laurence Olivier makes for a cartoonish but entertaining trapper, and the rest of the cast bring in sharp, emotional performances.
May 27, 2012
Pretty good WWII propaganda film suffers, somewhat, from being a bit too long!!
April 6, 2012
I thought this strange that the Germans were played by English actors, and they didn't even attempt a slight Herr Flick accent, but once you come to terms with that peculiarity, the rest of the film is pretty entertaining. Laurence Olivier makes a decent attempt at playing a French Canadian, funny/irritating though his character is. There's plenty of Canadian scenery, complete with esquimaux and indians. The propaganda is laid on with a trowel towards the end, but it's never boring for a moment and is often quite exciting. 7.5/10
March 2, 2012
Total wartime propaganda out of the UK before the US entered WWII. Really well done and surprisingly entertaining. Great cast, and good story. Slightly bizarre, but keeps it real, for we all know there is nothing good about a Nazi.
February 6, 2012
I am a huge fan of P&Ps' wartime films and 49th Parallel is one of my favorites. The story of Nazis on north american soil brought the war to the doorstep of the American public and it remains to this day a thrilling tale of Nazi-Invaders and their destruction by the Canadian landscape and culture.
December 20, 2011
A rather brave film t make in 1941, the tale of German u-boaters trapped in Canada who attempt to make their way to the still-neutral USA, as the Germans weren't all depicted as caricature Nazis, although one was not expected to have any sympathies for them. the film did its propaganda job well nonetheless.
November 9, 2011
Our introduction to Laurence Oliver's French Canadian trapper, Johnnie, has him in the tub singing 'Alouette.' I burst out laughing. Oliver speaking like a cartoon French Canadian is so awesomely funny that I wasn't paying attention to the plot during the first half of the film. A Nazi u-boat is sunk in Hudson's Bay and the survivors have to trek across country to try and get home? Nazi's in Canada? Never noticed.
JonathanHutchings
Super Reviewer
November 5, 2011
I know this film was meant to rally the US to take action in the war effort, but 49th Parallel is a propaganda film whose polemics would make Eisenstein blush. Plus, Olivier doesn't just chew the scenery, he swallows it whole.
November 4, 2011
This started off pretty shakily, with Laurence Olivier's French-Canadian accent not amongst his finest moments, but the cast list for the film is quite misleading, because the three 'leads' actually all play quite small parts in the film - the story actually focusing on Eric Portman and five other Nazis on the run after escaping the destruction of their U-boat in Hudson Bay. What follows is great anti-Nazi propaganda. I love that screenwriter Emeric Pressburger commented, "Goebbels considered himself an expert on propaganda, but I thought I'd show him a thing or two."
½ September 23, 2011
Early film from director Michael Powell with partner Emeric Pressburger about a group of Nazi U-boat naval officers stranded on Canadian soil and trying to make their way home. Fascinating exploration of the various Canadians they encounter and try to convert to their cause or use to get home. Film features great use of locations and was shot by renowned cinematographer Freddie Young ("Lawrence of Arabia," "Doctor Zhivago"). Definitely some anti-German propaganda but totally understandable for the time it was made. Film does however give some sympathy for the Germans involved which must have been shocking to some back in 1941.
September 18, 2011
Portraying Winnipeg as a bustling metropolis made me chuckle ... how did the NAZI's not get stabbed?
½ July 31, 2011
This film may very well have been commissioned by the Canadian Tourist bureau. Not only does Canada look incredibly beautiful but the Canadians come across as thoroughly decent types all round. Whilst clearly a quickly conceived WW2 propaganda film produced when Britain and its commonwealth stood alone againts the Nazis and released only a couple of months after Hitler invaded the soviet union and only 3 months before Pearl Harbour. Powell and Pressburger manage to imbue it with enough of their magic to give it a timeless brilliance
July 27, 2011
This looks like a suspenseful war movie.... I like that.
rubystevens
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2011
sure it's wartime propaganda but it's stylishly done and wonderful fun. we'd expect nothing less from the archers. a stranded u-boat crew tries to make their way to safety across canada after losing their vessel in hudson bay. anton walbrook and leslie howard are standouts in a cast of great character actors. olivier almost spoils it with a horrible french accent in early scenes but don't let it put u off the film; he won't be around for long. the canadian backdrop is a refreshing change from other WW2 era films.
½ June 16, 2011
Hilariously entertaining WWII propaganda piece, where one resilient Nazi gives Canada a run for its money. Damn, we're just too polite.
June 4, 2011
I'm typically a fan of the works of Powell and Pressburger, but I can't say that 49th Parallel has particularly aged well. It is a ridiculous piece of propaganda about a group of German U-Boat crewmembers who survive in Canada after their vessel is blown to pieces. Their commander is a Nazi to the core and he and his charge of 5 other goose-steppers trek through the true north first in northern Manitoba, into the prairies, out to Banff National Park and southern Ontario. It was nice to see my home country and so many places I have visited in one film and 70 years ago. As usual the Inuit (or Eskimo as they are called here) are treated with disgusting disrespect that makes some moments in the film cringe-inducing. It is quite interesting to see so many stars of the era in minor roles - Olivier as a French Canadian fur trapper, Leslie Howard as a writer in the Canadian wilderness and Raymond Massey as an imperfect soldier. The film's strength is how it examines each of the Nazis as separate individuals and how they have become involved in such an evil empire which provides contrast against the all the peaceable trusting people they meet in Canada. This is the work of great filmmakers, but definitely not in their finest hour. Still, it is well worth seeing.
½ May 15, 2011
A rather entertaining film, eccentric and wonderful and a fascinating document of pro-democracy WWII propaganda.
May 15, 2011
Interesting film. The way movies should be. Nice twist. forget about the Propaganda, they all are English speaking with English accents. Good against evil. Excellent performances. Olivier leaves to soon.
March 12, 2011
Great non stop everything by the great Michael Powell
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