Episode 44

Soho Bites 44: Evergreen (1934)

Jessie part two.

This is the second instalment of a three part mini-series about the 1930s' biggest UK film star, Jessie Matthews.

Evergreen (1934) was based on Ever Green, CB Cochran's 1930 musical spectacular at the Adelphi Theatre. Jessie starred as Harriet Green in both the stage show and the film.

We're joined by Dr Melanie Williams of The University of East Anglia to talk about the film and  Rob BakerJade Evans and Dr Lawrence Napper return to the show to talk about Jessie's life.

Evergreen is the story of two Harriet Greens, in which one Harriet finds fame and fortune by impersonating the other.

Evergreen was third of five Jessie Matthews films directed by Victor Saville and co-starred Mr Jessie Matthews, Sonnie Hale. Barry Mackay plays the love interest, Tommy Thompson and Betty Balfour plays Maudie, continuing her successful transition from silent films to talkies.

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.

Melanie has a ton of film & TV writing out there including books on David Lean and A Taste of Honey. Follow her on the site formally known as Twitter.

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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Check out our spin-off series Mural Morsels

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