Alfred Hitchcock: The Master of the Macabre [2 Discs] [DVD]
- SKU: 20878243
- Release Date: 04/05/2011
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Alfred Hitchcock directed this disappointing misfire, memorable solely for the fact is that it is the final film from Hitchcock's early British period before he left for the Hollywood studio system and David O. Selznick. In the England of the 1800s, a group of ruthless smugglers, led by Sir Humphrey Pengallon (Charles Laughton), prey on ships by blacking out warning signals. When the ships crash on the rocks, the nefarious group loots the remains and kills the sailors. The plot kicks in when the beautiful orphan Mary Yelland (Maureen O'Hara) goes to visit her uncle Joss Merlyn (Leslie Banks) at a creepy hotel called the Jamaica Inn, the home of the gang of smugglers. Mary doesn't realize that Uncle Joss is one of them. Meanwhile, Lloyd's of London sends one of their ablest men, Jem Trahearne (Robert Newton), to investigate the recurring shipwrecks. Jem checks in to the Jamaica Inn, and when the coven of smugglers finds out who he is, they capture him and attempt to kill him. But Mary comes to his rescue and saves him. Through the inn, the smugglers try to recapture Jem -- along with Mary. Thrown together by dire circumstances, the two fall in love. Meanwhile, all the shenanigans occurring at the Jamaica Inn appear to be driving Pengallon insane. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi
Alfred Hitchcock's second all-talkie thriller, Murder stars Herbert Marshall as pompous actor-manager Sir John Menier, a send-up of George DuMaurier. Summoned for jury duty, Sir John is one of 12 people who must decide the fate of Diana Baring (Norah Baring), a young actress on trial for murder. Though the girl is found guilty, Sir John believes that she's innocent and sets about to prove it on his own, exercising his actor's prerogative of adopting clever disguises in the course of his investigation. Along the way, he is obliged to entertain a pair of lower-class clods, Ted and Dulcie Markham (Edward Chapman and Phyllis Konstam), who help him stage an elaborate re-enactment of the crime. Based on Enter Sir John, a novel and play by Clemence Dane and Helen Simpson, Murder was simultaneously filmed in a German version, with Alfred Abel replacing Herbert Marshall. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Oskar Homolka plays a London movie-theatre owner who maintains a secret life as a paid terrorist. Homolka's wife Sylvia Sidney doesn't suspect Homolka of any wrongdoing, but she's picked up enough second-hand information about her husband's activities to arouse the interest of government agent (John Loder). Posing as a grocer, Loder moves next door to the Homolkas, befriending Sidney and her precocious young brother Desmond Tester. Sensing that he's being watched, Homolka sends Tester out to deliver a reel of film. The reel contains a time bomb, but Homolka is certain that the boy will deliver his package on time and will be safely away by the time the bomb explodes. Thus begins one of Hitchcock's most electrifying suspense sequences, as the unsuspecting boy is delayed en route to his destination. Sabotage was based on Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent; the film was retitled A Woman Alone in the US. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Charles Laughton - Sir Humphrey Pengallan
- Maureen O'Hara - Mary Yelland
- Emlyn Williams - Harry the Peddler
- Hay Petrie - Groom
- Robert Newton - Jem Trehearne