Set in the 19th century, Maureen O'Hara plays a young woman who moves in with her aunt and uncle, who run the decrepit "Jamaica Inn." She soon discovers that the shady characters frequenting this inn are part of a pirating operation.
When they're to execute one of their own, she comes to the man's (Robert Newton) rescue. This man turns out to be an officer in the Royal Navy, who has been dispatched to uncover the thieves and bring them to justice. Their sole savior is the local lord, Charles Laughton -- who has other ideas.
Hitchcock's final British film, he would then move on to America and Hollywood to continue his filmmaking career.
While this film made a sizable profit at the box-office, it was not well taken with the critics. Instead of the standard fare the name Hitchcock brought, it was more of a Laughton vehicle if anything.
Laughton, wishing to appear more like the bloated, indulgent squire he portrayed, wore a putty nose and stole many of the scenes with his powerful performance.