A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tallulah Bankhead was cast in the film because Alfred Hitchcock wanted to use "the most oblique, incongruous person imaginable in such a situation". She was Hitchcock's first choice for the role of Constance 'Connie' Porter. See more »
After Gus awakes from his amputation, the nurse has both arms near her at first. Then, she is leaning over Gus with her right arm outstretched in the next shot. See more »
[climbs into boat]
Lady, you certainly don't look like somebody that's just been shipwrecked.
Man, I certainly feel like it.
See more »
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.
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