The 49th Parallel

The 49th Parallel

Leslie Howard
Director: Michael Powell Cast: Leslie Howard
Leslie Howard
, Raymond Massey
Raymond Massey
, Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
Michael Powell


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Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's thoughtful exercise in pro-British World War II propaganda makes its American DVD debut in this richly appointed package from the Criterion Collection. 49th Parallel has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and looks quite good; while the source materials look a bit soft in spots, for the most part the visual quality is excellent, and the location work (shot in Canada by Frederick Young) truly stands out. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, and sounds just fine, as good as any film produced in 1941 is likely to sound. The dialogue is in English (with a smattering of French and German for character color), with no multiple language options included, though the disc does feature optional English language subtitles. The feature include an optional commentary track, in which Bruce Eder discusses the style of the film and shares anecdotes about its production, while the original theatrical trailer is also on board. A bonus disc includes more bonus material, including a BBC television documentary on Powell and Pressburger, audio recordings of Powell discussing (#49th Parallel as he dictated material for his autobiography (the sound quality is less then pristine, but he's clearly understandable), and The Volunteer, an entertaining 43-minute short ($Powell directed to promote military recruitment during the war which stars Ralph Richardson. A well-designed booklet featuring an essay by Charles Barr and a transcript of Michael Powell's speech at the film's premiere is the icing on the cake. If 49th Parallel isn't at the top of Powell and Pressberger's list of cinematic accomplishments, it certainly merits a viewing (especially for Laurence Olivier's con brio performance as a Quebecois trapper), and this edition treats the material with tender loving care.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/20/2007
UPC: 0715515022422
Original Release: 1941
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [B&W]
Time: 2:03:00
Sales rank: 18,437

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

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Leslie Howard Philip Armstrong Scott
Raymond Massey Andy Brock
Laurence Olivier Johnnie
Anton Walbrook Peter
Glynis Johns Anna
Finlay Currie Factor
Eric Portman Lieutenant Hirth
Niall MacGinnis Vogel
Ley On Nick
Eric Clavering Art
Charles Victor Andreas
Raymond Lovell Lieutenant Kuhnecke
John Chandos Lohrmann
Basil Appleby Jahner
Richard George Kommandant Bernsdorff
Theodore Salt U.S. Customs Officer
Peter Moore Kranz
Frederick Piper David
Tawera Moana George, the Indian
Charles Rolfe Bob
O.W. Fonger U.S. Customs Officer

Technical Credits
Michael Powell Director,Producer
Rodney Ackland Screenwriter
George H. Brown Associate Producer
Nugent M. Cloucher Art Director
Emeric Pressburger Screenwriter
Roland Gillett Associate Producer
Skeets Kelly Camera Operator
David Lean Editor
Muir Mathieson Musical Direction/Supervision
David Rawnsley Art Director
C.C. Stevens Sound/Sound Designer
John Sutro Producer,Production Manager
Ralph Vaughan Williams Score Composer
Freddie Young Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- 49th Parallel: The Film
1. Overture and Prologue [2:36]
2. The Curtain Rises on Canada [6:20]
3. The Journey North [6:09]
4. Hudson Bay [3:55]
5. "This Hitler Is Only Bluffing" [6:02]
6. A Good German [5:18]
7. Chess Game [7:39]
8. Slaughter and Escape [6:38]
9. Kuhnecke's Command [5:02]
10. The Hutterite Settlement [6:19]
11. Total Warfare [4:40]
12. "A Great Storm" [7:11]
13. "We Are Not Your Brothers" [3:13]
14. Vogel's Peace [5:38]
15. Road Hazards [5:46]
16. Indian Day [5:48]
17. "Art Goes on Forever" [5:17]
18. Savage Tribal Methods [8:10]
19. Superman vs. Democrat [5:22]
20. Bumming a Ride [8:11]
21. The Border [6:37]
22. Color Bars [:00]
Disc #2 -- 49th Parallel: The Supplements
1. "Totally Lacking in Practical Ability" [8:33]
2. Fred Joins Up [10:59]
3. Aircraft Carrier Reunion [9:03]
4. Ship Film Screening [13:07]
5. Declaration From the King [2:53]
1. Beginnings [6:36]
2. Canadian Research [7:37]
3. The Story [6:58]
4. Cast and Crew [12:06]
5. Hollywood Side Trip [7:17]
6. The Submarine [10:21]
7. Return to England [8:34]
1. The Savile Club [4:57]
2. The Old Hollywood [6:55]
3. A Beautiful Mind [8:17]
4. Spritual Values [4:09]
5. Ancestors [1:24]
6. Strongest Themes [8:46]
7. Postwar Melodrama [9:12]
8. Art and Religion [5:12]
9. "Cut" and Credits [1:50]

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