Truffaut introduces his compilation of a series of interview with Hitchcock with an anecdote in which he silences a critic of Rear Window who claimed he couldn't see Rear Window's flaws because he was not from New York City. Truffaut responded by saying "Rear Window is not about Greenwich Village, it is a film about cinema, and I do know cinema."
This anecdote applies to Lifeboat and author Steinbeck's dislike of the final material. He criticized the fallacy of things like one man rowing the whole lifeboat, failing to acknowledge the cinematic and symbolic implications this has for Willy's percieved control over the other suvivors.
In the interview, Hitchcock says Lifeboat was an effort to test his theory that psycological films contained mostly close-ups or two/three-shots. He saught to find an environment that would force a director to shoot mostly those shots. This close-up style was later adopted by television, mainly due to the smaller screen size and not the psycological implications.
Hitchcock also here discusses his version of the allegory. He confrims that it is soley about the war (contradicting statements made by the producer). Kovac represented the communist way of dealing with the Nazis. He was the most vocal opponent to the captain, much in the same way early American Anti-Nazi Leagues had strong communist ties. Rittenhouse symbolized the Facist who is eager to give up control of the ship in a tumultous time to a dictator, much in the same way certain parts of society were, including the wealthy, eager to keep the status quo, and saw a dictator Roosevelt as their best hope.