Friday Matinee: Canada Day Edition

From such films like The Immortal Sergeant (1943) starring Henry Fonda as meek Canadian who finds his confidence while on patrol to Edward G. Robinson playing a French Canadian police inspector in A Bullet For Joey (1955), how Canada is portrayed on the world stage is the theme today. From Britain and the United States comes several films that features Canada prominently in one form or another.

The 39 Steps (1935)
This classic Alfred Hitchcock film features British actor Robert Donat as a Canadian vacationing in England only to get drawn into a spy plot and accused of murder.



49th Parallel (1941)
This Powell and Pressberger film was a war propaganda film from Britain. It follows a group of Nazis as they try to flee to the safety of the then neutral United States through hostile Canada after their u-boat sinks off the coast. It stars Laurence Olivier as a French Canadian trapper and Canadian born Raymond Massey in his only role as an actually Canadian on screen.

The Scarlet Claw (1944)
The eighth of the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies features Holmes and Watson in Quebec, Canada attempting to solve a series of murders.

Cornered (1945)
American actor Dick Powell and director Edward Dmytryk followed up their successful Murder, My Sweet with this intense thriller. It’s the end of the war and Powell is a recently discharged Canadian flyer looking for the men responsible for killing his French Resistance wife.

The African Queen (1951)
Humphrey Bogart’s character was supposed to have a cockney accent and since Bogart couldn’t do accents, his character became Canadian. In this John Huston classic, Bogart takes Katherine Hepburn down the river on a beat up steamboat named the African Queen to the German’s during WWI.

Saskatchewan (1954)

American Alan Ladd is an RCMP inspector and his half brother is Jay Silverheels (Tonto). Ladd’s new boss mistakes a series of attacks to be the peaceful Cree when it’s really the Sioux from the U.S. trying to fight the U.S. seventh cavalry. Ladd has to mutiny in order to save the day. Meanwhile Shelley Winters is trying to hide from a murder rap in Canada. The title is somewhat misleading as it’s referring to Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta not the province Saskatchewan.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.