Thursday, May 07, 2009

49th Parallel

Pretty mild-mannered for a propaganda movie. The matter of 'camps' was mentioned pretty early on. I knew the general gist of the movie from Vaughan-Williams' score, which is somewhat at odds with the timbre of the script. With the exception of Glynis Johns, the stars of the various episodes range from risible but charming (Olivier's French Canadian is distracting, to say the least) to Leslie Howard's self-aware (almost fourth-wall-breaking-aware) caricature of an intellectual. Raymond Massey's everyman is the most successful but is not always subtle. Given the sadistic goings-on, the general tone is surprisingly upbeat. Surprise appearance of Hutterites.

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