Episode 45

Soho Bites 45: Friday the Thirteenth (1933)

Jessie part three.

For this, the third and final instalment of our mini-series about the 1930s' biggest UK film star, Jessie Matthews, we met up with Dr Jennifer Voss of De Montford University to talk about Friday the Thirteenth (1933).

NB: this is the Friday the Thirteenth from 1933, directed by Victor Saville with a large ensemble cast including Jessie as well as her husband, Sonnie Hale, Emlyn Williams (who also wrote the script), Gordon Harker, Edmund Gwenn, Eliot Makeham, Frank Lawton and the lovely Ursula Jeans plus many more. It is not the silly 1980s slasher film of the same name.

Friday the Thirteenth consists of seven separate stories which all come together at the end when our many protagonists find themselves aboard a bus which is involved in a fatal accident.

To talk about Jessie, her life & career we're joined again by Rob BakerJade Evans and Dr Lawrence Napper.

For this episode we also meet David Drummond who knew Jessie for the last thirty years of her life and dated her daughter! For many years, David ran a shop in the West End selling theatre and film related memorabilia & ephemera. Sadly the shop is no longer there but you can still visit the Pleasures of Past Times website.

Our thanks to Professor Sean Street who provided some of the archive audio in the programme.

Watch this 1981 BBC documentary about Jessie Matthews.

Jessie appeared on This is Your Life in 1961.

Jessie's biographer, Michael Thornton wrote this appalling, salacious, muckraking and probably untrue article for the appalling, salacious, muckraking Daily Mail which I have pasted it into this Google Doc to deprive the Mail of your clicks.

Rob Baker is on Twitter too and you can buy his books HERE.

Article about Jessie by Rob on his Flashback website.

Follow Jade on Twitter and/or Instagram to learn about her research in fact you can find all her links HERE.

Buy Jessie's autobiography or read it for free online.

Of course, Lawrence is on Twitter too and here's his At the Pictures blog.

The passages from Jessie's autobiography were read by Jane Slavin whose official title is, apparently, "Queen of Loveliness".

During the pandemic, we made an episode of Mural Morsels about Jessie Matthews.

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