After last evening's much-anticipated screening of I CONFESS at South Lamar, our 5-film miniseries of our favorite underappreciated and rarely screened Alfred Hitchcock titles – Hitchcock: The Dark Side of Genius -- continues on this Monday, July 16th, 7:00pm, with LIFEBOAT. By next week, the construction at Ritz will have finished, so the series will make its triumphant and most welcome return to Downtown Austin.
Although often overshadowed by films that would follow in its footsteps (DIAL M FOR MURDER, REAR WINDOW, and others), Hitchcock's LIFEBOAT is the first in a series of the director's signature single-location films. For lack of a better phrasing, the film is (surprise!) set entirely on the titular lifeboat. As his most daring or foolhardy venture in using a restricted setting, Hitchcock presents what was in its time a contemporary moral tale (and which is still relevant today) in the context of World War II. Attacked by a German U-boat, a group of British and American citizens escape a sinking ship by the skin of their teeth. As tragedy gradually befalls those awaiting rescue, the fight for survival becomes its own kind of strange madness. A too-close-for-comfort encounter with the enemy causes dissent amongst the passengers and they must decide for themselves what is morally right and what is necessary to ensure self-preservation.
LIFEBOAT (July 16th) is an important narrative and technical experiment for Hitchcock, as much a study in claustrophobia as much as it is a triumph for its actors and crew. LIFEBOAT stars Tallulah Bankhead, William Bendix, Walter Slezak, Mary Anderson, John Hodiak, Henry Hull, Heather Angel, Hume Cronyn, and more. Come see LIFEBOAT this coming Monday, July 16th at Ritz, 7:00pm! In weeks to come, our Hitchcock miniseries continues with THE WRONG MAN (July 23rd), and SPELLBOUND (July 30th). (Sam Prime)