Before “Rebecca” and “The Birds”, the first adaptation of a Daphne du Maurier novel by the master Alfred Hitchcock
New 4K restoration
When her mother dies, young Mary Yellan leaves for Cornwall to find the only family she has left: her aunt Patience and her husband Joss. The latter is the manager of the tavern of Jamaica, a place with the most sordid reputation, haunt of local brigands. The evening of her arrival, Mary saves the life of one of the thugs, Jem Trehearne, accused of having stolen part of their last loot. Both manage to escape from the tavern and find refuge with the eccentric Judge Pengallan. But they do not know that the latter is actually the leader of the bandits, at the head of all the looting operations...
Made in 1939, The Jamaica Tavern is the last film of Alfred Hitchcock's British period. A few months earlier, the director signed a contract with American producer David O. Selznick to shoot in the United States, where his fame only grew from film to film. While waiting for his departure, he decided to adapt an adventure novel written in 1936 by Daphné du Maurier, which was a great success when it was published. This is the first Hitchcockian adaptation of the British novelist, before Rebecca , which he shot the following year, and The Birds in 1963. This project was brought to him by one of the main actors of the film, Charles Laughton – playing the role of Judge Pengallan – who has just co-founded his production company Mayflower Pictures. It was also Laughton who spotted the very young actress Maureen O'Hara, then aged eighteen, and whose career would truly be launched thanks to this film.
THE JAMAICA TAVERN (1939 – B&W – 99 mins) new 4K restoration
. SHIPWRECKED IN STUDIO (13 mins) Donald Spoto, author of The Hidden Face of a Genius: The Real Life of Alfred Hitchcock , retraces the story of La Taverne de la Jamaïque : the transposition of the novel for the cinema, the shooting entirely reconstituted in the studio and the relations between the director and the film crew.