Based on an unpublished novella by John Steinbeck (written on commission expressly to provide treatment material for Hitchcock's screen scenario), Lifeboat
found the Master of Suspense navigating a course of maximal tension in the most minimal of settings with a consistently inventive, beautifully paced drama that would foreshadow the single-set experiments of Rope and Dial M for Murder.
After a Nazi torpedo reduces an ocean liner to wooden splinters and scorched personal effects, the survivors of the attack pull themselves aboard a drifting lifeboat in the hope of eventual rescue. But the motivations of the German submarine captain (played by Walter Slezak) on the eponymous craft might extend beyond mere survival...
With a cast including Shadow of a Doubt veteran Hume Cronyn and the extraordinary, irrepressible Tallulah Bankhead, this "picture of characters", as François Truffaut aptly termed the film, oscillates dazzlingly between comic repartée and white-knuckle suspense a perfect example of "the Hitchcock touch". The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the Oscar-nominated Lifeboat in a Dual Format (Blu-ray and DVD) standard edition & limited edition Dual Format steelbook , accompanied by Hitchcock's two French-language wartime shorts, Bon voyage and Aventure malgache. SPECIAL FEATURES:
- New high-definition master, officially licensed from Twentieth Century Fox
- New high-definition transfers of Hitchcock's little-seen French-language 1944 wartime films, Bon voyage (26 minutes) and Aventure malgache (31 minutes) officially licensed from the British Film Institute
- Optional English subtitles on all three films
- 20-minute documentary on the making of Lifeboat
- 12-minute excerpt from the legendary 1962 audio interviews between Hitchcock and François Truffaut, discussing Lifeboat and the wartime shorts
- PLUS: A 36-page booklet featuring archival imagery alongside new writing by critics Bill Krohn, Arthur Mas, and Martial Pisani
"A tremendously provocative film." Bosley Crowther, The New York Times
"He realises that peculiar Hitchcock manner with the player, in which the actor seems to be concentrating mentally on what he is about to do but never quite does it; so that his pantomime takes on a kind of sinister spontaneity." Manny Farber, The New Republic