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Lifeboat (1944)

 -  Thriller | War  -  28 January 1944 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 16,702 users  
Reviews: 113 user | 77 critic

Several survivors of a torpedoed ship find themselves in the same boat with one of the men who sunk it.

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Title: Lifeboat (1944)

Lifeboat (1944) on IMDb 7.8/10

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Walter Slezak ...
...
John Hodiak ...
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Heather Angel ...
...
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:

Who goes Primitive first...A man...Or a woman...adrift in an open boat ? See more »

Genres:

Thriller | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

28 January 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Náufragos  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,590,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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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

The fish bait is a large Cartier multi-link diamond bracelet. It is used unfastened, so hangs straight down when hooked to the fishing line. However, when underwater it is shown as a small, plain, ring. 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

Spoofed in Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Show No. 111 (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A lesser-known Hitchcock masterclass!
30 January 2006 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Hitchcock made a lot of great films, many of which have been met with the acclaim that they rightly deserve. Lifeboat deserves a lot of acclaim, yet its lesser-known status doesn't allow justice in that respect. This film represents one of Hitchcock's major successes in scene setting and drawing the audience into the story. The way that Hitchcock uses his camera aboard the lifeboat is amazing, as by keeping the action on the claustrophobic craft, the great director ensures that his audience is always plugged into the plight of his characters; which helps the film no end when it comes to the story, as we know their situation at all times. In fact, it's amazing just how well Hitchcock does do this; while they were starving, I was too! The plot is simple, yet a great base for a wartime thriller. We follow the surviving members of a crew from a ship that was bombed by a German U-Boat. They're crammed onto a small lifeboat, but there's one survivor that isn't quite welcome. His name is Willy, and he's a survivor of the U-Boat that sank the ill-fated ship.

Given the time when this was made (towards the end of World War 2), it's hardly surprising that it's filled with propaganda. Usually, this annoys me; but here it's done really well, and the propaganda is actually worked into the story instead of just being there to rally the allied population at the time. Hitchcock turns this into a twist, and the way that he parodies the war on the whole on just a small lifeboat in the middle of the big ocean is great. The entire film takes place on just one single set. The action never leaves the lifeboat (aside from to pan around the surrounding area), but Hitchcock uses this to his advantage. The lack of locations really enforces the crew's isolation. The acting is melodramatic in typical forties fashion; but all of the cast members do well in their roles. Tallulah Bankhead takes the lead role and really is the linchpin of the movie. She is joined by the likes of William Bendix, Walter Slezak and John Hodiak, who give great turns despite not being A-class actors. Overall, this is a Hitchcock film that I would say is just as important to see as the likes of Rear Window and Strangers on a Train. This is Hitchcock at his best, and the film is a great ninety-five minutes to boot. Don't miss this one!


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