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Jamaica Inn (Enhanced) 1939

3.3 out of 5 stars 154 customer reviews

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(Mar 16, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Jamaica Inn (Enhanced) 1939 by Alfred Hitchcock

On the Cornish Coast of England lies the Jamaica Inn. It is run by Joss and his wife Patience. Joss and his band of pirates rob ships that pass by and get trapped in the night. The operation runs smoothly until Mary, Patience s niece comes to stay with her aunt. When Mary watches the pirates try to kill Jem Trehearne for stealing she rescues him. Jem confesses to Mary that he is undercover and together the two of them work to bring the operation down.

Directed by the hugely popular Alfred Hitchcock, Jamaica Inn is Hitchcock s last British film before coming to Hollywood. Leading man Charles Laughton (Sir Humphrey Pengallon) proved to be a difficult actor for Hitchcock to work with, making many demands of the director. Also starring are Leslie Banks as Joss, Mary Ney as Patience, Maureen O Hara as Mary and Robert Newton as Jem Trehearne. If you enjoy watching Charles Laughton and Maureen O Hara work together check them out in another Triad Production movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Format: Anamorphic, Full Screen, NTSC, Surround Sound
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Triad Productions Corporation
  • DVD Release Date: March 16, 2009
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001W2PQ86
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,301 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jamaica Inn (Enhanced) 1939" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By MyD -- The Viewpoint TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 22, 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
BEST VIEWED AS A WORK INDEPENDANT FROM THE NOVEL. -- STAYS MAINLY FAITHFUL TO THE STRUCTURE WHILE CHANGING KEY ELEMENTS. -- DU MARIER FANS WILL BE DIVIDED ON THIS ADAPTATION. ---- (SDH SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH)

This beautiful, but somewhat simplified, adaptation of Daphne Du Marier's novel received a very mixed welcome by critics and fans alike. Many fans will still love this version. Though it loses some of the important symbolism and ritual, it strives for a slightly less melodramatic style and natural feel. Whether fans appreciate this work may depend on what elements you can sacrifice, for the elements that are gained. With the compressed run time (still 3 hours), Du Marier's skillful suspense can be slightly lessened while the film itself can be more visually stimulating in it's colors of the moors and the more earthy feel of the story. Strictly judged as an independent period drama from the novel, it is obviously a darker topic with a wilder beauty of the moors. It is not a drawing room drama and I really enjoyed the earthy tone of this tale that explores a different side of life than many of the other period films I love and own.

THE PLOT (no spoilers): The year is 1821 - one year different than the novel. 20 year old Mary Yallen (Jessica Brown Findlay, Downton Abbey) travels to the austere coast of Cornwall after the death of her mother. The only family she has left is an aunt who is the wife of the innkeeper at a lonely place in the middle of Bodmin moor (locations are mostly real though the characters are fictitious). Fellow travelers are surprised she is headed to the way station many miles from the other hamlets of the parish.
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Format: DVD
I'll start with a confession: I've never actually read Daphne Du Maurier's 1936 novel, or even seen Alfred Hitchcock's famous 1939 adaptation. So consider this a review from someone who just likes a good period drama, free from any preconceptions about how the original story "should" be portrayed.

Mary Yellen (Jessica Brown Findlay) is twenty years old when her mother dies, and in the year 1821 she travels across the Cornish countryside to join her Aunt Patience (Joanna Whalley) at Jamaica Inn. It's a desolate place with no guests and no neighbours for miles around - the sort of place you'd never stay unless you had no choice.

Her uncle Joss Merlyn (Sean Harris) is a terrifying man, and it's soon apparent to Mary that something strange is going on: whispered conversations, mysterious night-time visitors, her aunt's nervous behaviour - it all points to one obvious conclusion; that her uncle is a wrecker. After luring ships onto the rocks with a false light, he and his men then drown the sailors and seize the cargo.

Mary is naturally horrified at this - but who can she turn to? Though she strikes up a tentative friendship with Father Francis Davey (Ben Daniels) and his sister Hannah (Shirley Henderson) in the nearest village, Mary still finds it difficult to confess her uncle's misdeeds, especially when she's drawn to his younger brother Jem (Matthew McNulty), a known horse thief.
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By A Customer on June 13, 2000
Format: DVD
Warning!this is the laserlight version and is cheaply made with very poor sound and a very poor picture.It certainly is NOT "mastered from the best available sources".In fact this version is shorter than the other available one,suggesting that the print it was copied from must have been cut due to a degraded print.The "introductions" by Tony Curtis to the laserlight copies look as if they were all filmed in one morning.Get the other version.
Comment 49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I originally decided to watch this because of my admiration for Jessica Brown-Findlay, who played my favorite character on Downton Abbey, Sybil. I ended up sticking with all three parts in the hopes that the characters would become more likeable. I was disappointed.

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I kept hoping Mary would become smarter and see through her love interest, Jem, and his intentions. He did admit to her openly that he had "7 or 8' different 'wives' scattered around, yet she was still willing to give up her honor to him knowing he would never marry her? It was very ooc for a woman in the 1820s. I don't care how trailblazing she was supposed to be -- that would have been unhearrd of. When she literally rode off into the sunset with him (or rain-set?) I just shrugged. She was so ooc and foolish, and he was so promiscuous, I figured they kind of deserved each other.

I also kept waiting to like the uncle and aunt, but the uncle just got more awful and horrible as the series went on. To be honest, I felt this way about pretty much every character in the movie. I also saw the 'twist' early on (about 45 minutes in), so it wasn't remotely a surprise when the Big Baddie was revealed. Yawn. The resolution with the Big Bad at the end was also completely unbelievable and made no sense.

The only thing I did love was the cinematography and set design. You felt like you were almost in a lifeless dungeon when you were at Jamaica Inn, and the vicar's house was set up nicely to be a counterpoint to that. The costuming was great and the settings were perfectly chosen.

Here's hoping Jessica picks something a little happier next time around. Between this and A Winter's Tale, I don't know how many more angsty movies of hers I can take!
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