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on 5 June 2008
I watched this with my sister when it was originally on tv as a very young girl and fell in love with Trevor Eve. Years later, nostalgia to the fore, I saw the dvd on Amazon so ordered it. Memory often adds more to a production than actually exists and this was true to some extent with Jamaica Inn. I assumed the film would have been cleaned up but the first part was very fuzzy and almost like a video copy. The makeup was also a bit off key (Francis Davey's white makeup (to give the illusion of his being an albino) ending just under his chin leaving a remarkably tanned neck which was pretty noticeable.) The bruise on Jane Seymour's cheek, following on from the Christmas Eve scenario, also varied in blusher colour and size, unlike a normal fading bruise.

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.
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on 24 August 2009
Whilst this version isn't quite the "theatrical drama" of the old 1939 Hitchcock black and white original, HTV managed to produce a "faithful to the book" film which has only recently been available on DVD. McGoohan plays the villain, Joss - who is part of the "wrecking" of ships along the Cornish coastline and together with his wife organises the distribution of the contraband via his lonely inn on Bodmin Moor. Jane Seymour plays Mary - a girl sent to live in this den of cutthroats. Her discovery of who is real the leader of the smugglers leads to a climatic conclusion.
Very enjoyable romp and anybody who is a Du Maurier fan is going to relish this TV production of her famous novel.
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on 4 June 2008
When Daphne DuMaurier wrote about "wreckers" - villains who lured ships onto the rocks in Cornwall in the 1800's - in her novel, Jamaica Inn, she caused controversy. Many simply do not believe that the luring of ships with false lights on the shore and the murder of their crew in order to steal the cargo ever actually happened. Nonetheless, DuMaurier stuck to her story that such things DID occur, and based the book 'Jamaica Inn' on a gang of "wreckers" in Cornwall.

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!
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on 15 March 2010
Having watched this series in 1985 and found it compelling, I was eager to purchase a copy. The music is a little dated, but you get used to it after a while. It is a pity the episodes are still separated, so that there are breaks at crucial times. I thoroughly enjoyed the acting, particularly Joss Merlin and the Vicar of Alternun.
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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on 8 January 2010
I have read Jamaica Inn more times than I care to remember and it's my favourite book of all time. When the series was shown on TV, I think back in 1982/3 I missed the final part as we had visitors and I always regretted that. Ever since I have tried over the years to get a copy of this. There are breaks in showing, which spoil it somewhat, I still feel this is good adaptation of Daphne Du Mauriers book. It follows the story fairly accurately and I'm glad I bought it. Jane Seymour and Trevor Eve definately fill the roles of the characters Mary Yellan and Jem Merlyn.
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on 22 August 2011
I bought this because I love the book 'Jamaica Inn' and like to see what the dramatised versions are like. The film version was very disappointing but this DVD was everything I'd hoped it would be. In my mind the characters and plot are as I had imagined from the book. The acting was clear, and simple with no 'special effects' to speak of which I thought made the dramatisation feel so real.
Despite the (rather expensive) price I paid it was well worth the money!
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on 13 May 2010
I sailed boats most of my life. Most stories of the sea I find unreal This story I watched on TV and it left me shaking with fear no horror book or film had such an effect. And things like that really happened. We tend to think that people in the past had the same values as we do to day. For what it is worth I think it a great film and I will buy it again
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on 1 March 2013
Unlike Frenchman's Creek, which I disliked intensely, I enjoyed this production of Jamaica Inn and found it well acted,.and true to the story in the novel. I think any Daphne Du Maurier fan would enjoy it, obviously certain things have to be altered to adapt it to screen but I found these perfectly acceptable.
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on 3 January 2011
This is such a classic tale, excellent film, very true to the original story by Daphne du Maurier.
Patrick McGoohan is outstanding as Josh Merlin and Jane Seymour and Trevor Eve are great supporting actors.
Highly recommended film and book for anyone interested in classics.
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on 25 March 2016
I can't understand why such a dark, haunting, superbly written and richly evoked novel as Jamiaca Inn has not yet had a decent film interpretation. This corny muddled melodrama has none of the feeling of the book and the storyline has been added to and messed with. Jane Seymour is beautiful but can't act, Patrick MacGoohan is completely miscast as Joss Merlyn; while he is a good actor he neither looks nor sounds like the gypsy-dark wolfish villain of the book. Same goes for Trevor Eve as Jem and the usually marvellous John McEnery as the vicar of Altarnun. The appalling music and dreadful script do nobody any favours. The only good points are the genuine Cornish scenery and sets, something the equally disappointing contemporary version lacked. Daphne du M I suspect would be mystified and disappointed by both adaptations.
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