Blu-Ray News #84: Lifeboat (1944).


Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay by Jo Swerling, from a story by John Steinbeck
Starring Tallulah Bankhead, William Bendix, Walter Slezak, Mary Anderson, John Hodiak, Henry Hull, Heather Angel, Hume Cronyn, Canada Lee

They say constraints can greatly influence creativity. (Working advertising, I hear all it all time.) You can see evidence of this idea in movies that overcome obstacles ranging from limited budgets and schedules (the Randolph Scott/Budd Boetticher Westerns) to a mechanical shark that doesn’t work (Jaws).

No one understood this better than Alfred Hitchcock, who seemed to choose projects because of the challenges they’d toss at him. Lifeboat (1944) might be the ultimate example of this, an entire picture on a lifeboat.


Lifeboat puts a handful of people in a lifeboat after their ship’s torpedoed by a Nazi submarine. That’s it. The movie never leaves the boat. What’s more, once the titles are out of the way, there’s not even a score.

Of course, this being Hitchcock, it all comes together perfectly. It helps that his cast turns in one flawless performance after another. Tallulah Bankhead makes a huge impression here, but everybody else is just as good.

Kino Lorber has announced an upcoming Blu-Ray of Lifeboat to set sail sometime in 2017. I can’t wait.


Filed under 20th Century-Fox, Alfred Hitchcock, DVD/Blu-ray News, Kino Lorber

3 responses to “Blu-Ray News #84: Lifeboat (1944).

  1. john k

    Off topic…..but a few threads back Toby reviewed
    Carlotta France’s forthcoming Blu Ray of THE NEW CENTURIONS.
    Carlotta normally do not have “forced” French subtitles on their
    Blu Ray’s but I was dismayed to find “forced” subs on their recent
    restored version of LITTLE BIG MAN. I have e-mailed them regarding this.
    I know Penn’s film divides opinion,but I love that film and Carlotta’s new
    high def transfer is breathtaking..but why those forced subs.


  2. john k

    Regarding the above:

    Carlotta have informed me that some of their discs DO have
    “forced” subtitles. On the three forthcoming Richard Fleischer films
    the subs are removable.
    The three Fleischer films are as follows
    10 RILLINGTON PLACE (out on Twilight Time and soon to appear
    on Powerhouse UK Blu Ray)
    BLIND TERROR France Blu Ray exclusive
    THE NEW CENTURIONS France Blu-Ray exclusive

    I guess with Carlotta it’s best to e-mail them in advance before
    purchasing a particular title.
    Jeff over at Jeff Arnold’s West has complained recently over Sidonis
    “forced” subs-he has just reviewed their very fine version of
    RAW EDGE-it looks like Jeff like some of us just puts up with the darn
    subs if we want the film bad enough.Jeff should have waited for the
    Koch German Blu Ray of RAW EDGE. Great to see this little known gem
    getting some attention,however-I’m gonna feature it on my “Underrated
    ’56” over at Rupert Pupkin Speaks.


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