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Lancashire Evening Post (23/Dec/1939) - The Real Laughton



The Real Laughton

A racketeer of olden days comes menacingly to the fore in "Jamaica Inn" (Theatre Royal — but not on Christmas Day). The powers that be think it is a bit too bloodthirsty for presentation on Monday, so those who are anxious to see Charles Laughton's return in good, old-fashioned melodrama must wait a day. The gap will be filled with Deanna Durbins delightful "One Hundred Men and a Girl."

Laughton's strange and evil Squire Pengallon, the knave behind this grim tale of Cornish wreckings, smugglers and sinister happenings, is a weightier character than any he has created for some time. It is reminiscent of his Nero, Javert, Bligh and the submarine commander of "The Devil and the Deep." I can imagine his revelling in it. His depiction of a madman towards the end is an astounding piece of acting.

With such experts as Erich Pommer and Alfred Hitchcock on production, and Leslie Banks and Emlyn Williams in the cast, it could scarcely fail to be first-class. You will like, too, Laughton's lovely new lending lady, Maureen O'Hara, and Marie Ney's cameo of a drab dispirited wife. Blood and thunder with gifted performers.