"L'Homme De La Jamaïque "hits me at first as a routine adventures movie ,but the further acquaintance says this: although very uneven,mainly in the first third which drags on, actually a film noir ,with impressive sequences :what could be a trite arms dealing becomes,in its own special way,a redemption tale.Distinguished moments:
- the arrival in Dr Van Boeken's small gloomy hospital :we never see his patients "who do no want to be seen though they have cooked the meal " ;the doctor's glasses shine in the dark as he told his guests about the lack of money and the plight of the place ;an almost spooky scene.
-After an informer turns them in, the night on the ship where one of Mervel's pals dies and another one realizes he won't be able to play the guitar anymore ;but another threat is in the air .
-there's a smell of burning in Dr Eckart's office , a cigarette burns Mervel's arm,but "I do not feel anything"
-"I've got an enchanted hand" says Mervel to the captain who did not tell them his passengers were........
-Vicky on the road ,in search of her love whose pain she wants to relieve .
Pierre Brasseur hams it up in the beginning ,but ,little by little,he makes us feel for his pitiful character.Good cast including Louis Seignier as the hateful captain Hoggan ,Jean-René Caussimon as the devoted thespian (only one scene ,but he made it the strongest in the whole movie),Marcelle Géniat , as an old lady in a wheelchair interested in gunrunning too...and Vera Norman as an idealistic naive nurse ('your antiques are weapons " says the captain)but who has a talent for observation (the initials on the shirt)
There's a even touches of humor:"you know,antiques can wait one more day:they will go up in value!"
Filmed on location in Morocco ;the director takes advantage of the scenery.