90 minutes
Black and White

A British Gaumont Picture
Recorded at Shepherd's Bush

Director: Victor Saville
Written by Marjorie Gaffney and Emlyn Williams
Based on the stage play by Benn W. Levy
Adapted for the screen from Charles B. Cochran's production Evergreen at the Adelphi Theatre, London

Lyrics and Music: Harry M. Woods, Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart
Musical Director: Louis Levy
The Gaumont British Studio Orchestra conducted by Bretton Byrd
Dances and ensembles arranged by Buddy Bradley


Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me A Bow-Wow
I Wouldn't Leave My Little Wooden Hut For You
A Little Springtime In Your Heart
Giving In To Myself
Dear, Dear
Dancing On the Ceiling
Over My Shoulder
Tinkle! Tinkle! Tinkle!
By Your Example

Photography: Glen MacWilliams
Film Editor: Ian Dalrymple
Art Direction: Alfred Junge
Unit Manager: Herbert Mason
Recordist: A. F. Birch
Costumes: Borleo

Jessie Matthews - Harriet Green/Harriet Hawkes
Sonnie Hale - Leslie Benn
Barry MacKay - Tommy Thompson
Betty Balfour - Maudie
Hartley Power - Treadwell
Ivor McLaren - Marquis of Staines
Patrick Ludlow - Lord Shropshire
Mrs Hawkes - Betty Shale
Marjorie Moore - Marjorie Brooks


Harriet Green is a great star of the Edwardian music hall who is engaged to marry the Marquis of Staines when an old lover, a caddish gambler, arrives to blackmail her over the child they had together several years earlier.  Rather than submit herself to that humiliation she breaks off the engagement and retires to South Africa, leaving her daughter - also called Harriet - to be brought up in England by her dresser. 

Nearly thirty years later, Harriet Hawkes is a starving young actress desperately seeking employment in one of the musical shows being staged in London.  Times in the theatre are very hard however, and the situation seems hopeless until she bumps into her mother's old friend, Maudie (now Lady Shropshire).  She and Tommy Thompson, an out of work actor-cum-publicity agent, persuade Harriet to stage the theatrical coup of the century by posing as her own mother (who has been dead for some time) in a return to the stage after her years in exile. 

Owing to an accidental misunderstanding at a press conference, Tommy is obliged to play the part of Harriet's son, a situation which becomes unbearable when the Marquis buys them a house to share and neither can get to sleep on their first night...

Evergreen has been described as the greatest British musical, and not without good reason.  The long sequence of dance and song featuring moving tableaux of popular culture from 1906 to the present (1934) is rightly famous.  Also worthy of note is Jessie's performance of Dancing On the Ceiling one of her biggest hits, which was banned for some time by the BBC because it contained the word bed.

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