Lifeboat (1944)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, War


Lifeboat (1944) Poster

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.

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7.8/10
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  • Tallulah Bankhead and John Hodiak in Lifeboat (1944)
  • Lifeboat (1944)
  • Tallulah Bankhead and John Hodiak in Lifeboat (1944)
  • Heather Angel and Canada Lee in Lifeboat (1944)
  • Alfred Hitchcock and William Bendix in Lifeboat (1944)
  • Tallulah Bankhead in Lifeboat (1944)

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Reviews & Commentary

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25 January 2007 | Doylenf
7
| Claustrophobic but still suspenseful tale on the open seas...
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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