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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 22 July 2016
An interesting wartime movie from Hitch with its obligatory element of propaganda. I wonder if anyone else has noticed a contradiction in the 'message' concerning the treatment of the two rescued germans - one near the beginning of the film and one near the end. When the first german is rescued the John Hodiak character wants to throw him back overboard but when the second german is rescued he expresses surprise at the fact that they are not going to kill him - an attitude which merits the response of disgust and to ask how on earth one can deal with people like this - I guess they should all have asked John Hodiak.

Apart from this I found everything about the movie very fine and, unlike many contemporary english films, has hardly dated stylistically at all.
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on 13 June 2016
Not mentioned nearly enough. This is one of the most inventive movies I've ever seen. Hitchcock chose this propaganda piece, to challenge himself by filming the whole movie within a lifeboat. Tallulah Bankhead excels as a resourceful female lead, but the whole cast is exemplary.
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on 8 August 2012
It's definately not a typical Hitchcock film. It's more characters driven and even with the static location it works well. The blu-ray has a very good picture.
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on 23 March 2007
I have been waiting for YEARS for this film to come out. One of the all time forgotten Hitchcock movies. This is marvellous. The idea that the whole thing is on a lifeboat is ground breaking. And the film never wains. This is truly a marvellous film and raises all sorts of awkward questions about morality and the right to take away someone elses life. It is brilliant. I'm so glad it can now be available for everyone!
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on 22 January 2014
Definitely recommend this title to any Hitchcock fan. Only Hitchcock can put several people on a small boat in the middle of an ocean and keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Don't miss this one!
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on 8 November 2013
this movie never gets the due it deserves. whenever there's a Hitchcock "masterpiece collection" or a Hitchcock "essentials collection" maybe one of these Hitchcock scholars (i.e idiots) who decide on the films to be included in these "sets" could replace Topaz, Torn Curtain or The Trouble With Harry w/Lifeboat.

think about it. wtf.
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on 12 May 2014
Always liked this film and the BD copy is great. Crisp clear picture and sound. Special effects (old school) look terrific.
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VINE VOICEon 27 October 2005
What would you do if you were stuck in a lifeboat with a hodgepodge of people and limited supplies? Does this sound like one of those corporate games? Well watch this movie and see how close you come to this fascinating Hitchcock (John Steinbeck story adapted by Jo Swerling) tale. Shot in monochrome adds to the hopeless feel.

It is WWII and a ship is torpedoed and its lifeboats are shot at. Before they went down they dispatched the dastardly U-Boat.

Now an only remaining Lifeboat is being loaded one at a time with a self-centered female journalist (Tallulah Bankhead), a boisterous businessman (Henry Hull), the radio ship's operator, a timid nurse, a ship's steward, a wounded sailor (William Bendix), and an overbearing engineer. We do not stop here the next to be pulled aboard does not speak English (Walter Slezak.)

As with all mixed people movies we slowly earn about everyone's background and a few secrets. As they start picking on each other we see that the only stable person seems to be the U-Boat passenger they picked up. If it were not for him people would have dies and or got lost. Besides doing most of the thinking for them he also has to do most of the rowing.

So why is everyone so upset?
Will they make it on their limited supplies and against the unpredictable sea?
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In many ways this is really Tallulah Bankhead's film. She is excellent as the hard-bitten journalist who is originally best equipped to survive the period spent on the eponymous lifeboat, although she loses her belongings at regular intervals throughout the rest of the movie. The rest of the cast is also strong, although the talented Hume Cronyn - later to appear in the wonderful Shadow Of A Doubt [DVD] [1942]- is wildly miscast as an English officer. I think his voice coach must have been AWOL during this production.

This is a Cinema Reserve edition of the film, which is supposed to mean that it has been carefully restored from the original, but the picture seems in pretty average condition for much of its running time. Later segments look better than the opening reel, however.

An interesting minor Hitchcock piece, which is worth watching again.
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on 23 August 2008
Your ship has been sunk by the 'Bosh'. You are stuck in a lifeboat, thinking you are the only survivors. Then you discover a German U Boat crew survivor. What would you do next?
Are we really any different to the 'enemy'? Can we be trusted to take the moral high ground, or will we descend into our own righteous judgement and become the thing we fear the most? In true Hitchcock style, all aspects of human behaviour is under scrutiny, and the results could surprise and startle you. A masterpiece, worth adding to your collection.
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