The master of suspense comes to Cannes Classics with Jamaica Inn (1939), a feature-length film adapted from Daphne du Maurier sucessful crime novel of the same name published in 1936. The film was the last that Alfred Hitchcock would film in Great Britain for several years.
Film still © RR
England, the early 19th century. Along Cornwall's mist-shrouded rocky coast, a gang of thieves and smugglers pillage merchant ships and cut the throats of their crews when these vessels run aground agaist the cliffs. Mary Yellan, who has just lost her mother, goes to live with her aunt, who is married to the much feared landlord of the Jamaica Inn. Unbeknownst to her, the establishment is also the gang's hideout. And the landlord is its leader.
Jamaica Inn is the last film that Alfred Hitchcock made in Britain before going to live in Los Angeles with his family. To adapt the story, the master of suspense took certain liberties with Daphne du Maurier's novel.The director did not want to stick too closely to the book's storyline, which was well known due to its success, so as to not compromise his film.
Jamaica Inn film stars Maureen O’Hara as the young orphan and Leslie Banks, who plays the landlord. The credits also feature Charles Laughton, who plays a local magistrate who tries to warn the young lady about her uncles's reputation. But his warnings do not prevent her from walking into the lion's den.
The film's digital restoration was carried out in 4K by 4K RRsat Europe – Ray King and Anthony Badger Finishing Post Productions Ltd – Jason Tufano and Marc Bijum.
Thursday 22nd May / Buñuel Theatre / 9 p.m.
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