DAVID BIANCULLI

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LIFEBOAT
August 17, 2014  | By David Bianculli

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

 

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1944 character drama and wartime thriller, based on a story by John Steinbeck, featured one of the most interesting technical challenges of Hitchcock’s entire career. How do you maintain the drama and suspense of a movie when the entire thing takes place in the confines of a single lifeboat at sea, after a ship is torpedoed by a WWII German U-boat? Just watch closely, and you’ll see. William Bendix, Tallulah Bankhead star. And watch closely, too, for how Hitch sneaks his already anticipated cameo appearance into a movie where it doesn’t seem there would be any way he could do so, given the confines of the plot and setting. How does he do it? When William Bendix is holding a newspaper, look closely at the model in the “before” and “after” weight-loss ad. Priceless.

 
 
 
 
 
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