Cornwall, circa 1800. The young orphan Mary is sent to Aunt Patience and Uncle Joss who operate the Jamaica Inn. Mary soon discovers that her uncle’s inn is the base for a band of pirates…
Alfred Hitchcock has been the most well-known director to the general public since the 1940s – and he remains so in the 21st century, more than 25 years after his death. His name evokes instant expectations on the part of audiences around the world: of a memorable night of movie-watching highlighted by at least two or three great chills (and a few more good ones), some striking black comedy, and an eccentric characterization or two in virtually every one of the director’s movies across a half-century – and usually laced with a comical cameo appearance by the director himself.
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born into a devoutly Catholic family in London, and his religious upbringing – with its attendant issues of guilt – would have a powerful influence on the psychological underpinnings of his later work. He was trained at a technical school, and initially gravitated to movies through art courses and advertising. He studied the work of other filmmakers, most notably the German expressionists… read more
The movie is centered around two spectacular shipwreck scenes with outstanding uses of the wind, but the rest of it suffers from weak characterization of the hero and humorless tone. Laughton pretty much steals the show with his exaggerated kabuki-like performances. Recommended for Hitchcock fans only.
A ham-tastic performance by Laughton, a barely disguised soundstage doubling as Cornwall and the sheer insanity of casting Robert Newton as the romantic lead make this an enjoyable mess that was more entertaining than I expected.
You can see the hint of Hitch's greatness to come with this film, as there are some decently suspenseful moments tucked away in the corners. My biggest gripe is Charles Laughton...I mean, c'mon, just look at the photo above. Mr. Laughton overplays his part to the hilt, but if I HAVE to throw him a compliment, his scenes are arguable the most interesting in the entire film. For early Hitchcock...you could do worse.