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 <email@example.com>
The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS or DVD copy of the movie. Therefore, many of the versions of this movie available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the movie. It is available on Blu-ray though. 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 »
Can you make out the beacon light?
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There are about eight minutes of footage missing from various unauthorized US DVDs of Jamaica Inn. This is due to them being bootlegged from old, worn copies of edited US theatrical release prints. 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 now 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. These bootleg 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) These authorized DVDs are known to have the footage intact:
R0 Kino Video/Image Entertainment (USA, 1999)
R2 Carlton Visual Entertainment Ltd (UK, 2003) All other authorized releases also have the complete UK version, as per the Alfred Hitchcock Collectors' Guide.
I was pleasantly surprised when I first saw Hitchcock's 'Jamaica Inn'. I had heard so many bad things about the movie and the fact that it seemed to have been made on the cheap and in a hurry so Hitch could do a runner to Hollywood. I really liked this movie - I thought the lovely Maureen O'Hara made a very spirited Mary Yellan and Leslie Banks was great as her hulking bully of an Uncle, Joss. While not as technically inventive as some of Hitchcock's other work before or since, I felt it was made with care and presented a realistic, gloomy atmosphere of doom with its endless night time scenes and constant soundtrack of howling winds and crashing waves.
And then I read the book...
Du Maurier's novel was so different as to bear no relation whatever to Hitchcock's film. The book was intense, gritty, dark and very moody. Mary Yellan was written almost as she is presented on screen with her sharp, Irish wits but Joss is a much more tortured, boorish animal than he is in the film. Also, the character played by Charles Laughton is absent in the book - or at least Laughton's incarnation is. The squire in the book is one of the good guys and features very little. The film of 'Jamaica Inn' may as well be called the Charles Laughton Show so as to give the actor every chance to overact.
See the film if you are a Hitchcock fan and enjoy it for what it is but if you've read and enjoyed the book, my advice would be to steer clear!
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