USA | 98 min.
black & white
• New high-definition master, officially licensed from Twentieth Century Fox
• New high-definition 1080p transfers of Hitchcock’s little-seen French-language 1944 wartime films, Bon voyage (26 minutes) and Aventure malgache (32 minutes) officially licensed from the British Film Institute
• Optional English subtitles on all three films
• 20-minute documentary on the making of Lifeboat
• 12-minute excerpt from the legendary 1962 audio interviews between Hitchcock and François Truffaut, discussing Lifeboat and the wartime shorts
• PLUS: A 36-page booklet featuring new and exclusive essays on all three films by critics Bill Krohn, Arthur Mas, and Martial Pisani
Alfred Hitchcock, 1944
Based on an unpublished novella by John Steinbeck (written on commission expressly to provide treatment material for Hitchcock’s screen scenario), Lifeboat found the Master of Suspense navigating a course of maximal tension – in the most minimal of settings – with a consistently inventive, beautifully paced drama that would foreshadow the single-set experiments of Rope and Dial M for Murder.
After a Nazi torpedo reduces an ocean liner to wooden splinters and scorched personal effects, the survivors of the attack pull themselves aboard a drifting lifeboat in the hope of eventual rescue. But the motivations of the German submarine captain (played by Walter Slezak) on the eponymous craft might extend beyond mere survival…
With a cast including Shadow of a Doubt veteran Hume Cronyn and the extraordinary, irrepressible Tallulah Bankhead, this “picture of characters”, as François Truffaut aptly termed the film, oscillates dazzlingly between comic repartée and white-knuckle suspense – a perfect example of “the Hitchcock touch”. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present the Oscar-nominated Lifeboat in a Dual Format edition (Blu-ray and DVD), accompanied by Hitchcock’s two French-language wartime shorts, Bon voyage and Aventure malgache.