Homage to Hitchc0ck - Lifeboat (1944)
The closest thing to an adult version of Lord of the Flies, with the caveat that the dead body belongs to one of the more despicable Nazis to ever grace a screen, this film expands Sir Alfred’s creative capabilities once again. The Nazi’s death at the hands of the mob, stranded literally in a lifeboat from a steamer sunk by said Nazi’s u-boat, is a welcome catharsis and long overdue . . . or maybe perfectly timed by the brilliantly clever Hitchcock.
Lifeboat exposes the very best, and very worst, of humanity, in a taught and somewhat short but very engaging film.
In addition to the production challenges; shooting in a tank on a sound stage for weeks; the practical effects of wave motion and storms; and the tight quarters of the actors for hours on end, there was plenty of intrigue prior to even a foot of film exposed.
Most of the intrigue could be summed up in two words, Tallulah Bankhead.
An actress who described herself as “pure as the driven slush,” Bankhead didn’t disappoint. Not only did she negotiate a tough contract but for several days, while climbing up the ladder to get into the lifeboat, which sat inside the sound stage tank, Tallulah attracted a crowd of crew people.
Hitchcock discovered that Tallulah never wore underwear and announced, “Is this a job for wardrobe, or hair styling?”
Further shenanigans ensued and it was rumored that she was doing the posturepedic polka with a couple of her co-stars.
If that ain’t enough to get you to watch this excellent, and underrated thriller, you’re either bind or three days dead.
Get ready Dali fans. Spellbound (1945). Next week.