Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Head Over Heels.

This 1937 musical romance demonstrates the enchanting nature of its star. Jessie Matthews is Jeanne Colbert an up and coming young singer and dancer who performs at a Paris Nightclub. When Pierre (Robert Flemying in his film debut) a radio engineer meets Jeanne he immediately falls in love with her but his courtship is curtailed when he introduces her to his flatmate Marcel Larimour (Dutch actor Louis Borell), a would be actor and womaniser, it's with him that Jeanne falls in love. To service his own career Marcel takes up with an actress Norma Langtry (Whitney Bourne) on the promise of an acting job in Hollywood. It's the gallant Pierre who restores the young performers broken heart by helping her become a famous radio star, but her gratitude is soon forgotten when Marcel reappears on the scene. Will the faithful and loyal Pierre final win the hand of fair maiden or will it be the ne’er-do-well rather slimy two faced Marcel?

The enchanting Ms Matthews.
Based on the play Pierre ou Jack by Francis du Croisset and adapted for the screen by Fred Thomson it was Jessie's then husband, the over possessive and potentially jealous, Sonnie Hale directing for the first time. Musical Director Louis Levy gives the fine British dancer some memorable numbers to perform including Head Over Heels in Love and May I Have the Next Romance With You. Alfred Junge, carrying out his normal superb job as Art Director, gives the movie that extra bit of class.

It was during the making of this film that Jessie suffered a nervous breakdown said to be due to her deteriorating relationship with her husband and the worry surrounding his lack of directorial skills. But even with these off screen problems the filmed turned out to be a great success in the UK and a bigger success in America with Jessie being labelled the ‘Queen of Broadway’ by the Daily Mirrors New York correspondent.  The film opened in London at the Gaumont, Haymarket on 27th February 1937 with a general release on the 29th March 1937. Shown in the USA as Head Over Heels in Love.

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