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Jamaica Inn (1939)

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Jamaica Inn
Jamaica Inn 1939 Poster.jpg
Theatrical Poster
Country UKD.jpg UK
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Release Date 1939
Studio Renown Pictures
Mayflower Pictures
Distributor Mayflower Pictures
Main Cast
Character Actor
Mary Yellan Maureen O'Hara
Sir Humphrey Pengallan Charles Laughton
Joss Merlyn Leslie Banks
James 'Jem' Trehearne Robert Newton
Patience Merlyn Marie Ney
Harry the Pedlar Emlyn Williams
Dandy Edwin Greenwood
Salvation Watkins Wylie Watson
Sea Lawyer Sydney Morland Graham

Jamaica Inn is a 1939 British B&W adventure thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock, adapted from Daphne du Maurier's 1936 novel. The film stars Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara (her first major screen role). The plot is set in 1820 on the Cornish coast. A gang of wreckers extinguish coastal beacons in stormy nights, causing ships to run aground, then murdering the survivors and looting cargo. Innkeeper of Jamaica Inn Joss Merlyn leads the gang, but some other person is the real mastermind behind the wrecking gang. One day, young woman Mary Yellan, the orphaned niece of Joss' wife, appears in Jamaica Inn. She saves Jem Trehearne, a gang member who is wrongly accused by his accomplices in stealing the loot, and the duo has now to counter the gang and the mysterious ringleader.

Hitchcock's film is the first screen adaptation of the original novel. Two mini-series were also made: the 1983 ITV version starring Jane Seymour, and the 2014 BBC version starring Jessica Brown Findlay.

The following weapons were used in the film Jamaica Inn:


Light Dragoon Flintlock Pistol

Joss Merlyn (Leslie Banks) owns a Light Dragoon Flintlock Pistol. Throughout the movie, this pistol is seen in hands of local magistrate and squire Sir Humphrey Pengallan (Charles Laughton), and Joss' wife Patience (Marie Ney).

British 1756 Light Dragoon Pistol - .68 caliber
Joss Merlyn open the door to Mary with a Light Dragoon pistol in hands.
Joss meets Sir Humphrey and Trehearne with his Light Dragoon pistol in hands.
Sir Humphrey takes Joss' pistol.
When Sir Humphrey and Trehearne are captured by the gang, Joss gives the Light Dragoon pistol to his wife Patience and orders her to guard the prisoners.
Patience holds the pistol.
Sir Humphrey tells Patience that the pistol is intentionally left unloaded.

Flintlock Pistol

Flintlock Pistols of several different models are widely used throughout the movie, seen in hands of local magistrate and squire Sir Humphrey Pengallan (Charles Laughton), Jem Trehearne (Robert Newton), Captain Johnson (John Longden) in charge of a Dragoon squad, and a number of gang members.

Sir Humphrey takes a pistol from his table when Jem Trehearne tells him about the gang in Jamaica Inn. This is a rather compact model of civilian pattern.
Another view of the pistol.
Your gold or your life!
Sir Humphrey depicts a highwayman, pointing the pistol towards his butler Chadwick (Horace Hodges).
Trehearne loads the same pistol that Sir Humphrey gave to him. A ramrod is seen in Trehearne's hand while the paper packet of gunpowder is just put into the muzzle. The procedure of muzzleloading is shown in details: biting the paper packet, placing a small charge of gunpowder in a flash pan, closing the lid of the flash pan, placing the packet into the muzzle, and ramming. The only part of loading that is omitted is of course the placing of a ball.
Sir Humphrey and Trehearne hold pistols in the scene in the inn. In this scene Trehearne's pistol switches to another model, different from the one that he was given by Sir Humphrey. This pistol has octagonal barrel, and the ramrod is placed in the forend, not in the middle of the handguard.
Jamaica Inn-FlintlockPistol-13.jpg
Gang member Harry the Peddler (Emlyn Williams) fires his pistol. There are real flashes on the lock and from the muzzle.
Trehearne aims a pistol in the final scene.

Double Barreled Flintlock Pistol

In the final scene, Sir Humphrey Pengallan (Charles Laughton) holds a Double Barreled Flintlock Pistol.

18th Century double barrelled flintlock pistol
Sir Humphrey holds a double barreled pistol when he abducts Mary Yellan (Maureen O'Hara).
Sir Humphrey loads the pistol.
He drives away the men on board of a ship.
A close-up of the pistol. This scene is also used on the film poster.
Jamaica Inn-DoubleFlintlockPistol-5.jpg
Sir Humphrey puts the pistol to Mary's head.

Percussion Dueling Pistol

Gang member Salvation Watkins (Wylie Watson) carries an anachronistic Percussion Dueling Pistol.

For reference: Modern replica of Lepage percussion dueling pistol.
Watkins carries the percussion cap pistol tucked into his belt.
Watkins' pistol is seen when he climbs a rope.
Watkins' pistol is seen when the gang capture Trehearne.
Watkins cocks the hammer of his pistol.
Jamaica Inn-PercussionPistol-6.jpg
The percussion cap lock is seen.

Percussion Cap Pistol

In the opening scene, one of the gang members carries an anachronistic Percussion Cap Pistol. This is a military style model with a large pommel on the handle, possibly a converted flintlock gun.

For reference: Henry Parker long sea service pistol (percussion conversion) - .60 calibre
A gang member carries a percussion cap pistol tucked into his belt.


Unidentified Musket

In the final scene, Dragoons carry short Flintlock Muskets. As the handguards extend till the muzzle, these muskets differ from any version of famous Brown Bess, they are too long for 1808 Paget carbine, and the muzzle caps and trigger guards are different from Baker Cavalry Rifles. Nevertheless, a saddle ring bar can be seen at least on one musket.

A musket is seen when the Dragoons break into the inn.
The lock can be barely seen (at the maximum magnification which allows the quality of the restored image).
A Dragoon raises the musket over his head. The brass muzzle cap is seen.
A musket is seen in center. It is fitted with a saddle ring bar.
Another view of the same musket.
A Dragoon in center holds a musket.
He takes aim.

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