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Independent Exhibitors Film Bulletin (07/Oct/1939) - Jamaica Inn




Rates *** where sold

86 Minutes

Charles Laughton, Leslie Banks, Marie Ney, Maureen O'Hara, Emlyn Williams. Wylie Watson. Mai land Graham. Edwin Greenwood, Mervn Johns. Stephcn Haggard, Robert Newton, Horace Hodges, Hay Petrie, Frederick Piper, Herbert Lomas, Clare Greet, William Devlin, Joanna de Casalis, Bromley Davenport, Mabel 'Perry Lewis, George Curzon, Basil Radford. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

JAMAICA INN offers choice entertainment for a variety of filmgoers. Superbly acted and magnificently directed, this picturization of Daphne Du Maurier's novel builds suspense and interest from the very first sequence to the taut, action-packed and unusual climax. It combines the best features of English mystery-drama with American action. Ii packs an entertainment wallop your reviewer has rarely felt during his past few weeks of Hollywood previewing. There are the mystery and horror angles to attract the action fans. More discriminating patrons will be interested in the acting treat set up by Charles Laughton. Leslie Banks, Emlyn Williams and others in the hand-picked cast. Because it is an English production, no exhibitor should stamp it as a film of limited appeal. JAMAICA INN warrants every possible exploitation effort. It is first rate motion picture entertainment.

Story takes place along the bleak coast of Cornwall in 1820. It tells a story of villainous ship plunderers who deliberately wreck ships in order to strip them of their valuables. Leslie Banks is the "front" for Charles Laughton, who, on one hand, is a genial landlord and, on the other, the "brains" of the gang. His end is brought about by a young officer, Robert Newton, who joins the gang in order to secure evidence against them.

Charles Laughton is virtually the whole show. Expertly he creates a fascinating madman whose insanity becomes more intense, more apparent as he comprehends his approaching doom. Leslie Banks is excellent as the crude tool in Laughton's hands. Marie Ney impresses as his wife. Newcomer Maureen O'Hara is attractive and a capable young actress. Emlyn Williams etches another of his distinctive heavy characterizations. Supporting cast is uniformly good.

A past master at this sort of drama, Alfred Hitchcock's direction attains its usual high standard.

AD TIPS: Feature another superb Laughton performance. Mention Hitchcock as the director of "39 Steps" and others.