Blancha Khalil

Written by Blancha Khalil

Modified & Updated: 05 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Welcome movie lovers! Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of one of the most iconic movies in film history – 49th Parallel. Released in 1941, this war film directed by Michael Powell explores the thrilling journey of a group of German sailors stranded in Canada during World War II. The film, known for its gripping storyline and exceptional performances, has left a lasting impact on both audiences and critics alike. In this article, we will unravel 32 intriguing facts about 49th Parallel that will take you behind the scenes and provide insights into the making of this cinematic masterpiece. So, grab some popcorn, sit back, and let’s embark on an adventure through the exciting world of 49th Parallel!

Key Takeaways:

  • “The movie 49th Parallel” is a World War II film that showcases the bravery of Canadian soldiers and highlights the dangers of Nazi ideology through a gripping storyline and powerful performances.
  • “The Invaders” (49th Parallel) is a must-watch for fans of World War II cinema, featuring stunning Canadian landscapes, a strong anti-Nazi sentiment, and a message of unity and resistance that continues to resonate with audiences.
Table of Contents

The movie 49th Parallel was released in 1941.

The 49th Parallel is a World War II propaganda film directed by Michael Powell and written by Emeric Pressburger.

It is also known by the title “The Invaders” in the United States.

The movie was released under the title “The Invaders” in the United States to appeal to American audiences.

It features an ensemble cast of British and Canadian actors.

The film stars Laurence Olivier, Leslie Howard, Raymond Massey, Anton Walbrook, and Glynis Johns, among others.

The plot revolves around a group of German submariners stranded in Canada.

The story follows the German crew members as they try to make their way to the neutral United States to avoid being captured.

The movie explores themes of propaganda and national identity.

It delves into the ideological differences between the Nazis and the democratic societies they sought to conquer.

It was produced by The Archers, the filmmaking duo of Powell and Pressburger.

Powell and Pressburger collaborated on numerous successful films, including The Red Shoes and A Matter of Life and Death.

The movie received critical acclaim and was nominated for an Academy Award.

It was nominated for Best Writing, Original Story at the 1942 Academy Awards.

The film showcases stunning Canadian landscapes.

The picturesque scenery of Canada serves as the backdrop for several key scenes in the movie.

49th Parallel was one of the first films to depict Nazis as villains.

At the time of its release, many Hollywood films still portrayed Nazis as somewhat sympathetic characters.

The movie highlights the heroism of Canadian soldiers during the war.

It aims to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of the Canadian military in defending their country.

The film’s score was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

The music adds to the tension and drama of the story, enhancing the viewing experience.

It was shot on location in Canada and the United Kingdom.

The production team traveled to various Canadian provinces and British cities to capture the necessary scenes for the film.

49th Parallel was heavily influenced by documentary-style filmmaking.

The movie incorporates elements of realism to give a sense of authenticity to the story.

It was released during a critical point in World War II.

The film aimed to boost morale and encourage support for the war effort against the Nazis.

The movie showcases different perspectives on war.

It highlights the contrast between the aggressive Nazi ideology and the peaceful Canadian way of life.

The film’s portrayal of Canadians was praised for its accuracy.

Canadian characters in the film are depicted as patriotic and resilient in the face of danger.

It was released as part of the British Ministry of Information’s propaganda campaign.

The film aimed to inform and educate the public about the dangers of Nazi ideology.

49th Parallel was banned in several countries occupied by the Nazis.

Germany and other Nazi-occupied territories saw the film as a threat to their propaganda efforts.

The movie’s message of unity and resistance resonated with audiences.

It inspired many viewers to support the war effort and resist Nazi aggression.

The film was praised for its strong performances and realistic portrayal.

The actors brought depth and authenticity to their characters, making the story more compelling.

49th Parallel remains relevant as a war film to this day.

Its themes of courage, patriotism, and the fight against tyranny continue to resonate with audiences.

The movie’s title refers to the border between Canada and the United States.

The 49th Parallel is the boundary line separating the two countries.

It was one of the first British films to be made in Technicolor.

The use of Technicolor added vibrancy and richness to the visuals of the film.

The movie was a commercial success, both in the UK and the US.

It garnered positive reviews and attracted large audiences during its theatrical run.

The film’s anti-Nazi sentiment was celebrated by audiences.

Viewers appreciated the film’s strong stance against the Nazi regime.

It was the first Powell and Pressburger film to win an Oscar.

49th Parallel marked the beginning of the duo’s successful collaboration.

The movie was re-released in the 1950s under the title “The Invaders from Canada”.

The title change aimed to attract a new audience and capitalize on the popularity of Cold War themes.

The film’s screenplay was heavily influenced by real-life events and stories.

The filmmakers drew inspiration from actual accounts of German infiltrators during the war.

It was well-received by both critics and audiences upon its initial release.

Many praised the film’s thought-provoking storyline and strong performances.

The movie’s impact on wartime cinema cannot be understated.

It paved the way for future war films that aimed to educate and entertain audiences.

The film’s success helped establish Powell and Pressburger as prominent filmmakers.

The duo would go on to create several iconic films throughout their careers.

49th Parallel is a must-watch for fans of World War II cinema.

Its gripping storyline, outstanding performances, and powerful message make it a timeless classic.


49th Parallel is a classic war film that offers a unique perspective on World War II. With its engaging storyline, exceptional cast, and superb direction by Michael Powell, the movie leaves a lasting impression on its viewers. The film’s historical accuracy, breathtaking cinematography, and powerful themes make it a must-watch for any movie enthusiast or history buff.

Through its exploration of nationalism, tolerance, and the human spirit, 49th Parallel reminds us of the importance of unity and understanding in times of conflict. With its thought-provoking narrative and memorable characters, the movie captures the essence of the era and prompts us to reflect on the consequences of war.

If you haven’t seen 49th Parallel yet, do yourself a favor and add it to your watchlist. It’s a true cinematic masterpiece that deserves recognition for its contributions to the war film genre.


1. What is the plot of 49th Parallel?

49th Parallel follows the journey of six German submariners who find themselves stranded in Canada during World War II. As they try to make their way back to Germany, they encounter various Canadians who challenge their ideologies and force them to question their loyalty.

2. Who are some of the notable actors in 49th Parallel?

The movie features a talented ensemble cast, including Anton Walbrook, Laurence Olivier, Leslie Howard, Raymond Massey, and Glynis Johns, among others.

3. Is 49th Parallel based on a true story?

While the characters and events in the film are fictional, 49th Parallel draws inspiration from real-life wartime incidents and explores the broader themes of nationalism and ideology during World War II.

4. What makes 49th Parallel stand out as a war film?

49th Parallel offers a unique perspective by showing the war through the eyes of the enemy. It challenges the notion of the “good versus evil” narrative and delves into the complexities of human nature and war-induced ideologies.

5. Is 49th Parallel a critically acclaimed movie?

Yes, 49th Parallel received widespread critical acclaim upon its release. It was nominated for multiple Academy Awards and is recognized as one of the finest war films ever made.

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