The Masters  
The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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49th Parallel
Capsule by Dave Kehr
From the Chicago Reader

Retitled The Invaders for American release, this 1941 film is a typically perverse and entertaining propaganda piece by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp). The plot structure--a German U-boat lands in Canada, and the crew must try to make it across the U.S. border before they're captured--forces the audience to identify with the enemy's point of view, and the forces of freedom are represented by a series of oddballs and misfits--including Laurence Olivier in an out-there performance as a French Canadian fur trapper, and Leslie Howard as a poetry-reading recluse who lays down his volume of Shelley to take on the intruders single-handedly. Somehow, all of this deliberate inversion and eccentricity ends up being more stirring than most straight propaganda films--and certainly a lot more imaginative and suspenseful. With Eric Portman, Anton Walbrook, Raymond Massey, Glynis Johns, and Finlay Currie; Pressburger won an Academy Award for best original story.

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