Talk:49th Parallel (film)

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Redirect and merge (2005)[edit]

I've redirected the redundant 49th Parallel (film) to this article, merged them, and made substantial changes to the text that was here. I removed the following:

  • "no scene in the movie actually takes place on this border". The film ends with the crew reaching the border.
  • That the film has a "laughable conception of Canada". Many films of this era rely on cultural stereotypes, and this is normal by the standards of its day. The diverse stereotypes are also being used to contrast with the Nazis.
  • That they travel "mostly on foot" from Newfoundland to British Columbia! They travel by foot, car, plane and train.

Also one of the leads, Eric Portman, was not mentioned. Jihg 02:46, Jan 6, 2005 (UTC)

First to comment that many Canadian-made/written film and TV shows have a laughable conception of Canada, particularly when it's the outer regions that are I recall Newfoundland's not in the script, they landed somewhere on Hudson Bay, no? Anyway my main problem here is that 49th Parallel is the primary title here, and it seems you were the one who redirected 49th Parallel (film) here - this confuses things as 49th parallel (small case on the second word) is a disambiguation page; IMO this article shoudl be retitled back to the "film" dab and this title redirected to the disambiguation page or the line of latitude page....Skookum1 (talk) 15:53, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not have articles on the 46th parallel, the 47th parallel, the 48th parallel, the 50th parallel or the 51st parallel, so I doubt we're in any kind of trouble asking a putative article on the geographical 49th parallel to be made under something like "49th parallel (geography)". No move is necessary. Ed Fitzgerald t / c 21:28, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Those articles exist now, so I plan to move this back to 49th Parallel (film) Bazonka (talk) 19:51, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Olivier's accent[edit]

A lot of people have commented (here & elsewhere) on Olivier's accent as a French Canadian trapper claiming it is inept, over-wrought or other such descriptions. But not many of those people know what a French Candian trapper's accent should be like. There is no reason to believe that it would be like most other Canadian accents, or a French accent of someone from France, or even like a French Canadian accent as heard in a big city like Montreal. Olivier did have a real trapper as a dialogue coach. Maybe he went a bit over the top in moments of extremis, but until I hear otherwise I believe that it was quite accurate. In fact there are reports on the Powell and Pressburger Appreciation Society email list to the effect that it was very accurate [1]. SteveCrook 22:41, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

There are regional variations within Quebec and there were in formerly francophone parts of the former, wider Northwest Territories; a Rimouski accent is distinguishable from a Chicoutimi accent and a Baie Comeau accent and a North Bay accent and a Saskatchewan Métis accent and a Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan or a St Albert, Alberta, accent. None of these is anything like Olivier's attempt. And Olivier's least critical partisans would agree that accents were not his forte. The comment should remain. Masalai 03:49, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Very good, thanks for that. That's the sort of information that we need. But can you explain how the Québécois heard by an admirer of the film in the reference I gave thought that this person's accent was very like Olivier's? SteveCrook 11:47, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

You mean this? "Thanks Don, I always felt he was unjustly maligned for that accent....Don Henson wrote: I was recently at a meeting where there was a speaker from Quebec. His accent was almost a perfect replica of Larry O's in 49P. I suppose what critics were expecting was a French accent. But Quebec is not France. Just as Americans don' have an English accent, then Quebecois don't have a French accent. It does sound bizarre to our ears, and it took me a while to get used to it. Every time I talked to this chap I couldn't help think about 49P. I too found LO's accent weird but now realize it was spot on. Don" Doesn't really sound like "Don" has much acquaintance with Canadian French accents. Just because it didn't sound to British or other ears (whatever Don's ears are) like Paris French doesn't mean that Olivier's attempt was authentic. It was pretty terrible. Masalai 12:34, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, that's the comment I referenced. I don't know Don's exposure to French Canadian accents, but he does know the film quite well and he thought that the accent of this person from Quebec was very similar to the accent used by Olivier. Now nobody is expecting Olivier's accent to be 100% spot on so that it'd fool a local. But is there any way that it can be described in a way that won't be thought of as too subjective or "Point of View" because then that is likely to just be deleted by another contributor. SteveCrook 16:54, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Possibly "subjective version of...," or "inaccurate" or "unusual"? The fact is that it really is painfully inept and verges on racism, and any reversion back to the former description has to be pretty oblivious of reality. Incidentally, if you want to hear an authentic rustic French Canadian accent, that of the recently retired Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien will do nicely: M. Chrétien billed himself as the "boy from Shawinigan" and his accent in English is a more authentic stereotype. Masalai 11:15, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Accurate historically[edit]

