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Jamaica Inn (1939)

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

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Sidney Gilliat (screen play), Joan Harrison (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

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 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
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Adventure | Crime

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 October 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jamaica-kroen See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the impression given in the film is that the smugglers get to the coast and bring back contraband fairly swiftly, the real Jamaica Inn is actually 17 miles from the nearest coastline, a long trek for horses up cliff paths and over part of Bodmin Moor. See more »

Goofs

When Mary takes off Jem's rope, she is on his left side. In the next shot, she is on his right. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Alfred Hitchcock: Master of Suspense (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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