Big Jessie

What with this week’s Hitchcock movie, as I blog my way through all 52 of them, being WALTZES FROM VIENNA, the only time the cockney director worked with cockney star Jessie Matthews (you wouldn’t guess her origins from her accent though), I thought I’d post a bit more of her in the kind of movie she was famous for. This is Victor Saville’s IT’S LOVE AGAIN, a good example of Jessie’s brand of musical comedy glamour.

8 Responses to “Big Jessie”

  1. Christopher Says:

    ‘ere now..Whats all this then?..A little touch of Jessie in the Garden?….Shes adorable..

  2. You wouldn’t actually get away with talking that posh nowadays. She makes Hugh Grant seem plebeian. Yet she was a true cockney sparrow in real life.

  3. Jessie’s gifts as a dancer and singer display a certain straightforward vigor that suits the presentation but could hardly be called graceful, at least not in the truest sense of the word. That said, she’s cute as a button, and I can see why the viewing public would’ve found her endearing. And was that Robert Young who pops up off the bench toward the end, lending his pipes to the chorus at the finale?

  4. It is, I guess that’s around the same time he was guesting in Hitchcock’s The Secret Agent.

    Jessie is a great dancer technically, and can rein in her ebullience if required, for subtler numbers. But she was fond of her high-kicks. Astaire made her an offer to come to Hollywood but she preferred to stay in England with her husband, Sonny Hale, who also appears in It’s Love Again.

  5. Christopher Says:

    Shes really is a good dancer..I suspect she was being a little goofy in this on purpose..those looooooong legs!…Other than an old 16mm and Super 8mm copy of her feature “Evergreen”,that was floating about in the 70s,I can’t think of any of her films being released here in the US..

  6. Well, tomorrow’s Hitchcock may have had a release at some point. Hard to imagine a Hitch movie not getting distribution on video at some point.

    Her musicals are great fun, nothing that would compete with top-notch Hollywood productions, but innocent and entertaining and very handsomely mounted in their art-deco style.

  7. david wingrove Says:

    Isn’t Jessie Matthews fabulous? Believe it or not, she was considered as raunchy in the 30s as Madonna was in the late 80s and early 90s (i.e. before she discovered Kabbalah, African orphans and Guy Ritchie). I seem to recall that my grandmother never approved of Jessie, preferring to watch a “real lady” like Jeanette Macdonald.

  8. Something about her over-the-top posh accent makes her sexiness all the more fun. Climbing High might be the raunchiest, Val Guest was involved in that one, so there’s some “sexy slapstick” anticipating the later Confessions of a Window Cleaner. But a lot better than that, obviously.

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