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Jamaica Inn (1939)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Crime | 13 October 1939 (USA)
1:28 | Trailer
In Cornwall, 1819, a young woman discovers she's living near a gang of criminals who arrange shipwrecks for profit.


Alfred Hitchcock


Sidney Gilliat (screen play), Joan Harrison (screen play) | 2 more credits »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Laughton ... Sir Humphrey Pengallan
Horace Hodges Horace Hodges ... Chadwick - Sir Humphrey's Butler
Hay Petrie ... Sam - Sir Humphrey's Groom
Frederick Piper Frederick Piper ... Davis - Sir Humphrey's Agent
Herbert Lomas Herbert Lomas ... Dowland - Sir Humphrey's Tenant
Clare Greet ... Granny Tremarney - Sir Humphrey's Tenant
William Devlin William Devlin ... Burdkin - Sir Humphrey's Tenant
Jeanne De Casalis ... Sir Humphrey's Friend (as Jeanne de Casalis)
Mabel Terry-Lewis ... Lady Beston - Sir Humphrey's Friend (as Mabel Terry Lewis)
A. Bromley Davenport A. Bromley Davenport ... Ringwood - Sir Humphrey's Friend (as Bromley Davenport)
George Curzon ... Captain Murray - Sir Humphrey's Friend
Basil Radford ... Lord George - Sir Humphrey's Friend
Leslie Banks ... Joss Merlyn
Marie Ney Marie Ney ... Patience Merlyn
Maureen O'Hara ... Mary Yellan


In early 19th century Cornwall, a young orphan, Mary, is sent to live with Aunt Patience and Uncle Joss who are landlords of the Jamaica Inn. Mary soon realises her uncle's inn serves as the base for a gang of ship wreckers - who lure ships to their doom on the rocky coast, and Mary begins to fear for her life. Written by Claudio Sandrini <pulp99@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Adventure | Crime


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Stephen Haggard was 28 years old when he portrayed 17 year old Willie Penhale. See more »


When Trehearne and Mary hide behind a rocky outcrop after swimming away from the cave, the outcrop moves back and forth with the motion of the water. See more »


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

Crazy Credits

[Prologue] "Oh Lord, we pray thee -- not that wrecks should happen -- but that if they do happen Thou wilt guide them -- to the coast of Cornwall -- for the benefit of the poor inhabitants." So ran an old Cornish prayer of the early nineteenth century, but in that lawless corner of England, before the British Coastguard Service came into being . . . . . . . . . . there exited gangs who, for the sake of plunder deliberately planned the wrecks, luring ships to their doom on the cruel rocks of the wild Cornish coast. See more »

Alternate Versions

There's about eight minutes of footage missing from the US Laserlight DVD release of "Jamaica Inn." The missing footage should appear at the end of chapter 14 (approx 00:51:55). As Jem and Sir H leave the room, the DVD cuts to Mary, Patience and Joss at Jamaica Inn. There's no explanation as to how Mary returned there, or why Sir H and Jem (now dressed in a military uniform) are banging on the door outside. The following DVDs are known to have footage missing:
  • R0 Laserlight Video/Delta Entertainment (USA, 2000)
  • R0 Westlake Entertainment Group (USA, 2004)
  • R0 Diamond Entertainment (Alfred Hitchcock: Collector's Edition Volume 1, USA, 2003)
  • The following DVDs are known to have the footage intact:
  • R2 Carlton Visual Entertainment Ltd (UK, 2003)
  • R0 Image Entertainment/Kino Video (USA, 1999)
See more »


Featured in Dans l'Ombre d'Hitchcock, Alma et Hitch (2019) See more »

User Reviews

Somewhat Interesting But Lesser Hitchcock
8 June 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

While Hitchcock's adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier's "Jamaica Inn" has some interesting features, overall it deserves its reputation as one of the great director's lesser efforts. While it has some good moments and a good performance by Maureen O'Hara, it is rather clunky and often implausible.

The story holds some possibilities. At the beginning, we find out that there is an old inn along the coast of Cornwall, which serves as the meeting place for a gang of criminals, who deliberately cause shipwrecks and then rob and kill the survivors. O'Hara is the niece of the innkeepers, who comes to stay with them and then gradually discovers the inn's sinister secrets. This gives rise to a melodramatic series of chases, escapes, and showdowns in the inn and along the nearby seacoast.

Unfortunately, the pacing is quite irregular and often too slow, and some of the more fast-paced scenes sometimes seem implausible. Just as one example, there are too many times when someone slips away solely because whoever is doing the chasing forgets to look in a rather obvious place. There are also not enough interesting characters. O'Hara is good, and Charles Laughton is entertaining as Sir Humphrey. But Laughton over-plays his role for all it is worth, and he swallows up most of the other characters. There are some pretty good actors in the rest of the cast, who just don't get very much to do.

There are still some interesting developments, and a couple of decent twists. Hitchcock fans will probably still want to see "Jamaica Inn" at least once. But it is hardly one of the director's better films, and not really good enough to be of more general interest.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

13 October 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jamaica Inn See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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