LIFEBOAT reminded me of 12 ANGRY MEN on water. The entire movie takes place on a tiny lifeboat with each character’s views and background shaping his or her opinions of the situation. I wouldn’t say it’s a tale of human survival because their supplies or lack thereof really don’t affect the story. The real story is the trust and animosity between the eight Americans and the one German. The German manipulates them by gaining their trust and then slowly uses them to further his cause.
My one complaint about the movie is that it tried to add too many subplots. I didn’t really care about the romantic relationships between any of them because it didn’t really effect what was going on. Also, there were some long monologues that tripped up the story and felt out of place. I would’ve preferred a stronger focus on the German so we could follow his many betrayals.
Despite that, LIFEBOAT is a quality movie with some great acting and even better directing. My favorite part of the film was the ingenious way Hitchcock put himself into the movie. I won’t spoil it for you, but it was probably one of the best cameos of all time
Commentary with film professor Drew Casper: Mr. Casper is a very intelligent man that knows his Hitchcock movies. However, you might find this a little dry because it sounds like he’s reading out of one of his textbooks. Therefore, you feel like you’re in school and therefore, you want to be somewhere else.
The Making of Lifeboat (19:57): This really should be called “Story of Lifeboat” because it doesn’t spend a whole lot of time regarding the making of the movie. It shows interviews with Hitchcock’s daughter, granddaughter and some film historians. It does offer some interesting antidotes like the fact Ms. Bankhead didn’t like to wear underwear. Ahhhh…they just don’t make them like that anymore.
There is also A Still Photo Gallery.