Jessie Matthews in the film Ever Green
Black and white photographic postcard
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
This publicity postcard shows Jessie Matthews in the film Ever Green, based on the successful Rodgers and Hart musical in which she had starred in 1930. It was her greatest stage success and featured ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’, which was to become one of her trademark dance sequences. Originally Fred Astaire, then playing in London in The Gay Divorce was approached to play opposite her in the film, but he was already under contract in Hollywood and his studio did not want him appear in a British film. When the filming of Ever Green began, Jessie literally broke out in a nervous rash and collapsed, one of several nervous breakdowns that were to dog her career. But each time she recovered and in the 1930s became the queen of the British musical film in such productions as The Good Companions, It’s Love Again and First a Girl, which was re-made years later as Victor/Victoria.