Eight passengers man a lifeboat after their ship is torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat, which is also simultaneously struck. When the sub's captain is pulled aboard, he is greeted with hostility and paranoia although his knowledge of the sea may be the only thing guiding the vessel to safety or peril. Confined entirely to the small craft, Lifeboat may be Alfred Hitchcock's most atypical work though it is creaky and plays almost like social theater of the era. An excellent cast buoys the production with standouts including Tellulah Bankhead as a spoiled and worldly journalist, William Bendix as a wounded traveler, Hume Cronyn as a novice sailor, and Walter Slezak as the shifty German.
*** out of ****