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>
As Jem and Sir Humphrey Pengallan are being tied up, one of the men adjusts Jem's scarf and it's almost horizontal but in the next shot it's vertical. 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 »
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:
Rich cinematic flourishes and a realistic atmosphere on screen
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 vividlythe 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.
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