£9.90 + £2.80 UK delivery
Only 1 left in stock - order soon. Sold by stephensmith_426

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Jamaica Inn [VHS] [1939]

3.9 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

Price: £9.90
Only 1 left in stock - order soon.
Dispatched from and sold by stephensmith_426.
3 new from £9.88 9 used from £1.38 2 collectible from £10.39
£9.90 Only 1 left in stock - order soon. Dispatched from and sold by stephensmith_426.

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Product details

  • Actors: Maureen O'Hara, Robert Newton, Charles Laughton, Horace Hodges, Hay Petrie
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Writers: Alma Reville, Daphne Du Maurier, J.B. Priestley, Joan Harrison, Sidney Gilliat
  • Producers: Charles Laughton, Erich Pommer
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, Mono, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Carlton
  • VHS Release Date: 26 Jan. 2000
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CYXK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 250,351 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Alfred Hitchcock directed this adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier novel - his last British film - before leaving for Hollywood and a contract with David O. Selznick. Young orphan Mary (Maureen O'Hara) arrives in 18th century Cornwall to live with her Uncle Joss (Leslie Banks), the landlord of Jamaica Inn. After finding work as a barmaid, Mary discovers that Joss commands a band of pirates who smuggle contraband from wrecked ships. Mary is further unnerved by the ever-present Justice of the Peace, Sir Humphrey Pengallan (Charles Laughton).

From Amazon.co.uk

It's generally acknowledged that the Master of Suspense disliked costume dramas, and Jamaica Inn--a rip-roaring melodrama drawn from a Daphne du Maurier pot-boiler, set in 1820s Cornwall--is about as costumed as they come. So what was he doing directing it? Killing time, essentially. In 1939 Hitchcock was due to quit Britain for Hollywood, but delays Stateside left him with time on his hands. Never one to sit idle, he agreed to make one picture for Mayflower Productions, a new outfit formed by actor Charles Laughton and émigré German producer Erich Pommer.

An innocent young orphan (the 19-year-old Maureen O'Hara in her first starring role) arrives at her uncle's remote Cornish inn to find it a den of reprobates given to smuggling, wrecking and gross overacting. They're all out-hammed, though, by Laughton at his most corseted and outrageously self-indulgent as the local squire to whom Maureen runs for help. Since his star was also the co-producer, Hitch couldn't do much with the temperamental actor. He contented himself with adding a few characteristic touches--including a spot of bondage (always a Hitchcock favourite), and the chief villain's final spectacular plunge from a high place--and slyly sending up the melodramatic absurdities of the plot. Jamaica Inn hardly stands high in the Master's canon, but it trundles along divertingly enough. Hitchcock fanatics will have fun comparing it with his two subsequent--and far more accomplished--du Maurier adaptations, Rebecca and The Birds.--Philip Kemp

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
If sinking your teeth into over-ripe fruit is one of your pleasures, then Jamaica Inn should be your dish. It features one of the ripest and most ludicrous performances I've ever seen from Charles Laughton as Sir Humphrey Pengallan, and that covers a lot of territory. As the squire who is the full-figured mastermind behind a gang of murderous wreckers on the Cornish coast, Laughton sports the latest dandyish fashions, a false nose, false eyebrows which almost have lives of their own, a carefully coifed comb-over, a piggish over-bite and line readings that would make Bette Davis at her most mannered envious. Close behind in the ripe playing sweepstakes is Robert Newton as Jem Trehearne, law officer and hero, who roles his eyes almost as much as Laughton, and Leslie Banks as Joss Merlyn, the leader of the gang and the owner of Jamaica Inn. The only person who manages reasonably well is Maureen O'Hara who plays Mary, the plucky and beautiful niece of Merlyn's wife. Even she is largely confined to earnestly crying out for decency and screaming.

