“Do you mean that you think you can persuade the British public that this girl is the Harriet Green of Edwardian times?”
The daughter (Jessie Matthews) of deceased Edwardian music hall star Harriet Green (also Matthews) stages a “comeback” as her mother, convincing the public that Harriet Green is alive and well — but how long will her ruse last?
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Mistaken or Hidden Identities
- Play Adaptation
Once hailed as the “female Fred Astaire”, British singer/dancer Jessie Matthews skyrocketed to international fame with this phenomenally popular romantic musical, featuring music by Rodgers and Hart. The rather implausible “mistaken identities” storyline — involving Matthews’ rekindled affair with her dead mother’s aristocratic lover (Ivor McLaren), and her burgeoning love for the man passed off to the public as her grown son (Barry MacKay) — is flimsy but innocuous, and really just an excuse to let Matthews show off her impressive dancing chops and comedic delivery. Sadly, Matthews’ fame never really went anywhere, and few film buffs today will recognize her name. As the most successful British film musical until 1960’s Oliver!, Evergreen is worth a look for historical purposes — but it’s not must-see viewing for all film fanatics.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Jessie Matthews as Harriet Green
- Several creatively staged dance sequences
No, but it’s worth a look simply for Matthews’ dance numbers, and for historical purposes.