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The world was lyrical when Jessie Matthews was a star!
on 31 May 2009
Although not the first British musical, Evergreen is acknowledged to be one of the landmark films made on this side of the Atlantic in the 1930s. Adapted from the Rodgers and Hart stage musical, two great new songs were composed for the film version - "When You've Got A Little Springtime In Your Heart" and "Over My Shoulder", which became the song most associated with Miss Matthews.
The word "star" is applied to anyone that can breathe these days, however Jessie Matthews was a true star. She commands each film scene she is in with her beauty, style and grace. Jessie had that extra something which made her a special performer and one whose charisma is as fresh as ever seventy-five years after this film was made.
The highlight is perhaps the "Dancing On The Ceiling" number staged in a classic art deco house, or is it the grand finale which is a fine production number rivalling the great early American film musical presentations. It is all fine entertainment.
Evergreen's release on DVD is long overdue. I would have liked some extras, apart from a photo gallery. A documentary on Jessie Matthews would have been an appropriate inclusion, but at least Jessie is now firmly preserved in the digital age in one of her greatest movies.