- Commentary by Film Professor Drew Casper
- "The Making of Lifeboat"
- Still Gallery
- Audio: English [CC]
- Subtitles: English, Spanish
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 36 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: October 18, 2005
- Originally Released: 1944
- Label: 20th Century Fox
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Mono - English
- Stereo - English
- Subtitles - English, Spanish - Optional
- Additional Release Material:
- Behind the Scenes: "The Making of LIFEBOAT"
- Audio Commentary: Drew Casper - Film Professor
- Trailers: Original Theatrical Trailer
- Text/Photo Galleries:
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Entertainment Weekly - 01/26/1996
"...Hitchcock broke the champagne bottle on the [liferaft] subgenre....Carries a vigilante chill..." -- Rating: B+
Premiere - 11/01/2005
4 stars out of 4 -- "LIFEBOAT convinces us completely of its sincerity and urgency."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/21/2005
"Based on a Steinbeck novella, the film is both an allegory about the need for unity to combat Nazism and a technological marvel..." -- Grade: B+
Uncut - 04/01/2006
5 stars out of 5 -- "[P]ure cinema, with every shot finding a different angle."
Total Film - 06/01/2012
4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's well worth a gander for Hitch's inventiveness in devising varied camera angles in his confined space..."
Sight and Sound - 05/01/2012
"[I]t holds up remarkably. Inventive, suspenseful and witty, it's also fascinating as Hitchcock's first attempt to shoot almost entirely on a single-set..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Nominated for three Academy Awards, Alfred Hitchcock's World War II drama, is a remarkable story of human survival.
After their ship is sunk in the Atlantic by Germans, eight people are stranded in a lifeboat, among them a glamorous journalist, a tough seaman, a nurse and an injured sailor. Their problems are further compounded when they pick up a ninth passenger - the Nazi captain from the U-boat that torpedoed them. With its powerful interplay of suspense and emotion, this legendary classic is a microcosm of humanity, revealing the subtleties of man's strengths and frailties under extraordinary duress.
Based on a story by John Steinbeck, LIFEBOAT tells of the desperate struggle for survival of a group of people whose boat was torpedoed by a German U-boat during the Second World War. In this gripping character study about eight diverse survivors, tensions mount after a Nazi is brought aboard. LIFEBOAT is an unusual yet thrilling film from Alfred Hitchcock.
LIFEBOAT is an intense thriller crafted around the psychological drama produced when eight unlikely companions are thrown together by drastic circumstance. The exceptional performances of its ensemble cast make it a classic, one credited with reviving Tallulah Bankhead's career. After a German U-boat torpedoes their ship, several survivors find themselves together in a lifeboat. Each is of a distinctly different background: Tallulah Bankhead's character, the radiant Constance Porter, is a famed fashion writer; others include tycoon Charles Rittenhouse (Henry Hull), marxist seaman John Kovac (John Hodiak), Stanley Garret (Hume Cronyn), a radio operator, a wounded furnace stoker, a nurse, a grieving mother, and a porter. The group is joined by the commander of the German U-boat (Walter Slezak), which was itself sunk in the exchange. Choosing to take him aboard as a gesture of humanity, and for the sake of his seafaring skills, proves to be a fateful decision. Production was done almost entirely in studio, using a range of specialized water sets and props to allow Hitchcock to achieve the camera angles he wanted while employing rear-projected seascapes shot off the coast of Florida.
Character Study |
Essential Cinema |
High Seas |
World War II
- Hitchcock cameo: Hitch solved the difficult problem of how to make a cameo appearance in the middle of the ocean by appearing in a "before-and-after" diet advertisement in the newspaper Rittenhouse is reading.
- Tallulah Bankhead developed pneumonia after hours of filming in wet clothes.
- During filming Hitchcock went on a serious diet, reducing his weight from 300 to 200 pounds.