That Olivier's character, as a French-Canadian, had ambivalent feelings about serving in WWII was historically accurate: the French-Canadians of Quebec felt that they were a conquered people, and had nothing to gain by fighting for England. They resented being conscripted/drafted. Some would not fight, but many did. French-Canadians served with gallantry in the Dieppe disaster and other scenarios. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:48, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

In what way do you think he's ambivalent? He was quick to point out that he was Canadian, not French, that the Factor and Nick were all Canadians as well. He rejected the idea that they were in any way a conquered people and that the Nazis could offer them any kind of freedom. He also told the Nazis (something like) "We whipped you last time and we'll do it again this time". And as soon as there was a chance, it was Johnnie who tried to get a message out on the radio and got shot for his trouble. That doesn't seem very ambivalent to me -- SteveCrook (talk) 19:33, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

French poster[edit]

What a horrible poster - it gives totally the wrong idea about the film. Almost, but not quite, as bad as the American poster for Colonel Blimp that portrays his as a dirty old man stroking his moustache while he leers at Deborah Kerr's legs. This one shows Olivier, Howard and Massey all poised to leap, presumably on the wicked Nazis. But they were never in a scene together. And as for that other drawing of Olivier carrying a blonde damsel (wearing high heels of course) to safety (we presume). He was never in any scenes involving any women. The closest were the Inuit women outside the trading post. OK, that's enough of that gripe. I just had to say it. -- SteveCrook 17:02, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Forty ninth parallel (1941).jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 19:42, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Criticism of nazis[edit]

I don't know that it is correct to say of Nazis that "criticism of them in spiritual terms rather than straightforward demonisation, are highly unusual for a British Second World War propaganda film". The Nazis are demonized here, I would have said more so than in more straightforward war (i.e. combat) films. I doubt that the expression "spiritual terms" is accurate either. British films normally show the Nazis as the enemy, certainly, but not generally in a demonized manner - just as the enemy. The distortion of "demonization" is more likely found in much newer American films.Royalcourtier (talk) 02:33, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Nazis or Germans?[edit]

The plot article refers to the fugitive U-boat crewmen as "Nazis", but wouldn't it be more accurate to refer to them as Germans? Unless they were depicted as card-carrying Party members, it would be better to refer to them as Germans. As Bill Mauldin said in "Up Front", "When a dogface sweats out an 88 barrage in his foxhole, he doesn't say, 'Those dirty Nazis!', he says, 'Those goddam Krauts!' " Best regards TheBaron0530 (talk) 20:34, 15 November 2016 (UTC)theBaron0530

Well Hirth & Kuhnecke both boast about being card carrying Nazis, they argue about who's been in the party longer. We can assume that Vogel isn't a Nazi. We don't know about the other two -- SteveCrook (talk) 03:25, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

Paragraph of unsourced commentary pulled from Reception section[edit]

By modern standards, the depiction of Canadians in 49th Parallel is stereotypical: brave Mounties, decorated Indians, Scottish-accented Hudson's Bay Company men and overwrought French-Canadians. Pressburger deliberately used the peaceful diversity of Canada to contrast with the fanatical world view of the Nazis. This world view was also played up to frighten American audiences to bring America into the war. The inclusion of Nazis as leading characters and its critique in spiritual terms rather than straightforward demonisation, are unusual for a British Second World War propaganda film. Powell and Pressburger returned to the theme in the more controversial The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and to Anglo-American relations in A Matter of Life and Death and A Canterbury Tale.

The above was in the Reception section, but it's not about how the movie was received. It's a bunch of unsourced commentary on some elements of the movie. As is, most of it is original analysis. I moved it here in case anyone is interested in reworking any of this with sources, and finding a more fitting way to integrate it into the article. I don't necessarily see a need for that, myself, but no doubt someone might differ! Ale And Quail (talk) 09:17, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

Copyright status[edit]

I have deleted the link to the illicit hosting of this British film on Internet Archive. Co-writer Rodney Ackland did not die until 1991, so UK copyright subsists until the end of 2061. As a non-US film still under copyright in its country of origin on 1 January 1996, it is protected in the US for 95 years after publication, so to the end of 2036. Nick Cooper (talk) 00:23, 24 November 2017 (UTC)

UK style[edit]

thanks for the edit 17A Africa but why do you think that people in the UK need the dates like 8 October rather than like 8 October? As far as I know (and I've lived in the UK for 63 years now) we can read dates in either format -- SteveCrook (talk) 12:25, 17 January 2018 (UTC)