- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Slezak to the rescue
This story makes you take sides. As it progresses you wonder who's delusional and who's not. You wonder who's who. I agree it was probably a great challenge to direct this group in such a confined setting, so I think Hitchcock does deserve credit for taking it on. But I also think the character of Willi the German U-Boat captain was right up his alley. Is Willi really a good guy now that he's in the same boat as everyone else? Or is he something else? That said, without this element I think this film would be bore.
Tallulah Bankhead is from my hometown of Huntsville AL and it was interesting to see what a great actress she was in this film. By googling "Huntsville AL Tallulah Bankhead" I found some interesting facts about her and her family. Lifeboat is a truly unique and riveting film with well developed characters. The story lost me for a moment when the starving survivors let go of the fish and her bracelet on the line because they saw a ship. Those were smart people - there is no way that would have happened. A must-see film worth watching more than once.
"Throw the Nazi buzzard overboard"
- Jeff Boston
Kovac's continual common sense commentary could not cajole his "comrades" (Connie called Kovac "Fellow Traveler" and "Commissar" during their crude commie/crass capitalist class-related clashes) despite years of Nazi caused carnage and the immediate loss of their ship and so many onboard. Such fantasy. At the very least, Willi would have been furtively frisked and then tied up (and slapped around occasionally, especially after it was revealed that he was the U-Boat Captain). I can understand why this was such a bomb. "Lifeboat" makes the Nazi the least stereotypical, the smartest, the most accomplished, etc. The Allies have no immediate families (save anti-violent, Christian Joe), back when almost all adults were married, and more glaring is the group's make up: a nice, cute homewrecker (still a sin, but a really big one back then); a man seemingly made up of molten lava whom made "a billboard out of one's torso" (cool contemptuous comment, Connie); one who admitted to having nothing in his life but money (so overdone by Hollywood); and a dump-to-divine, cunning career woman whom unrealistically transformed herself into a materialistic snob whom drops the word "Darling" more often than her treasured trove drops overboard. Still, worth watching as a reminder there will always be evil ideologies that sprout up like weeds, and the good must always confront evil sooner or later (this film argues for sooner), and that to prevail, the good must unite, which our fellow travelers had no intention on doing a generation later for the benefit of our troops in Asia.
- Richard olexsak
Can watch this movies mega number of times. I give it 100% positive review!
- Hauntess A. Clichae
Hurray for everyone except the symbol/character of caucasic male authority. What bilge.
A marvelous contribution to the film noir genre - I loved it...the character studies...LIFEBOAT is now hands-down the Hitchcock film I like most.A few vignettes remarkable especially for their time 1944: When the lifeboat occupants are at desperation point, and attack/kill the German survivor who has deceived them and is now goading them; it is only the African-American Joe who holds onto his humanity and does not participate in the murder, but stands back in grief.Then, when the lifeboat is under collateral fire and all must hunker down as the American ship shells the German supply boat, small frail Alice spontaneously spreads her arms and uses her body to shelter two of the men.Then, when the shelling is over, the German ship is sunk and the lifeboat occupants feel safe, Constance remembers her lost Cartier diamond bracelet and shakes in grief, the bracelet lost when used as bait to catch a large fish then abandoned and released when the ship came into sight; at that point one of the men (Kovac?) sees, understands, and comforts Connie.And Constance herself; absolutely superb performance from Tallulah Bankhead.
A little rocky but ultimately smooth sailing
- Oliver Cutshaw
Film is well-known and generally well liked. Though its reputation has dimmed over the years. Much has been said of Hitchcock's challenge of filming so many actors in such a small space. He succeeds brilliantly (but didn't he always!) The Film has pace, dynamic tension, intimacy, and more than a hint of political overtones. But the script. Sorry but it just doesn't really hold up. Seems unrealistic and ultimately unsettling. Premise that unless, we are are all perpetually vigilant the evil doers (always wolves in sheep clothing) will destroy us. But Willie, the duplicitous German U-boat captain seems not only an obvious fake and villain, he seems to intentionally want to be extra villainous. Given he has nowhere to hide you kind of wonder why he goes out of his way to be so troublesome. The plot runs out about 50 minutes into the film, I think if this had been made a decade later it would have made a great Alfred Hitchcock Presents hour long episode. Anyway interesting 1940's wartime Hitchcock. But Foreign Correspondent, which covers much the same ground is much better.
Shipwreck survivors vs. secret sabatour aboard
- William Fox
WW2 survivors of a torpedoed ship don't know a German sub officer is with them. Penetrating revelations about disparate shipwreck survivors adrift in a lonely lifeboat, during WW2 with limited supplies in stormy seas. Sophisticated journalist Tallulah Bankhead is beautiful, but spoiled, snappy and winsome. Why is Willie, Walter Slezak, so strong, charming and full of German songs? Only director Hitchcock could comprehensively conduct challenges in this claustrophobic film and succeed so beguilingly. Screenwriter Jo Swerling adapted John Steinbeck's original story. Simple shipwreck survivors vs. smary secret sabatour aboard.
A small Hitchcock film with remarkable depth. Bankhead won the Best Actress award from the New York Film Critics Circle and has excellent chemistry with Hodiak, in his career best, as two members of a group of survivors from a U-boat attack. Hitchcock gives his most ingenious cameo's and was nominated for an Oscar for directing this unique film set in a single location, a precursor for "Rear Window" in terms of creating suspense in a limited environment . Excellent acting and a great, Oscar-nominated story from John Steinbeck makes this a must-see. I give it a 4.5/5.
Dated WWII prooganda flic
Love 1940 flics, but only the ones that have stood the test of time. Despite a credible cast, this film belongs in the historical bin with great examples of "why we should hate the Nazi's." Guess what, they were done a year after this film was made. Hollywood should have concentrated on how evil the Japanese Empire was. The US lost more lives in the Pacific. And what were all those civilians doing crossing the Atlantic at that time.
One of the best in black and white ( Lifeboat)
This is one of many great black and white movies of its time, with a all star cast the storyline keeps you guessing, you care about the characters just a wonderful movie! This movie won't disappoint, great scenes, and subdued action and suspense, one of Alfred Hictchcocks best!!
Absolutely brilliant film, one of the best character studies ever, thanks to Alfred Hitchcock's expert direction. The cast is nothing short of magnificent, Tallulah Bankhead is a stand-out. Superbly written. A gem of a classic.