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Lifeboat (1944)

Approved | | Thriller, War | 28 January 1944 (USA)
Several survivors of a torpedoed ship find themselves in the same boat with one of the men who sunk it.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

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Canada Lee ...
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Storyline

In the Atlantic during WWII, 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:

Thriller | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

28 January 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's Production of Lifeboat  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,590,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The harsh conditions of the shoot took its toll: actors were soaked with water and oil, which led to two cases of pneumonia for Tallulah Bankhead, an illness for actress Mary Anderson and two cracked ribs for actor Hume Cronyn, according to his autobiography. Production was temporarily halted twice to allow for recovery of the cast. See more »

Goofs

When people call from the boat to people in the water, their voices produce a noticeable echo, revealing that the scenes are shot in a tank in a studio, not out on the ocean. 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 Gothic/Claustrophobia (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Heidenroslein, Op.3, No.3, D 257
(1815) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Schubert
Poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Played on flute by Henry Hull and Sung in German by Walter Slezak
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
another great experiment....
23 May 2002 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

"Lifeboat" is an excellent film. It is a great achievement by Alfred Hitchcock that he could create a film set on only a lifeboat interesting for its duration. Hitchcock had a knack for experimental films, such as "Rope", which seems to be one continuous shot, and "Rear Window", which features one small apartment and a man in a wheel chair. With so little, he is always able to do so much.

In "Lifeboat", we start out with the sinking of a ship and people gathering on the lifeboat. It's really that simple. This is a character driven film. There are no lush chase sequences, there are no gunfights, there is no mystery. Nope, its all about how this collection of characters interact with each other. Its a study of how difference of opinion can creat tensions, and how people can deal with those tensions. Its really fascinating to watch, and when its all said and done, you get the impression that it wasn't just an experiment, but that it had something to say, and it did.

The only slight flaw in the film is that we don't really get a sense of how long(exactly)they've been at sea. I "Cast Away" we saw Tom Hanks lost a considerable amount of weight and grow a considerable amount of hair. Well, that is the one thing you don't see with this movie. Its really a minor quibble anyway because it doesn't diminish the entertainment value at all.

Hitchcock was the master of suspense, but he was never afraid to try other things, from screwball comedy(Mr. and Mrs.Smith) to psychological thrillers(Vertigo). This film is definitely one of his best and most interesting experiments. 9 out of 10.


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