Jamaica Inn (film)
1939 in film
The year 1939 in motion pictures can be justified as being called the most outstanding one ever, when it comes to the high quality and high attendance at the large set of the best films that premiered in the year .- Events :Motion picture historians and film often rate...
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...
made by Alfred Hitchcock
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE was a British film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood...
adapted from Daphne du Maurier
Daphne du Maurier
Dame Daphne du Maurier, Lady Browning DBE was a British author and playwright.Many of her works have been adapted into films, including the novels Rebecca and Jamaica Inn and the short stories "The Birds" and "Don't Look Now". The first three were directed by Alfred Hitchcock.Her elder sister was...
's 1936 novel of the same name
Jamaica Inn (novel)
Jamaica Inn is a novel by the English writer Daphne du Maurier, first published in 1936. It was later made into a film, also called Jamaica Inn, by Alfred Hitchcock...
, the first of three of du Maurier's works that Hitchcock adapted (the others were her novel Rebecca
Rebecca is a novel by Daphne du Maurier. When Rebecca was published in 1938, du Maurier became – to her great surprise – one of the most popular authors of the day. Rebecca is considered to be one of her best works...
and short story "The Birds
The Birds (story)
"The Birds" is a famous novelette by Daphne du Maurier, first published in her 1952 collection The Apple Tree. It is the story of a farmhand, his family, and his community, who are attacked by flocks of seabirds who have organized themselves into avian suicide warriors. The story is set in...
The film is a period piece
-Setting:In the performing arts, a period piece is a work set in a particular era. This informal term covers all countries, all periods and all genres...
set in Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...
in 1819; the real Jamaica Inn
The Jamaica Inn, originally a public house and now an inn, is a Grade II listed building in the civil parish of Altarnun, Cornwall, United Kingdom. Located near the middle of Bodmin Moor near the hamlet of Bolventor, it was built as a coaching house in 1750 as a staging post for changing horses...
still exists, and is a pub
A public house, informally known as a pub, is a drinking establishment fundamental to the culture of Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. There are approximately 53,500 public houses in the United Kingdom. This number has been declining every year, so that nearly half of the smaller...
on the edge of Bodmin Moor
Bodmin Moor is a granite moorland in northeastern Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is in size, and originally dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history....
. The score was written by Eric Fenby
Eric William Fenby OBE was an English composer and teacher who is best known for being Frederick Delius's amanuensis from 1928 to 1934. He helped Delius realise a number of works that would not otherwise have been forthcoming....
Jamaica Inn starred Charles Laughton
Charles Laughton was an English-American stage and film actor, screenwriter, producer and director.-Early life and career:...
and Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara is an Irish film actress and singer. The famously red-headed O'Hara has been noted for playing fiercely passionate heroines with a highly sensible attitude. She often worked with director John Ford and longtime friend John Wayne...
. Critics disparaged the film and today it is considered one of Hitchcock's lesser films. However, the film still garnered a large profit (3.7 million dollars, a huge success, at the time) at the box office
A box office is a place where tickets are sold to the public for admission to an event. Patrons may perform the transaction at a countertop, through an unblocked hole through a wall or window, or at a wicket....
Charles Laughton was a co-producer as well, and he interfered greatly with Hitchcock's direction.
Laughton was originally cast as the uncle, but he cast himself in the role of villain, which was originally to be a hypocritical preacher
Preacher is a term for someone who preaches sermons or gives homilies. A preacher is distinct from a theologian by focusing on the communication rather than the development of doctrine. Others see preaching and theology as being intertwined...
, but was rewritten as a squire because unsympathetic portrayals of the clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....
were forbidden by the Production Code
The Motion Picture Production Code was the set of industry moral censorship guidelines that governed the production of the vast majority of United States motion pictures released by major studios from 1930 to 1968. It is also popularly known as the Hays Code, after Hollywood's chief censor of the...
Laughton then demanded that Hitchcock give his character, Squire Pengallon, greater screen time.