This week’s mystery movie – which turned out to be one of the most difficult I have ever posted – was the 1934 British musical “Evergreen.” The film stars Jessie Matthews, Sonnie Hale, Betty Balfour, Barry Mackay, Ivor Maclaren, Hartley Power, Patrick Ludlow, Betty Shale and Marjorie Brooks. It was directed by Victor Saville, from a script by Emlyn Williams, scenario by Marjorie Gaffney, based on the play by Benn W. Levy, adapted for the screen from Charles B. Cochran’s production at the Adelphi Theatre, London. Lyrics and music by Harry M. Woods, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Choreography by Buddy Bradley, photography by Glen MacWilliams, art direction by Alfred Junge.
Writing in the New York Times (Jan. 11, 1935), Andre Sennwald said:
At the risk of damning the Music Hall’s new photoplay with faint praise, it is imperative to report at once that “Evergreen” is the most pleasurable musical comedy yet offered us by the ambitious British screen industry. Both in its suave and expert technical arrangement and in its superb Rodgers and Hart songs, this Gaumont-British screen edition of Benn W. Levy’s London play is a considerable joy. In addition it is fortunate in the presence of Jessie Matthews, a nimble and winning dryad of song and dance, who deserves to be better known to American film audiences. A joyous and captivating nymph, she is the feminine counterpart of Fred Astaire. If Hollywood has the welfare of its customers at heart, it will immediately team her with Mr. Astaire in what should certainly be the perfect partnership.
Writing in the Los Angeles Times (Jan. 19, 1935), Philip K. Scheuer said:
“Evergreen” goes a bit quaint at times, especially in those moments when it presumes to be hotcha. And yet Miss Matthews could hold her own in the front line of our best choruses at that. Perhaps these scenes just look quaint because we know they come from afar. The dance ensembles are undoubtedly a bit dated, from the Hollywood standpoint.
For Monday, our mystery guest is pouring Champagne into a lady’s shoe. Guess what happens next.
Update: This is Patrick Ludlow.
For Tuesday, we have a mystery guest and a mystery companion who does not approve of such goings-on.
Update: This is Sonnie Hale and Marjorie Brooks.
And for Wednesday, we have this mystery bloke.
Update: This is Barry MacKay.
For Thursday, we have another mystery chappy. He’s the leading lady’s “Eternal Admirer.”
And he ages a bit through the film.
Update: This is Ivor Maclaren.
And bye the bye, here’s Tuesday’s mystery gent with some lovely mystery companions.
I say, what’s this?
Bless you, TCM, for showing classic movies – uncut!
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and mystery guests).
And here is our leading lady from across the pond.
And here she is later in the film.
Update: This is Jessie Matthews.
What if Busby Berkeley directed “Metropolis?” It might look like this.
Brain Trust roll call: Mike Hawks (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery bloke) and Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests).