Neglected Hitchcock 1944 masterpiece depicting the survivors trapped in a lifeboat.
Based on an unpublished novella by John Steinbeck, Lifeboat found Hitchcock navigating a course of maximum tension in the most minimal of settings with a consistently inventive, beautifully paced drama that would foreshadow the single-set experiments of Rope. After a Nazi torpedo reduces an ocean liner to wooden splinters, the survivors of the attack pull themselves aboard a drifting lifeboat in the hope of eventual rescue.
But the motivations of the German submarine captain (Walter Slezak) on the eponymous craft might extend beyond mere survival... With a cast including the extraordinary, irrepressible Tallulah Bankhead, and veteran Hume Cronyn this was aptly termed a "picture of characters" by François Truffaut.
Hitchcock oscillates dazzlingly between comic repartee and white-knuckle suspense. An interesting complement to ‘A Night to Remember’.
USA · 1944 · Alfred Hitchcock · 97min