The title of Michael Powell's WWII propaganda actioner refers to the boundary separating the United States and Canada. A suitably righteous narrator tells us it's the world's only undefended national border and, as such, befits the values of peace and democracy shared by the two countries. 49th Parallel isn't a strident call to arms meant to guilt-trip Americans into re-thinking their neutrality, but rather a tribute to the Canadian (and to all free-thinking) people who were already involved in the anti-Nazi effort. By praising democratic values and warning of the Nazi threat looming over the free world, 49th Parallel was director Michael Powell's roundabout exhortation to the American people to join the good fight.
Continue reading: 49th Parallel Review
The Edge of the World is one of Powell's early films, a stark story about life on an inhospitable island off the coast of Scotland. In fact, it's so inhospitable that half of the community feels it's time to leave altogether. To settle the matter, two of the young men who reside there decide to race to the top of the local cliff face -- the winner chooses whether they go or stay. Alas, tragedy ensues during the climb, and the clannish residents of the island become even more embittered than ever.
Continue reading: The Edge Of The World Review
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