Maureen O’Hara and Charles Laughton, Jamaica Inn
Maureen O’Hara’s only Alfred Hitchcock film was also her first “official” movie, Jamaica Inn (1939). When Charles Laughton was signed for the role, he insisted that his protege, Maureen O’Hara be cast in the role of Mary. As possibly the biggest Maureen O’Hara fan of all time (I will make concessions for her family members, of course), I owe such a debt of gratitude to Charles Laughton. He saw the special talent, charisma, and potential in the (very) young and (very) inexperienced actress.
His influence on her cannot be stressed strongly enough. He mentored her and took her under his wing – any suggestion that there was anything more is complete and utter garbage. Unable to have children, Laughton even commented once that he wished he could adopt young Maureen. There was nothing unseemly about their friendship in the least.
This was Alfred Hitchcock’s last film in England before he took Hollywood by storm. Unfortunately, even though the film was a box office success, Hitchcock was not completely satisfied or happy with it. From all indications, he and Charles Laughton didn’t work too well together. Both had such strong opinions and had their own way of working. Surprisingly, however, the two worked together again in the 1947 film The Paradine Case.
Jamaica Inn Lobby Card – Maureen O’Hara and Charles Laughton