Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. USA, 1944. Twentieth Century Fox. Screenplay by Jo Swerling, based on the book by John Steinbeck. Cinematography by Glen MacWilliams. Produced by Kenneth Macgowan. Music by Hugo Friedhofer. Production Design by James Basevi, Maurice Ransford. Costume Design by Rene Hubert. Film Editing by Dorothy Spencer. Academy Awards: 1944.
Memorable Hitchcock drama entirely takes place on one set. A group of wildly disparate characters are marooned in the middle of the ocean after their cruise liner is sunk by a war plane and they must hack it out in a lifeboat until they are rescued. The bickering and loving, the friendships and conflicts that are constantly played out by the brilliant actors are always fascinating to watch. Flawless editing makes this film surefire entertainment, not to mention a larger-than-life lead performance by the always impressive Tallulah Bankhead. Look for Hitchcock’s famous cameo in a newspaper article.