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Jamaica Inn (1939)

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Crime  |  13 October 1939 (USA)
Your rating:
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 5,976 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 44 critic

In Cornwall in 1819, a young woman discovers that she's living near a gang of criminals who arrange shipwrecks for profit.



(screen play), (screen play), 4 more credits »
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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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


Adventure | Crime


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La posada maldita  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of the films included in "The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (and how they got that way)" by Harry Medved and Randy Lowell. See more »


When Trehearne and Sir Humphrey are sharing a drink, the Squire drinks holding the glass with his left hand and sets it down using his right. See more »


[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 »


References David Copperfield (1935) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Rich cinematic flourishes and a realistic atmosphere on screen
17 April 2006 | by (Trivandrum, Kerala, India) – See all my reviews

Even though it is one of the weakest works of Hitchcock, the film surprisingly provides rich cinematic flourishes. For a 1939 film, it captures on screen the atmosphere and dark mood of the novel quite vividly—the stormy scene, the cave, and the inn (with the name board flapping in the wind). It is another matter that the albino parson of the book is transformed into a squire (with an unbelievable eyebrow make-up) in the film who commands his steed to be brought inside his dining hall. Daphne du Maurier's novel was adapted for cinema by the trio of Sidney Gilliat, Joan Harrison and J.B. Priestley, and reportedly the author did not approve of the end-product.

As in many Hitchcock films there is a recurring reference to marriage. Here a good woman remains faithful to her boorish and cruel husband through thick and thin.

As in most Hitchcock films there is a lot of sexual innuendo without any sex on screen, especially when Pengallen (Charles Laughton) makes the young girl (Maureen O'Hara) his prisoner. (The only film where Hitchcock showed sex on screen was "Frenzy.") And as in many a Hitchcock film, a bad guy turns out to be a good guy. This is one of the rare films of Hitchcock where the director does not make a cameo appearance.

The best cinematic flourishes were—-the focus on the thin hands of the 17 year old who cannot be shackled by the soldiers as the handcuffs are too big, the opening "prayer" that serves as a grim introduction and finally the last scene of the film: Chadwick, the squire's butler, who thinks he can hear his dead master calling him for help in death.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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