Jamaica Inn  [DVD]
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When her parents die, young, innocent Mary Yellan (Jane Seymour) is sent to live at the desolate Jamaica Inn with her demented aunt. Her life is turned upside down when she embarks on a passionate affair and becomes involved in smuggling, shipwrecks and piracy on the Cornish coast.
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That said Jamaica Inn had unexpected charm, for example the original 'Will conclude after the news' in large and shakey font was left in and it felt like going back in time and watching it for the first time - very nostalgic.
There is also no denying the phenomenal acting of Patrick McGoohan and Trevor Eve. Whilst Jane Seymour's acting was so so she is so beautiful it is easy to forgive her not so convincing portrayal - never seeming distressed or worried or passionate about anything, as her face and hair steal the scene time after time. Trevor Eve's sex appeal had also not changed. As before, my stomach did flip flops when he kissed Jane Seymour at the fair.
For anyone who saw this first time around, I would highly recommend this. For those seeing it for the first time and perhaps weaned on North & South (Richard Armitage) and Pride & Prejudice (Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle production), you may be disappointed as the filming is slightly dated.
Very enjoyable romp and anybody who is a Du Maurier fan is going to relish this TV production of her famous novel.
Mary Yelland (the wonderful Jane Seymour) is a feisty young woman whose father is a victim of "wreckers" when his ship runs aground. Her Mother, unable to accept his death, dies shortly afterwards - having first made contact with her sister Patience (Billie Whitelaw) who has offered Mary a home. Patience was a giddy, bright young woman - but the cowed soul that Mary meets when she arrives at the lonely Jamaica Inn is clearly a woman living in fear. Her husband Joss Merlyn (Patrick McGoohan - in a magnificently chilling role) is a violent bully who is more than happy to have an attractive young woman to work in the bar. But he warns Mary to mind her own business and to keep to her room at night. Clearly there are secrets at Jamaica Inn - secrets that cost lives.
With an all star cast including Trevor Eve (Jem), Peter Vaughan (Squire Basset) and John McEnery (Rev. Francis Davey) this 3 part drama has haunting music, glorious wild Cornish scenery and a brooding plot which will keep the viewer engrossed.
We have waited too long for this version of 'Jamaica Inn' to become available on dvd. It was screened in 1983 on HTV (nice to see their station logo at the beginning) so 25+ years have passed since broadcast - but it is as fresh as the day it was first shown. No subtitles and nothing in the way of extras, this is nonetheless a fantastic costume drama, dark and haunting, and well worth tracking down!
Jane Seymour plays the role of Mary Yellan convincingly but looks so beautifully 'made up' all the time which does tend to date the performance. However, after all these years,I found myself immediately transported to Bodmin and the life of the wreckers. In spite of knowing the ending, I was still shocked by the Vicar's revelations---very scary!This is definitely a classic, and even if someone decided to remake the film, I think I would find myself making too many comparisons!
Although the DVD is expensive, I feel it is worth every penny.
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