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Lifeboat (SE)
DVD disk
Nov 2, 2005 By: Sturdy
Lifeboat (SE) order
Director:
Alfred Hitchcock

Actors:
Tallulah Bankhead
William Bendix
Walter Slezak

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Eight Americans are stranded in a lifeboat after their ship is sunk by a German U-boat during WWII. Things get complicated when they pick up a ninth passenger who happens to be the captain of the German U-boat.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Most movie fans know about Hitchcocks famous films like REAR WINDOW and NORTH BY NORTHWEST but what you may not realize is that he made a lot of great films that dont get talked about anymore. LIFEBOAT is one such film. The man was a brilliant director and if you love film history and great movies, I highly recommend watching all of his work.

LIFEBOAT reminded me of 12 ANGRY MEN on water. The entire movie takes place on a tiny lifeboat with each characters views and background shaping his or her opinions of the situation. I wouldnt say its a tale of human survival because their supplies or lack thereof really dont 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 didnt really care about the romantic relationships between any of them because it didnt really effect what was going on. Also, there were some long monologues that tripped up the story and felt out of place. I wouldve 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 wont spoil it for you, but it was probably one of the best cameos of all time
THE EXTRAS
Unfortunately, when virtually every major player in the film has passed on, its hard to have an extensive set of extras. Fox does an admirable job considering they didnt have many resources.

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 hes reading out of one of his textbooks. Therefore, you feel like youre 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 doesnt spend a whole lot of time regarding the making of the movie. It shows interviews with Hitchcocks daughter, granddaughter and some film historians. It does offer some interesting antidotes like the fact Ms. Bankhead didnt like to wear underwear. Ahhhhthey just dont make them like that anymore.

There is also A Still Photo Gallery.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
LIFEBOAT has been done in different capacities since 1944, but its nice to look back and see how it was done originally. Its a good movie that Hitchcock fans will love.
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