Lifeboat (1944)

Approved  |   |  Thriller, War  |  28 January 1944 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 19,264 users  
Reviews: 119 user | 76 critic

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



(by), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Walter Slezak ...
Canada Lee ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Six men and three women - against the sea and each other. See more »


Thriller | War


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Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

28 January 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Náufragos  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,590,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


Only Charles holds Joe's family photo as they stand together. However, the close up shows Joe's hand holding the picture on left, with Charles' hand on the right. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Gamera (1991) See more »


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

Quite Interesting
12 August 2002 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

One of the things that made Hitchcock great was his willingness to experiment, rather than just sticking with a proven formula all of the time. While not all of his experimental movies measure up to his greatest achievements, they're always worth watching, and "Lifeboat" is much more than just watchable. It's a tense drama that combines psychology and action in an efficient and memorable style.

This is quite an interesting movie in several respects, and not least for the ways that Hitchcock squeezes so much out of one single setting. Into the simple "Lifeboat" setting, he puts lots of details that are both interesting and appropriate. The characters are interesting and believable, and most of all, the story is full of both suspense and substance. As an extra bonus, there is one of Hitchcock's most creative cameo appearances.

Aside from the technical features, it is also noteworthy to see the ways that the characters are portrayed, with the contrasts among them perhaps a bit stylized at times, but done so as to make some important points. The cast does a good job in making each of the characters come to life, and all of them get a chance to have some good moments. It all fits together to make an unusual movie that is well worth watching.

31 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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