DVD - 2005
Average Rating:
Rate this:
When their vessel is torpedoed in the Atlantic Ocean during WWII, eight survivors find refuge in a lifeboat. Short on food and water, their situation is further complicated when they rescue a crew member from the German submarine that sank their ship.
Publisher: Beverly Hills, Calif. : 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, c2005.
Edition: Special ed.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (96 min.) :,sd., b&w ;,12 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Oct 13, 2018

If you are not at all familiar with this 1944 Alfred Hitchcock production, then I certainly recommend that you give it a view. Its story-line is actually quite interesting.

Containing lots of intense drama, personal conflicts, and bitter sorrow - Lifeboat's unglamorous story takes place on the Atlantic Ocean where 8 people find themselves uncomfortably crowded in a confined space and, before long, they realize that they must pull together in order to survive their seemingly-hopeless situation.

Sep 24, 2018

Filmed in stark b&w - 1944's "Lifeboat" is probably one of director, Alfred Hitchcock's lesser known pictures. Its screenplay was adapted from a John Steinbeck story.

Set on the cold, cruel Atlantic ocean (during WW2) - This picture's story concerns 8 Brits and 1 Nazi who all find themselves confined to the limited space of a rough and rickety lifeboat where stomachs stay empty, egos get trampled, tempers flare, and personal conflicts abound.

Yes. Lifeboat's story did have its trying moments. (I was half-expecting Tallulah Bankhead to bulldoze her way right through this picture. But, thankfully, she restrained herself - "Darling!")

Anyway - For the most part - This grim, little drama of bitterness and human survival actually did hold up quite well.

May 05, 2017

To those only acquainted with the later Hitchcock work of the 50's on, this little gem is a new exposure and an education.
A case could almost be made that this film was made for the Germans! Certainly, Slezak's Nazi captain was the most sane and rational of the film's characters. The histrionics of some of the other members, particularly Hodiak's bigotry, only confirm this observation. However, Ms. Bankhead's part is the central one, and she plays this for all it is worth. It is only a short while after the beginning of this film that the concept that it is made on only one movie set recedes. As with a one-act play, with the proper cast one set is all that's necessary. Of course, as with so many classic films, it's impossible to visualize any modern actors capable of duplicating these performances.

May 05, 2017

LIFEBOAT is totally captivating like no other Alfred Hitchcock film. After their ship has been torpedoed in the Atlantic the eight survivors find themselves in one lifeboat and with one Nazi seaman who they rescue and bring on board with them in this sociological WWII tale of morality and survival. LIFEBOAT is amazingly scripted from John Steinbeck’s original story. The cast of Tallulah Bankhead, John Hodiak, Hume Cronyn, Henry Hull, William Bendix, Mary Anderson, Heather Angel, Canada Lee and Walter Slezak is phenomenal. I have watched this film many times and I am still captivated by its certain charm in its ability to draw you in and captivate you each time. There is never a boring moment and each character has their own personality, outlook, hopes, fears and aspirations. This is a great film.

May 05, 2017

This is a 1944 American survival war-time drama directed by Alfred Hitchcock, based on a novella written by John Steinbeck.
Set entirely on a lifeboat launched from a sinking passenger vessel following a World War II naval attack, the film shows the struggles, strengths, weaknesses and frailities of individuals under extraordinary duress.
Although it is a profoundly thought-provoking drama, I noticed several flaws in the screenplay.
First of all, the U-boat captain speaks fluent English.
He should've spoken English to pretend to be an Allied member.
Secondly, it is impossible to amputate a man's leg in such an unstable and ill-equipped lifeboat.
Thirdly, the captain keeps a bottle of water without being noticed by the other members.
So, I'd say, you probably need a willing suspension of disbelief when viewing this movie.

Feb 01, 2017

VERY GOOD 1944 Alfred Hitchcock movie production based on (apparently with considerable modifications) of John Steinbeck material. Very interesting WWII period piece with limited stage setting - the lifeboat. Excellent acting by all the characters - I did particularly enjoy Tallulah Bankhead who I don't remember seeing before. Good romantic elements between some characters.
Interesting plays on language with characters speaking English, German, French.
The film is a bit obscure bit of Hitchcock - but is well worth a view!

Dec 13, 2015

The movie was probably good when it was shown. But there are much better movies of this type now.

Jun 25, 2014

Do not miss seeing Alfred Hitchcock's classic film "Lifeboat". It takes place in World War II and is the story of nine ship survivors. The book was written by John Steinbeck, which was a switch from his writings of Monterey, California and the migrant workers of the 1930's. Here he looks at war and who is the enemy. It is a wonderful script with a great cast. Hitchcock focuses on the isolation within the lifeboat and the struggle to be the leader of the small lifeboat. An all time Hitchcock masterpiece that has been enjoyed for generations.

Jun 06, 2014

I loved this film and a story often told about the film. "During filming, several crew members noted that Tallulah Bankhead was not wearing underwear. When advised of this situation, Alfred Hitchcock observed, 'I don't know if this is a matter for the costume department, makeup, or hairdressing.' "

Jun 06, 2014

Slow pace, but excellent acting. Even though set in wartime, much of the tension is applicable in any similar disaster.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Mar 17, 2013

Connie Porter: "...Dying together's even more personal than living together."

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top