7.8/10
23,760
146 user 81 critic

Lifeboat (1944)

Not Rated | | Drama, 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.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

John Steinbeck (by), Jo Swerling (screen play)

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Spellbound (1945)
Film-Noir | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A psychiatrist protects the identity of an amnesia patient accused of murder while attempting to recover his memory.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov
Saboteur (1942)
Certificate: Passed Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An aircraft factory worker goes on the run after being wrongly accused of starting a fire that killed his best friend.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Priscilla Lane, Robert Cummings, Otto Kruger
I Confess (1953)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A priest, who comes under suspicion for murder, cannot clear his name without breaking the seal of the confessional.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, Karl Malden
Suspicion (1941)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A shy young heiress marries a charming gentleman, and soon begins to suspect he is planning to murder her.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Cedric Hardwicke
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young woman discovers her visiting uncle may not be the man he seems to be.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey
Certificate: Passed Action | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

On the eve of World War II, a young American reporter tries to expose enemy agents in London.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall
The Wrong Man (1956)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1953, an innocent man named Christopher Emmanuel "Manny" Balestrero is arrested after being mistaken for an armed robber.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Henry Fonda, Vera Miles, Anthony Quayle
Stage Fright (1950)
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A struggling actress tries to help a friend prove his innocence when he's accused of murdering the husband of a high society entertainer.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Jane Wyman, Richard Todd
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

While travelling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas
Sabotage (1936)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A Scotland Yard undercover detective is on the trail of a saboteur who is part of a plot to set off a bomb in London. But when the detective's cover is blown, the plot begins to unravel.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Oskar Homolka, Desmond Tester
The 39 Steps (1935)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A man in London tries to help a counter-espionage Agent. But when the Agent is killed, and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to save himself and stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A couple who have been married for three years are shocked to learn that their marriage is not legally valid.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery, Gene Raymond
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tallulah Bankhead ... Connie Porter
William Bendix ... Gus Smith
Walter Slezak ... Willi
Mary Anderson ... Alice MacKenzie
John Hodiak ... John Kovac
Henry Hull ... Charles J. Rittenhouse
Heather Angel ... Mrs. Higley
Hume Cronyn ... Stanley Garrett
Canada Lee ... Joe Spencer
Edit

Storyline

In the Atlantic during World War II, 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:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

28 January 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's Production of Lifeboat See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,590,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was shot entirely at the studio, with lifeboats set up in two places. One was the studio tank, in which the boat was held in place by a system of underwater wires. There were water chutes on all four sides of the tank, each fed by a tank containing four thousand gallons of water. For some scenes, however, there was a lifeboat suspended above rollers that duplicated the boat's movements on the waves. See more »

Goofs

The fish that is seen underwater going after Connie's gem bait is obviously being pulled to it by a line attached to its mouth, and never opens its mouth to take the object when it makes its "strike". 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 The Dick Cavett Show: Alfred Hitchcock (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Du, Du, Liegst Mir im Herzen
(uncredited)
Traditional German folk song
Played on flute by Canada Lee
Reprised by Lee and Sung in German by Walter Slezak
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Your Rescuer Or Your Captor
1 June 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

When David O. Selznick got some loan out money from Darryl Zanuck for Alfred Hitchcock's services for two films (the second was never made), I'm sure Zanuck must have just loved Hitchcock when he told him that he wanted to make a film with just one set. Talk about cost cutting, anyway after a few failed scripts, Zanuck got American premier novelist John Steinbeck to write an original screenplay and since it was timely patriotic, Hitchcock did it.

So for Hitchcock asking for a one set film, the movie going public got Lifeboat. A disparate group of passengers and crew are torpedoed in the mid-Atlantic and wind up together in a lifeboat. After their ship went down however, another ship in the convoy rammed in the U-Boat that sank them. The last one picked up on board is a German.

The crew members include John Hodiak, William Bendix, Hume Cronyn and Canada Lee. Passengers are Mary Anderson, Heather Angel and a dead baby she clings to, and millionaire Henry Hull. And of course playing a Dorothy Thompson like correspondent is the great Tallulah Bankhead.

Lifeboat is a wonderful film not just for the fact that Alfred Hitchcock succeeded in making a one set film that you are never conscious of while watching. But it's the only opportunity to see Tallulah at the height of her fame. She made a bunch of Hollywood features at the beginning of the sound era, but they flopped for the most part. So she went back to Broadway which loved her best and her season box seat at the Polo Grounds where she was the New York Giants most devoted fan. Lifeboat should have rejuvenated a movie career, but she apparently didn't care. Lifeboat even on its own is her best work on film, let alone in comparison to other films.

The villain of Lifeboat is our German, Walter Slezak. He's a devious and cunning individual, he seems stronger and more fit than the other Lifeboat survivors and because of that and in spite of the fact he's hated, he gradually assumes charge. There's a reason for his actions and his fitness and when it's discovered, grave consequences erupt.

Canada Lee, distinguished black actor from the stage, gets a role here that's far from Willie Best or Step N' Fetchit. My favorite scene in Lifeboat is when Hodiak who represents the left on the boat is trying to rouse the rest to just toss Walter Slezak to the sharks when he first arrives, asks Lee for his opinion as he's a member of the party. Lee replies simply he didn't realize he had any vote or say in the matter, a very trenchant observation about how blacks were disenfranchised in a quarter of the USA, some twenty years before the Voting Rights Act.

The Lifeboat survivors are a cross section of the American people and this World War II allegory in microcosm is to show just why these Nazis are as evil as they are and why we have to resist. Even today more than sixty years after it was first made, Lifeboat is still a great cinematic achievement from Alfred Hitchcock.

And it was made so cheaply which Darryl Zanuck ecstatic.


25 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 146 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed