"Warning!this is the laserlight version and is cheaply made with very poor sound and a very poor picture.It certainly is NOT "mastered from the best available sources".In fact this version is shorter than the other available one,suggesting that the print it was copied from must have been cut due to a degraded print.The "introductions" by Tony Curtis to the laserlight copies look as if they were all filmed in one morning.Get the other version."
Brian Colbath Watson | New York, NY United States | 06/12/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It's a shame the quality of this video is poor. The movie is fascinating. The sound quality, however, is so variable that much of the dialogue vanishes. One key transition scene is missing entirely. Maureen O'Hara is seen dripping wet in her "chemise" in one scene, then the picture freezes and she is transported, without explanation and fully clothed, to Jamaica Inn. There must be a better print of this movie."
Kino's edition is the one to own
Alric Knebel | Biloxi, MS | 04/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When hunting for one of these older films that have languished so long in the public domain, and you'd like a classy edition, you need to look toward one of the prestigious home video producers, like Criterion or Kino. All other editions will be murky bootlegged copies downloaded from the public domain, which you can download yourself for free at a place like Internet Archive (google it; there's a lot of interesting stuff there). But if it's a title that fits historically into some larger canon, you'll want the real deal. These houses like Criterion or Kino will find that rare print and restore it to as close to luxuriant condition as possible. For this title, I highly recommend Kino's Jamaica Inn. Kino's reputation is nonpareil for this sort of thing. Par their name, Kino's Jamaica Inn has been digitally mastered from a 35mm nitrate print. It's important to note that Kino's is the only edition distinguished by such a fresh transfer. Accept no substitutes.
And while we're on the subject of prestigious releases of Hitchcock thrillers, I highly recommend these editions from the Criterion Collection of other earlier Hitchcock titles: The 39 Steps (1935); The Lady Vanishes (1938); and Notorious (1946); or buy the entire collection all together as Wrong Men & Notorious Women: Five Hitchcock Thrillers 1935-1946, which includes Rebecca (1940) and Spellbound (1945).
Whatever you do, avoid the editions by Synergy, Miracle Pictures, and Triad. They'll be public domain bootlegs, and Triad's in particular is absurdly priced. It's only barely cheaper than Kino's edition. Don't believe for a second it'll be "enhanced"; you have to have access to a print to do something like that. Triad's is a typical bootleg, and any and all of them will be degraded stripped-down affairs, right out of public domain. If you paid more than the cost of a DVD-R for any of them, you paid too much. __________________________________________________________________"
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 03/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to the Laserlight(Special Edition)DVD of "Jamaica Inn"...The talent combined in this 1939 film is immense. Based on a novel by Daphne Du Maurier,Alfred Hitchcock skillfully directs an extraordinary cast, all turning in strong performances, that bring the characters depth and the story to life.Marueen O'Hara is amazing in her first feature role, showing us way back then what made her the great star she has been all these years.It also stars other great British actors Lelsie Banks,Emlyn Williams and Robert Newton. But it is the legendary Charles Laughton who you can't take your eyes off of in this thriller. The depth with which he portrays his multi-faceted character is simple awesome.The story is set off a rugged coastline.A group of dangerous cut-throats are misguiding innocent vessels, causing them to crash into the rocky terrain,so they can loot all the cargo.When young and beautiful Mary(O'Hara)is on to them, she risks life and limb to try and stop them. She turns to the only one she can trust..Sir Humphrey Pengallan(Laughton)for help. But yikes!... has she even endangered herself further with this move? He may be the most deranged of all! Where's Hitch?....Although he made an appearance in the one before this one("The Lady Vanishes"/1938) and the one after("Rebecca"/1940), he seems to have eluded us in this one!There are a couple of DVD editions of this film available here at Amazon. And while this one is not immaculate,showing it's age at nearly 65 years old, and there does seem to be something missing in a transition to a scene, I did not find anything about the view that took away from the enjoyment of this Hitch classic. I read the reviews of the other edition, which by the way costs more than three times as much as this one, and I didnt see anything better about that transfer than this Laserlight edition.The black and white images seemed clear and bright, and even the darker scenes were perfectly distinguishable. Very occassionaly, the sound did come and go, but was audible for the most part. This edition also includes an intro by Tony Curtis, and a fun trailer of "The Birds", introduced by the master himself. The DVD will automatically go straight to the film, so be sure to press menu to see the intro by Tony first. There are subtitles in Spanish, Japanese, and Chineese, all very clear and are even available for the introduction.On the case it also shows these as languages to view the film in, but I did not find this feature on the menu. This may not be the best print,but it is a decent transfer and for the price this is the best way to go for the Hitch enthusiast.This film may also be purchased as part of several Hitchcock sets offered here at Amazon.Get the popcorn ready for this one and enjoy...Laurie"
Laughton & Hitchcock are a winning team
Joe Sixpack -- Slipcue.com | ...in Middle America | 01/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Charles Laughton is delicious in this classic Hitchcock thriller as the stuffy, regal Humphrey Pengallan, a psychotic country squire who decides the best way to meet the high costs of royal life is to indulge his immodest talents as a criminal mastermind. Unbeknownst to his friends and peers, Lord Pengallan has assembled a grimy band of cutthroat thieves which he secretly directs to wreck and loot merchant ships on the rocky Cornwall coast. He is of course thwarted by plucky newcomer Maureen O'Hara and her goodlooking beau, an undercover policeman whose cover is blown after one of their heists seems a bit light. Some Hitchcock fans apparently find this film less than satisfying, but it's as classy and as offbeat as any he's made; perhaps it's because the film is a period drama that folks are thrown off track. At any rate, this is vintage Hitchcock, and the character acting is typically impressive, particularly Emlyn Williams as Harry, the most menacing of the pirate crew... his is one of the most sinister screen villains you're likely to see. Laughton, of course, brings his tremendous range to bear, appearing at first as an overbearing aristocratic boor, then modifies himself to become in turns magnanimous, ruthless and finally so homicidally crazed and delusory that he takes on an almost pathetic air. And O'Hara, in her screen debut is both beautiful and full of pluck -- no helpless female here, as she stops the brigands almost single-handedly. An offbeat film, and definitely worth checking out."