Lifeboat
In the midst of World War II, Alfred Hitchcock directed this high-concept chamber piece for 20th Century Fox, based on a specially-commissioned treatment from John Steinbeck. After their cruise ship is torpedoed by a German U-boat (which is promptly sunk itself), eight civilians and one German sailor scramble aboard a single lifeboat. As they bicker amongst themselves, squabble over who’s in charge and fight over what meagre supplies remain, they slowly succumb to the elements. However, right to the death, they are all united in their hatred of the German, perpetually at odds over whether or not to kill him, until he finally betrays them, proving he couldn’t be trusted. Not only does the film serve as a flagrant piece of anti-German propaganda, it is also techincally brilliant and dramatically engaging throughout. The comparisons with Ang Lee’s current smash hit The Life of Pi are obvious, and while Lifeboat can’t match that film’s visual inventiveness, it manages to stage its entire story within the single setting of its titular vessel.