6.7/10
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19 user 6 critic

Evergreen (1934)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 31 December 1934 (USA)
Harriet Green, a beloved and radiant music hall star of the Edwardian era, has a guilty secret: She has a baby daughter, born out of wedlock. Harriet leaves her public and flees to South ... See full summary »

Director:

Victor Saville

Writers:

Benn W. Levy (based on the stage play by), Emlyn Williams (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jessie Matthews ... Harriet Green
Sonnie Hale ... Leslie Benn
Betty Balfour ... Maudie
Barry MacKay ... Tommy Thompson (as Barry Mackay)
Ivor McLaren Ivor McLaren ... Marquis of Staines (as Ivor Maclaren)
Hartley Power Hartley Power ... Treadwell
Patrick Ludlow Patrick Ludlow ... Lord Shropshire
Betty Shale Betty Shale ... Mrs. Hawkes
Marjorie Brooks Marjorie Brooks ... Marjorie Moore
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Buddy Bradley Buddy Bradley ... Dancer
Edit

Storyline

Harriet Green, a beloved and radiant music hall star of the Edwardian era, has a guilty secret: She has a baby daughter, born out of wedlock. Harriet leaves her public and flees to South Africa to raise her daughter quietly. The years pass, and now her daughter, Harriet Hawkes, returns to London as a young show-biz hopeful. Tommy, a wily publicity man, knowing that young Harriet is a dead ringer for her famous mother, convinces a theater producer to star her in a new revue as none other than the original Harriet Green, miraculously untouched by old age. The ruse works too well: Now the public believes Harriet is a well-preserved 60-year-old and Tommy is her son. The deception is more than merely inconvenient, because now Harriet and Tommy have secretly fallen in love. Written by Dan Navarro <daneldorado@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 December 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sempre Viva See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (recorded on) (British Acoustic Full Range System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jessie Matthews and Sonnie Hale were husband & wife during this time (1931-1944). Together they adopted a daughter, Catherine, born in 1935. See more »

Goofs

The onscreen source of the movie is listed as "Evergreen", but it actually was called "Ever Green". See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Yesterday See more »

Connections

Featured in Forty Minutes: Catch a Fallen Star (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Bretton Byrd
Sung by the banquet attendees
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Yesterday
1 August 2004 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

Evergreen is an old evergreen favourite of mine, now 70 years young and rising. Jessie Matthews sparkles but as usual Sonnie Hale tinkles.

It's got a typically bizarre 30's British film plot, but it's handled in a defter way than was usual to help suspend your disbelief for the required 90 minutes. Illegitimate 20 yo daughter of deceased famous Music Hall singer comes from obscurity to impersonate her and gains fame as a result, the decent looking chap she's falling for (and vv) finds himself having to impersonate her non-existent son while her real father comes out of the woodwork after 20 years and starts to blackmail them. And for thousands of pounds a time in todays money - nice man!

Of course this is all merely filler for the Rodgers & Hart songs, none greater than Dancing On The Ceiling, a sublime and surreal 4 minutes than grows more beautiful every time I see it. Jessie never used her beautiful cut glass voice to better effect. She was supposed to be a great dancer but I've not seen any evidence of it yet in her films, but this is probably as close as she ever will come to impressing me in that department. I'm always mindful of Dirk Bogarde's personal assessment of her dancing talents in the BBC documentary about her that he narrated in the early '90's that she was better than Ginger Rogers, and that she was a success in the US because of this. Again, Rogers had her own style - maybe Jessie was better in a chorus line; to me she danced like an ostrich on an escalator, her flying feet competition only to Charlotte Greenwood or Jackie Chan. Having said that, I could watch her films until the cows came home, they're all pleasant with good music, good dancing and good stories - sometimes!

Watch this and marvel - that anyone as vital as she could die in obscurity in a nursing home and be buried unmarked in an obscure cemetery.


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