Jamaica Inn

Jamaica Inn

Streaming Video - 1939
Average Rating:
Rate this:
On the stormy coast of Cornwall a ruthless group of people entice ships onto the rocks to loot their cargoes. Mary, played by Maureen O'Hara's uncle, is the ringleader and feels that her life is in danger.
Publisher: [United States] : Film Chest Media Group : Made available through hoopla, 1939.
Branch Call Number: eVideo hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 93 min.)) : sd., col.


From Library Staff

The star (and uncredited producer) Charles Laughton "is compelling from the first instant: His Pengallan is at least five of the seven deadly sins rolled into one..." Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice, 2/3/15

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 19, 2019

"Jamaica Inn", 1939, introduced 19-year-old Maureen O'hara to the world of cinema and she never looked back. The young Irish actress seems well possessed in her performance. Charles Laughton, then 40 years old, portrays the criminal Sir Humphrey Pengallan, the brains behind a gang of cutthroats who lure ships to their doom on the rocks and then plunder their cargo, murdering all survivors along the way. The scenes of ship wrecks with gale like winds and immense bodies of water were all done inside a studio's walls, not on the shores. Critics didn't favor the film but I think it is entertaining. However, the make on Charles Laughton is too thick and disgusting looking. Good character performances from Leslie Banks and Emlyn Williams and Robert Newton are worth watching.

Mar 31, 2018

Well worth seeing for lovers of atmosphere and appreciators of the young Maureen O'Hara's exquisitely creamy comeliness. Not Hitchcock's best, yet one of his gamiest. Jamaica Inn is a dirty movie in the most visceral sense of the term. Amateur pirates have their way with treasure-laden shipwrecks, then spend a lot of time being unwashed & skanky at a scary tavern whilst waiting for their next kill. Leslie Banks, the clean-scrubbed hero of the Man Who Knew Too Much, figures here as one of the filthiest, nastiest, most amoral creatures alive; he's scarcely recognizable as the virtuous father from the earlier film. The sexual tension betwixt Banks and O'Hara -- whose characters are related by marriage -- is absolutely eye-popping! Marie Ney, as Patience, gives a quietly stunning turn as a victimized woman who will endure ANYTHING for her man -- no matter what a villainous blackguard he is. Charles Laughton delightfully hams it up as the provincial Cornish coast politico, AND in case there are any doubts as to where Hitchcock's sympathies lie/lay, look at who gets the final frames of this film all to himself. !!

Nov 02, 2016

perfect vintage treatment, a dramatic presentation with realistic effects without detailed realism meant for visceral reaction. Laughton marvelous. Loved it.

Nov 21, 2015

I don't know what video RUFUS saw, but the Cohen Film Collection DVD here was Excellent with wonderful visuals showing off a mastery of special effects: storms, shipwrecks, crowd scenes that give the film an authentic period quality. ALSO Laughton's over the top performance is one of the joys of the film: he was the producer, so I suppose Hitchcock had to indulge him and he got his way. I have problems with his makeup which borders on the caricature. But I would praise Hitchcock for the exciting pace of the film, even tho' the "near misses" do strain credulity. Nonetheless a VERY enjoyable "romp".

rufus_red4 Jun 23, 2015

This video cassette is in unwatchable condition, sound and picture are horrible. Maybe someday the library will have the funds to transfer everything to digital. From what I saw, this looked like a very different kind of Hitchcock, rather a disturbing opening, very atmospheric but I couldn't stick with it.

Dec 25, 2014

Lots of close calls on all sides, so many that the "tension" almost starts feeling wearing.

Nov 03, 2014

A rather atypical period piece from Alfred Hitchcock that was his last English film before leaving for America. Based on a Daphne Du Maurier book (he'd also adapt her "Rebecca" and "The Birds"), it's a mix of Robert Louis Stevenson adventure and Emily Bronte mood. Hitchcock reportedly was unhappy with the film and with actor Charles Laughton, who dominates the film in a way few actors do in the master's work. Yet they would work together again on "The Paradine Case." It's enjoyable enough, but doesn't feel much like a Hitchcock film. Mauren O'Hara co-stars, in her first role, and Robert Newton, who would later gain fame as Long John Silver, plays a good guy. There is no Hitchcock cameo either.

This is a 1939 plot/ technology and it is amazing with Hitchcock was able to do with limited equipment. A must see for students of cinema. Off-putting stereotypes of women, good and evil, but look past that to the art of the director

btmslt Nov 07, 2012

An intereesting thriller with some great acting by Charles Laughton.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at SMPL

To Top