Don't get me wrong. Jamaica Inn is so over-the-top it's a delight to watch, especially when Laughton is chewing the scenery. Hitchcock, making his last movie in England before leaving for the United States, supposedly became so bored during filming that he didn't care what the actors did. The story is a bodice-ripper by Daphne de Maurier; in fact, Maureen O'Hara's bodice gets ripped not once but twice. The time is about 1800. The place is Cornwall on the rocky coast. Jamaica Inn is a stone hulk of a building close by the warning light that shows ships where to avoid the rocks in the stormy seas. Someone with advance knowledge of ships with rich cargos has been blocking the warning light.
Read more ›
Comment 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I love Charles Laughton and in this film he is quite delightful as an over the top Squire with some wonderful facial expressions and a rich turn of phrase. This film is a grown up boys own adventure with rugged Cornish coastline settings and atmospheric stormy sea scenes with an ending straight out of 'Oliver Twist' except that this film was made nine years earlier! There are no standout Hitchcock moments that you see in his other films (maybe he had one eye on his imminent Hollywood career) but the overall production values for the time are of the highest quality. If ever a film was meant to be made in dirty black and white then this was it. This film must be viewed for Charles Laughton's performance alone, it is hilarious!
1 Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Enjoyable in many ways, with th eexception of it's villain's eyebrows: Laughton on occasions overdid his make-up. Here he performs with the aid of many 'errs' and pauses, which ill befit his character. And yet he still creates a thoroughly English spiderlike squire at the centre of the web of murder and deceit. maureen o'hara is delightfull . Her acting seems almost as accomplished as the more mature people in the film. And some of the minor characters are well worth seeing for their hard work.
Hitchcock getting to grips with entangled innocence.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: VHS Tape
After reading the book by Daphne Du Murier I felt that I would like to purchase the film, as the book was extremely good. After watching the film the story is somewhat distorted compared to the book. The original story is fantastic but the film does not compare to the book at all. I my own view only about 20% of the film has been adapted from the book, the rest has been created forming a totally different story. The vicar of Ultarnun does not even appear in the film yet he is one of the main characters in the book.
The original story is brilliant and would very much like to see some film producer take the story up and produce a film based on its original story from beginning to end. I'm sure that it would be a good murder, mystery and suspense, and of course I think it would create a lot of interest regarding Du Murier fans.
4 Comments 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I realise that artistic licence allows producers to deviate from the original book, but with this film, Hitchcock appears to have read a different book altogether, or not read it at all. Mary is now from Ireland rather than Cornwall for no reason whatsoever, Joss's brother is completely missing as is the minister, both of whom are major characters in the book. The sound quality is poor as well. Don't buy this, no matter how cheap it is.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD story was recently made into a tv series but it is not as good as the version on this DVD, the film stars that very talented Irish actress Maureen O Hara and the late Charles Laughton. She plays a young girl who has come to stay with her aunt and uncle in Jamaica Inn.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This version is undoubtedly the best of all . Classic actors that deliver in true style. An engaging story that is paced well with loveable characters good and bad. A film definitely worth buying and watching over and over again without you being tired of it. Set within the pirates landscape, mixing smuggling , bad pirate and beautiful lady. It has a fairy tale timeless quality that lingers right though making you appreciate it more each time it's watched
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: DVD
Alfred Hitchcock's 1939 adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier's famous 1936 novel Jamaica Inn is an interesting film. It is easy to criticise it for the considerable plot variation from the book, and to ridicule the inconsistent acting, production and direction. But I would argue that the film is far from being a dud. This review is based on the `classic collection' DVD transfer provided by carltonvisual.com, otherwise today itv.com. The transfer to digital is very good; regrettably, the DVD extras are negligible. I mention the transfer because the copyright of the film lapsed into the public domain many years ago and numerous inferior copies are now on the market.

The plot, set around 1820, is on the eve of the creation of what was to become the Coastguard. This is an important point because the story is placed in the midst of a gang of wreckers, those who would lure a ship ashore to plunder its cargo and kill the crew lest they provide witness to the deed. In the book, the orphaned heroine Mary Yellan went to live with her Aunt Patience and Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn, located at the very heart of Bodmin moor in Cornwall; her bestial uncle appeared to be the leader of the gang but was later revealed to be controlled by the local vicar from Altarnun, Francis Davey. The romantic interest was provided by Joss Merlyn's brother, Jem. In this film version, the lead villain was changed to introduce an entirely new character, Squire Pengallon (Charles Laughton), because critical portrayals of the clergy were forbidden by the Production Code in Hollywood. Laughton as co-producer (he was co-owner of the production company Mayflower Pictures) and also as star of the film, demanded that Hitchcock give his character more screen time.
Read more ›
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse


Customer Discussions


Look for similar items by category


Feedback