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Jamaica Inn (1939)

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Crime  |  13 October 1939 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 5,813 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 42 critic

In Cornwall, around 1800, a young woman discovers that she's living near a gang of criminals who arrange shipwrecks for profit.

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(screen play), (screen play), 4 more credits »
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Title: Jamaica Inn (1939)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Horace Hodges ...
Sir Humphrey's Butler
...
Mary - Joss Merlyn's Niece
Hay Petrie ...
Sir Humphrey's Groom
Frederick Piper ...
Sir Humphrey's Agent
Emlyn Williams ...
Harry the Peddler - Sir Humphrey's Gang
Herbert Lomas ...
Sir Humphrey's Tenant
Clare Greet ...
Sir Humphrey's Tenant
William Devlin ...
Sir Humphrey's Tenant
Jeanne De Casalis ...
Sir Humphrey's Friend (as Jeanne de Casalis)
Mabel Terry-Lewis ...
Sir Humphrey's Friend (as Mabel Terry Lewis)
A. Bromley Davenport ...
Sir Humphrey's Friend (as Bromley Davenport)
George Curzon ...
Sir Humphrey's Friend
Basil Radford ...
Sir Humphrey's Friend
Leslie Banks ...
Edit

Storyline

Set in Cornwall where a young orphan, Mary, is sent to live with Aunt Patience and Uncle Joss who are the landlords of the Jamaica Inn. Mary soon realizes that her uncle's inn is the base of a gang of ship wreckers who lure ships to their doom on the rocky coast. The girl starts fearing for her life. Written by Claudio Sandrini <pulp99@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

inn | ship | cornwall | orphan | shipwreck | See All (102) »

Genres:

Adventure | Crime

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La posada maldita  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Alfred Hitchcock was unhappy with the script and Charles Laughton's performance, still he experimented on this film just as he did on his previous film, The Lady Vanishes (1938). This film has background music only at the beginning and the end. Hitchcock and cinematographer Harry Stradling Jr. gave the film a darker look in order to make it very atmospheric. Stradling later worked with Hitchcock in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) and Suspicion (1941). See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Jem and Sir Humphrey are tied up, the chain that connects the two sides of Sir Humphrey's cloak is high on his chest in some shots and right below his chin on other shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Captain: Can you make out the beacon light?
See more »

Crazy Credits

This is a film adaptation of the Cornish opera "The Wreckers" (1906) by Ethel Smyth, minus the music. See more »

Connections

Edited into Spisok korabley (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
No Bad Clergymen in America
9 January 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

According to Maureen O'Hara's memoirs, Alfred Hitchcock never liked to do period costume pieces, he felt those were not suitable to his particular talents. But he did this one for Daphne Du Maurier because he wanted to film Du Maurier's Rebecca later on. Which as we all know Hitchcock did and was very successful.

There are elements of Jamaica Inn that certainly might have appealed to Hitchcock. Maureen O'Hara arrives at the Jamaica Inn on Great Britain's Cornwall coast to stay with her aunt. The Inn however is the headquarters for a gang that wrecks ships on the coast, kills everyone on board and steals the cargo. Leslie Banks is the head of the group there. We also have a Georgian dandy in the person of Charles Laughton who has a lascivious eye for Maureen O'Hara. He's not what he appears to be. The whole idea of this innocent among the cutthroats not knowing who to trust would definitely have appealed to Hitchcock.

The original novel had Laughton's character as a hypocritical parson, but for American distribution his character was changed to a local nobleman. The Hays office forbade a man of the cloth be shown in such a light.

Parson or nobleman unfortunately Hitchcock did not rein in Laughton. In this particular film, he's just too hammy. Then again he was the co-producer of this so no one was in a position to tell him anything.

O'Hara credits Laughton for launching her career. He brought her to America right after this and had RKO sign her to play Esmerelda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. A far better film than Jamaica Inn.

Robert Newton and Emlyn Williams have roles of substance here as well. Jamaica Inn might be worth a look.


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