1939’s Jamaica Inn was the last film Alfred Hitchcock directed in Britain before he packed his bags and went to Hollywood under the wings of producer David O’Selznick. Based Daphne du Maurier’s 1936 novel, the film is often seen as one of the Master of Suspense’s lesser works and it doesn’t quite hang together despite its top tier pedigree.
Hitchcock himself wasn’t a fan of the film, but it was successful at the box office and it was a springboard for Maureen O’Hara’s stardom. Actor-producer Charle Laughton clashed with the director, souring the production and ultimately leading to its uneven tone.
Hitchcock wouldn’t be put off adapting Daphne du Maurier’s work for the screen and he would go on to film the well regarded Rebecca (1940) and The Birds (1963). Laughton was calling the shots this time around and he had a hand in casting O’Hara, and he would later work with her again in the career-making The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Jamaica Inn grossed $3.7 million at the US box office in 1939.