7.8/10
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Lifeboat (1944)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 28 January 1944 (USA)
Several survivors of a torpedoed merchant ship in World War II find themselves in the same lifeboat with one of the U-boat men who sunk it.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

John Steinbeck (by), Jo Swerling (screen play)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tallulah Bankhead ... Connie Porter
William Bendix ... Gus Smith
Walter Slezak ... Willi
Mary Anderson ... Alice MacKenzie
John Hodiak ... John Kovac
Henry Hull ... Charles J. Rittenhouse
Heather Angel ... Mrs. Higley
Hume Cronyn ... Stanley Garrett
Canada Lee ... Joe Spencer
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Storyline

In the Atlantic during World War II, a ship and a German U-boat are involved in a battle, and both are sunk. The survivors from the ship gather in one of the boats. They are from a variety of backgrounds: an international journalist, a rich businessman, the radio operator, a nurse, a steward, a sailor, and an engineer with Communist tendencies. Trouble starts when they pull a man out of the water who turns out to be from the U-boat. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What happens when six men and three women are alone in an open boat ? See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

28 January 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's Production of Lifeboat See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,590,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming, several crew members noted that Tallulah Bankhead was not wearing underwear. When advised of this situation, Sir Alfred Hitchcock observed, "I don't know if this is a matter for the costume department, make-up, or hairdressing." See more »

Goofs

After Connie helps the first man onto the lifeboat, she is holding the camera with her right hand and helping him with her left hand. In the subsequent shoot, she is no longer holding the camera and her right is wet and dirty. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[indistinct shouting]
John Kovac: Ahoy there!
[climbs into boat]
John Kovac: Lady, you certainly don't look like somebody that's just been shipwrecked.
Connie Porter: Man, I certainly feel like it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rope (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Du, Du, Liegst Mir im Herzen
(uncredited)
Traditional German folk song
Played on flute by Canada Lee
Reprised by Lee and Sung in German by Walter Slezak
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Claustrophobic but still suspenseful tale on the open seas...
25 January 2007 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

There are times during LIFEBOAT where the claustrophobia can't be avoided, since Hitchcock chose to film it on one set--a lifeboat in the open seas. But thanks to his craftsmanship, it never ceases to absorb the viewer as it becomes a tightly-knit character study of the survivors and their interaction.

Most prominent among the players is TALLULAH BANKHEAD, losing her possessions but gaining some humanity. She's described rather accurately by another poster as "the Maureen Dowd of the '40s", the shallow but sophisticated columnist with a condescending attitude toward everyone but herself.

But it's the WALTER SLEZAK character, a German among the survivors, who holds the most attention and proves that nothing can be seen in terms of black and white when it comes to human character. On the good side, he operates on WILLIAM BENDIX to successfully amputate his leg--but later resorts to murder when Bendix outlives his usefulness.

The other characters are more or less stock types--but are well played by JOHN HODIAK, CANADA LEE, HEATHER ANGEL, HENRY HULL and HUME CRONYN.

Summing up: Absorbing entertainment, stark tale of survival with the Hitchcock touch.


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