Jamaica Inn (1939) - Rotten Tomatoes

Jamaica Inn (1939)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Jamaica Inn Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Alfred Hitchcock directed this disappointing misfire, memorable solely for the fact is that it is the final film from Hitchcock's early British period before he left for the Hollywood studio system and David O. Selznick. In the England of the 1800s, a group of ruthless smugglers, led by Sir Humphrey Pengallon (Charles Laughton), prey on ships by blacking out warning signals. When the ships crash on the rocks, the nefarious group loots the remains and kills the sailors. The plot kicks in when the beautiful orphan Mary Yelland (Maureen O'Hara) goes to visit her uncle Joss Merlyn (Leslie Banks) at a creepy hotel called the Jamaica Inn, the home of the gang of smugglers. Mary doesn't realize that Uncle Joss is one of them. Meanwhile, Lloyd's of London sends one of their ablest men, Jem Trahearne (Robert Newton), to investigate the recurring shipwrecks. Jem checks in to the Jamaica Inn, and when the coven of smugglers finds out who he is, they capture him and attempt to kill him. But Mary comes to his rescue and saves him. Through the inn, the smugglers try to recapture Jem -- along with Mary. Thrown together by dire circumstances, the two fall in love. Meanwhile, all the shenanigans occurring at the Jamaica Inn appear to be driving Pengallon insane.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Sidney Gilliat, J.B. Priestley, Joan Harrison, Alma Reville
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 20, 1999
Paramount Pictures - Official Site

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Maureen O'Hara
as Mary - His Niece
Charles Laughton
as Sir Humphrey Pengall...
Leslie Banks
as Joss Merlyn
Emlyn Williams
as Harry the Peddler
Robert Newton
as Jem Trehearne
Wylie Watson
as Salvation Watkins
Marie Ney
as Patience Merlyn
Morland Graham
as Sea-Lawyer Sydney
Horace Hodges
as Chadwick, the Butler
John Longden
as Capt. Johnson
A. Bromley Davenport
as Another Guest
Aubrey Mather
as Coachman
Marie Ault
as Coach Passenger
O.B. Clarence
as Coach Passenger
Mary Jerrold
as Miss Black
Archie Harradine
as Undetermined Role (u...
Harry Lane
as Undetermined Role (u...
William Fazan
as Undetermined Role (u...
Alan Lewis
as Undetermined Role (u...
Philip Ray
as Undetermined Role (u...
George Smith
as Undetermined Role (u...
Robert A'Dair
as Captain Murray
Sam Lee
as Undetermined Role (u...
Harry Bromley Davenp...
as Pengallan's Guest
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Jamaica Inn

Critic Reviews for Jamaica Inn

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (5)

Laughton is compelling from the first instant: His Pengallan is at least five of the seven deadly sins rolled into one, a cheerfully loathsome creature with wide-set eyebrows and a multitude of chins ...

Full Review… | February 3, 2015
Village Voice
Top Critic

By common consent, one of Alfred Hitchcock's poorest and least personal works, though it has some compensations.

Full Review… | March 20, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Superb direction, excellent casting, expressive playing and fine production offset an uneven screenplay to make Jamaica Inn a gripping version of the Daphne du Maurier novel.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

The result is weird, but not wonderful.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Having set his own standards, Alfred Hitchcock must be judged by them; and, by them, his Jamaica Inn is merely journeyman melodrama.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

It could have come across as strictly a work-for-hire gig, but it displays enough Hitchcockery to show he wasn't as disengaged from the material as he would later claim he was.

Full Review… | May 18, 2015
The Dissolve

Audience Reviews for Jamaica Inn

This is my favourite of Hitchcock's 30s movies, it's exciting, thrilling, and romantic. It has great actors too.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


it's pretty weak for hitchcock; way too melodramatic with alot of bad acting, including a ridiculous performance by charles laughton! too bad; i love sea adventures...

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


"Jamaica Inn" is a rarity in Hitchcock's filmography: a film that was BEHIND its time (it could have been an early talkie). It is notable only for the hints of sexual perversion one can find in the performances of Charles Laughton and Leslie Banks; in fact, the villains of the piece are much more interesting than the bland heroes. No "Juno and the Paycock", but still one of Hitchcock's weakest

Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

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