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Trivia / Lifeboat

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  • The Danza: John Hodiak as John Kovac.
  • Disowned Adaptation: John Steinbeck wasn't pleased with the film, feeling that Alfred Hitchcock and screenwriter Jo Swerling took too many liberties with the story he gave them. Specifically, he objected to Connie's comments linking organized labor to Communism, and what he thought was the demeaning treatment of Joe.
  • Fake Brit: Hume Cronyn, who was born and raised in Canada before moving to the US, portrays the British character Stanley. One critic noted that he sometimes doesn't even bother with the accent.
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  • Troubled Production: Except for the background footage, it was entirely filmed in a water tank at Fox, but the shoot proved quite a hassle. Before filming began, the original choice to play Gus, Murray Alper, came down sick and had to be hurriedly replaced by William Bendix. To get all the camera angles he wanted, Hitchcock needed four different boats. He also insisted on shooting the film in sequence. For added realism, there were wave-making machines and fog produced from dry ice, and some of the cast actually got seasick. Tallulah Bankhead came down with pneumonia, and Mary Anderson also got sick, both of which forced filming to halt for a few days. Illness also led to a change in cinematographers mid-shoot. During one of the storm scenes, Hume Cronyn almost drowned and ended up with cracked ribs. Bankhead also constantly directed anti-German insults toward Walter Slezak (even though Slezak had been a very vocal opponent of the Nazi regime).
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  • Written by Cast Member: Canada Lee was allowed to rewrite Joe's dialogue to make him less stereotypical.


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