Jamaica Inn (1939)

I was worried that Hitchcock’s last early British film might see him going it out with a whimper

Coming after two absolute gems in Young and Innocent and The Lady Vanishes it’s no wonder that it’s practically a forgotten Hitch - but it’s no whimper.

It has a fabulous cast:

  • Maureen O’Hara is beautiful and has some fire
  • Charles Laughton can be relied upon to achieve what no other actor has - being effortlessly brilliant in ridiculously over-the-top, hammy roles (there’s a fine line between a Laughton and a Blessed!)
  • Leslie Banks is wonderfully villainous and surprisingly effective in his grubbiness
  • and even Robert Newton has some charm although he’s no Donat or Redgrave (and to be fair the role isn’t written with the charm of a Richard Hannay or Gilbert).
Jamaica Inn (1939)

The story is a great one, although it feels a bit rushed in places that makes some of the character’s actions seem a bit odd, and the sets and models are nicely convincing - the wreck model sequences are tense and exciting and the murderous wreckers are brilliantly evil.

If anything’s lacking it’s probably Hitch - this is a standard above-average British film of the 30’s - it doesn’t have any flashes that set it any higher.

It’s a great film - but only an average Hitch.

  • Watched: 2019-05-01
  • Source: DVD
  • Rating: 7/10

Jamaica Inn at The Alfred Hitchcock Wiki