Lifeboat (special Edition)

Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock Starring: Tallulah Bankhead

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Product Overview

After their ship is sunk in the Atlantic by Germans, eight people are stranded in a lifeboat, among them a glamorous journalist (Tallulah Bankhead), a tough seaman (John Hodiak), a nurse (Mary Anderson) and an injured sailor (William Bendix). 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.


Studio Foxvideo
SKU 40721470
UPC 024543172260
UPC 14 00024543172260
Format DVD
Release Date 9/5/2006
Rating NR
Character Study
Essential Cinema
High Seas
World War II
Editors Note
Note 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.
Plot Summary
Summary 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.
Entertainment Weekly "...Hitchcock broke the champagne bottle on the [liferaft] subgenre....Carries a vigilante chill..." -- Rating: B 01/26/1996 pp.66-8,"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 10/21/2005 p.61
Premiere 4 stars out of 4 -- "LIFEBOAT convinces us completely of its sincerity and urgency." 11/01/2005 p.112-116
Uncut 5 stars out of 5 -- "[P]ure cinema, with every shot finding a different angle." 04/01/2006 p.144
Total Film 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..." 06/01/2012
Sight and Sound "[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..." 05/01/2012
Alfred Hitchcock
Tallulah Bankhead
Cast & Crew
Alfred Hitchcock - Director
Dorothy Spencer - Editor
Glen MacWilliams - Cinematographer
Hugo Friedhofer - Original Music By
Jo Swerling, et. al. - Writer
John Steinbeck - Story By
Kenneth Macgowan - Producer
Mary Anderson - Actor
Tallulah Bankhead - Actor
Walter Slezak - Actor
William Bendix - Actor
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1944
Catalog ID 2227226
UPC 00024543172260
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 96 minutes
Color B&W
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Standard  1.33:1 [4:3]
Oscar (1945) Alfred Hitchcock, Nominee, Best Director,John Steinbeck, Nominee, Best Writing, Original Story,Glen MacWilliams, Nominee, Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
DVD, Black & White, Pan and Scan (TV Format), Dolby Digital Stereo, English, Spanish Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Bankhead,Tallulah
Label Fox Home Entertainment
Video Format DVD
John Esther, Pasadena Weekly One of Hitchcock's best...
Mike Pinsky, Daily-Reviews Proof that Hitchcock can make any situation fascinating.
The Hollywood Reporter Absorbing... brilliantly executed!

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