The Law of Contact

49th Parallel (October 8, 1941)

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Laurence Olivier in 49th Paralell
 

Released on October 8, 1941: (running time 2 hours and 2 minutes) Six Nazi U-boat seaman stranded in Hudson's Bay try to make their way across Canada to the U.S. border, hoping that the neutral U.S. will protect them.

Produced by Michael Powell

Directed by Michael Powell

The Actors: Leslie Howard (Philip Armstrong Scott), Laurence Olivier (Johnnie, the trapper), Raymond Massey (Andy Brock, Canadian soldier), Anton Walbrook (Peter), Eric Portman (Lieutenant Hirth), Richard George (Kommandant Bernsdorf), Raymond Lovell (Lieutenant Kuhnecke), Niall MacGinnis (Bogel), Peter Moore (Kranz), John Candos (Lohrmann), Basil Appleby (Jahner), Finlay Currie (the Factor), Ley On (Nick, the Eskimo), Glynis Johns (Anna), Charles Victor (Andreas), Frederick Piper (David), Tawera Moana (George the Indian), Eric Clavering (Art), Charles Rolfe (Bob), Theodore Salt (U.S. Customs Officer), O.W. Fonger (U.S. Customs Officer), Robert Beatty (voice of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Mountie in Alberta), Elisabeth Bergner (Anna), Eric Berry (Nazi radio announcer), Gron Davies (Officer of submarine), Leslie Falardeau (aviator on seaplane), Lionel Grose (unknown), Jack Hynes (aviator on seaplane), Stuart Latham (second Nazi radio announcer), Norman Luxton (man in fringed jacket on the balcony at Banff Indian Day), Vincent Massey (prologue narrator), Percy Parsons (hi-jacked Canadian motorist), Gerry Wilmot (Canadian radio announcer)

 
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“You Killed My Father, You Drowned My Mother . . .”

22 May, 2017 is National Patriots Day in Canada. The United States has been blessed over its lifetime in many ways, but one of the greatest blessings has been our remarkable North American neighbor north of the 49th Parallel . . . Canada. I don't believe that this globe has ever seen such a close and long lasting bond between two independent countries. Sure, we squabble about things - lots of things, but like two brothers that fight each other daily - just let anyone else try to harm either brother. Those two brothers will stand united against all comers, and there will be hell to pay for the one that tries to break them up.

This World War Two adventure, featuring some of the greatest actors from Britain, tells the story of the beginnings of war, and was aimed directly at the U.S. market in an effort to raise American consciousness to the evils of the war raging in Europe. In 1939 Germany invaded Poland, and by the time of this movie France also had been attacked and had surrendered. England was thick into the war to help Europe escape Hitler's advances, and Canada had joined with England in the fight against the Nazis, but in October of 1941 when this movie hit theaters, the U.S. was still debating the merits of joining the war. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was still two months away, and the national will to fight was not strong enough to allow our leaders to join the war effort in Europe. The U.S. was still struggling to leave the Great Depression behind, the we didn't feel strong, and didn't feel much like diverting resources that we needed for our own folk. Ironically, when the U.S. finally did ramp up for war, that effort was the very thing that lifted the country out of depression.

Our war story begins with a German U-boat sinking a Canadian ship in the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Canadians are quickly searching for the U-boat, and to evade them, the enemy sub heads for Hudson's Bay to hide out for a bit. Once there, the U-boat surfaces and sends an advance party of men to overcome the trading post nearby to steal food and supplies. Unfortunately for the six men sent ashore, Canadian Air Force planes swoop overhead and sink the enemy submarine while the enemy seamen watch from shore. Their only chance of survival now is to head for the 49th Parallel to get safely out of Canada. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Anton Walbrook
Anton Walbrook
Anton Walbrook and Charles Victor
Anton Walbrook and Charles Victor
Anton Walbrook, Niall MacGinnis and Glynis Johns
Anton Walbrook, Niall MacGinnis and Glynis Johns
Anton Walbrook
Anton Walbrook
Charles Victor and Anton Walbrook
Charles Victor and Anton Walbrook
Eric Berry
Eric Berry
Eric Clavering, Charles Rolfe and Tawera Moana
Eric Clavering, Charles Rolfe and Tawera Moana
Eirc Portman
Eirc Portman
Eric Portman, John Chandos and Peter Moore
Eric Portman, John Chandos and Peter Moore
Eric Portman, Peter Moore and John Chandos
Eric Portman, Peter Moore and John Chandos
Eric Portman, Raymond Lovell and Niall MacGinnis
Eric Portman, Raymond Lovell and Niall MacGinnis
Eric Portman and Richard George
Eric Portman and Richard George
Eric Portman
Eric Portman
Eric Portman
Eric Portman
Finlay Currie
Finlay Currie
Finlay Currie
Finlay Currie
Finlay Currie
Finlay Currie
Gerry Wilmot
Gerry Wilmot
Glynnis Johns
Glynnis Johns
Glynnis Johns
Glynnis Johns
John Chandos
John Chandos
John Chandos and Eric Portman
John Chandos and Eric Portman
John Chandos and Leslie Howard
John Chandos and Leslie Howard
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier and Finlay Currie
Laurence Olivier and Finlay Currie
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Leslie Howard
Leslie Howard
Leslie Howard and Eric Portman
Leslie Howard and Eric Portman
Leslie Howard
Leslie Howard
Ley On and Finlay Currie
Ley On and Finlay Currie
Niall MacGinnis
Niall MacGinnis
Niall MacGinnis and Anton Walbrook
Niall MacGinnis and Anton Walbrook
Niall MacGinnis
Niall MacGinnis
Niall MacGinnis
Niall MacGinnis
O.W. Fonger
O.W. Fonger
Peter Moore
Peter Moore
Raymond Lovell
Raymond Lovell
Raymond Lovell and Eric Portman
Raymond Lovell and Eric Portman
Raymond Lovell and Eric Portman
Raymond Lovell and Eric Portman
Raymond Lovell
Raymond Lovell
Raymond Massey
Raymond Massey
Raymond Massey
Raymond Massey
Stuart Latham
Stuart Latham
Theodore Salt
Theodore Salt