Lifeboat

A classic Alfred Hitchcock movie (1944) that is shot entirely on a lifeboat. A ship is torpedoed in the second world war and few of the inhabitants find refuge in a lifeboat. Among them are a columnist Connie Porter (Tallulah Bankhead) Alice MacKenzie (Mary Anderson). Also pulled in is a German guy who does not speak English. Initially there is much resistance to the German’s presence on the boat but they allow him to survive considering he is a prisoner of war. Subsequently they have to depend on the German navigation skills when a storm breaks out. They all assume they are heading for Bermuda on the basis of sun position and planets but the German knows otherwise. Its a cat and mouse psychological drama played between the characters on the lifeboat. Meanwhile one guy Gus Smith (William Bendix) has to have his leg amputated as gangrene sets in. They run out of water and food and there is a lot of flare up between the characters. There is love interest between Stanley (Hume Cronyn) and Alice and sparks fly between Connie and John Kovac (John Hodiak). The story is written by John Steinbeck of the “Grapes of Wrath” fame. Alfred Hitchcock has done a brilliant job with the direction, but it is the cinematography which is breathtaking. Shot entirely in black and white, the film did run into some controversy with its sympathetic portrayal of the Germans. This is one movie in which Alfred Hitchcock does not appear himself in a cameo role, he could not have since the movie was shot entirely on a lifeboat. 

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