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 <email@example.com>
After Trehearne and Mary escape from the villains by swimming out to their boat, they wind up seeking refuge at Pengallan's home. While still in his soaking clothes, Trehearne pulls a dry folded piece of paper from his pocket. See more »
Can you make out the beacon light?
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This is a film adaptation of the Cornish opera "The Wreckers" (1906) by Ethel Smyth, minus the music. See more »
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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