The Jessie Mattews Home Page
DVDs and Videos Many of Jessies films have appeared on DVD and video during the past 25 years. This is not a definitive or complete list, it is just an approximation of what is available. Those pictured below are occasionally available at selected stores in the UK, and USA eg. HMV, and at well known internet outlets Network DVD who have released a series of double Jessie DVDs as well as earlier titles of "Evergreen" and "There Goes The Bride". amazon.com / amazon .fr have most including "Waltzes From Vienna", "The Good Companions", Climbing High" and "Candles At Nine" in their (American) Rank series.
Other internet sites worth visiting include:
At the date of writing there are yet to be any Jessie Matthews Blu-rays or 4K discs. Many collectors have kept their VHS library and some VHS titles are not yet available on DVD, so I have not deleted any VHS titles. I have not yet included the Download / Streaming titles that have started to appear e.g. "Evergreen" because the medium is designed for desposibility not collecting and is therefore, in my opinion, not memorabilia. It is possible at some time in the future that discs could start to be phased out in favour of streaming but it is (in view of the resurgence of Vinyl audio albums) unlikely. Happy collecting!.....
Notes An unscary thriller. Despite a turgid script and unremarkable performance, the film is worth seeing for Jessie entertaining the audience for one energetic dance number, if not for her performance amidst the spookless goings on.
Candles At Nine
A Sonnie Hale written Carol Reed Directed (in 1939) caper about a wealthy man about town (Michael Redgrave) who is engaged to a gold digger but makes out that he is pennyless in order to get close to love interest scatty shop model (Jessie). Several slapstck scenareos include hazards on mountain slopes and collapsing display sets in the shop. Obligotary eccentic character obliged by the incomparable Alastair Sim. Filming originally started in April 1938, as "Asking For Trouble", a musical directed by Sonnie Hale, and starring Jessie Matthews, Kent Taylor and Noel Madison, but that was abandoned
Edward & Mrs Simpson
Jessie's most notable performances on television as Mrs Simpson's sparkling Aunt Bessie, in the BAFTA winning production of "Edward and Mrs Simpson" made for ITV in 1979. Edward abandoned his crown for the woman he loved - a divorced American, bringing his short reign to an end at the close of 1936. This series follows the relationship and the crisis concentrating on the love affair amongst a political storm.
Among the best of musicals based on the play by Benn W Levy. Songbird Harriet Green (Jessie) assumes the identity and enacts a stage return of her famous dead mother. With Sonnie Hale and Betty Balfour. Jessie sings "When You've Got A Little Springtime In Your Heart", "Dancing On The Ceiling" "Tinkle, Tinkle, Tinkle" and "Over My Shoulder"
Based on the play "Viktor Und Viktoria" by Reinhold Schunzel. Superior Musical Remake. Fashion house shop packer, Elizabeth (Jessie), makes the big time when she steps in for a female impersonator. A Mega song and dance spectacular. Jessie's songs include "Say the Word and It's Yours", "I Can Wiggle My Ears", "Everything's in Rhythm With My Heart, and "Little Silk Worm".
This is also available on DVD Region1
A collection of stories about the occupants of a London House from 1804 to the blitz in 1941. Jessie plays Mildred Temple, back from India to buy a portrait of an ancestor. With Anna Neagle, Gladys Cooper, Merle Oberon, Ray Milland, Dame May Whitty, Claude Rains, Elsa Lanchester, C Aubery Smith, Ida Lupino, Robert Cummings and Herbert Marshall. Proceeds of the film went to the British and American Red Cross.
Friday The Thirteenth
Drama based on a story by G H Moresby-White and Sidney Gilliat; collision course for passengers of a night bus. Staring Jessie as Millie - a career in the chorus threatens engagement to fiance. With Sir Ralph Richardson, Sonnie Hale, Max Miller, Ursula Jeans and Martita Hunt.
Musical Comedy based on a story by Dwight Taylor.Journalist Pat Wayne (Jessie) takes undercover employment as a maid to Socialite, becomes embroiled in search for Jewel thief. Leads to shoot out with gangsters across the Atlantic. Jessie finds love in the dashing detective. Jessie's songs include, "When You Gotta Sing", "Lord and Lady Whozies", "Moon or No Moon" and "Gangway".
The Good Companions
Starring Jessie Matthews, John Gielgud, Edmund Gwenn, Mary Glynne, Percy Parsons, George Zucco. Screenplay by W.P. Lipscomb, Angus Macphail, Ian Dalrymple, based on the play by J.B. Priestley. Musical director: Louis Levy. Songs by George Posford. Produced by Michael Balcon and George Pearson. Directed by Victor Saville.
An splendid screen musical starring Jessie Matthews as a rising star on tour with John Gielgud and Edmund Gwenn, trying to revive a floundering pierrot troupe. This inspired film, based on J.B. Preistley's famous play, was the big break for Jessie Matthews that lead to EVERGREEN, the musical that propelled her into international stardom. In this film, you can see why. This crisp, brilliant presentation has been digitally remastered for the most discriminating viewer.
Originally released 1933 • 113 min./b&w/mono
Recorded in Standard Play (SP) Mode
Head Over Heels
Romantic musical based on "Pierre ou Jac" by Francois de Crosset. Love triangle between caberet singer Jeanne (Jessie), playboy Marcel (Louis Borell) and engenue Pierre (Robert Flemyng). Jessie's songs include "Head Over Heels In Love", "There's That Look in Your Eyes Again", "Looking Around Corners For You", and "May I Have This next Romance With You".
Hound Of The Baskervilles
Jessie had only a very brief appearance in this tongue in cheek version of the classic thriller. Film offers at this late stage in Jessie's career were exctreemly few and far between and Jessie needed the money. Sadly it was Jessie's last appearance on the big screen.
Musical based on a story by Marion Dix about a chorus girl, Elaine (Jessie), who invents and becomes an exotic mysterious socialite to help her friend's news column. Exotic extravagent production numbers Hollywood would find difficult to match. With Robert Young, Sonnie Hale. Jessie's songs include, "I Nearly Let Love Go Slipping Through My Fingers", "Gotta Dance My Way To Heaven", "It's Love Again", and "Tony's in Town".
Musical Romance based on a story by Selwyn Jepson. Kay Martin (Jessie) gives up stardom for the love of a bargee's son. Jessie's songs include "Trusting My Luck", "Your Heart Skips A Beat", "Souvenir of Love" and "My River".
The Man From Toronto
Zany Douglas Murray comedy starring Jessie as an heiress put to task as a maid with Ian Hunter.
Jessie Starred in the episode entitled 'A Picture Of A Place'. This was Jessie's last work for television. A marvelous performance and terriffic storyline concerning a crafty antique dealer and vunerable old lady who is trying to make ends meet in her country cottage.
There Goes The Bride
A Comedy by Herman Kosterlitz / Wolfgang Wilhelm starring Jessie as Annette Marquand running away from her impending Marriage to be mistaken as a thief. With Owen Nares. Jessie Sings "I'll Stay With You" and "You Are The One For Me".
Excellent childrens musical based on the Brothers Grimm, with Jessie as Anna the woodcutters wife and Ros Tamblyn as tiny Tom thumb taken in by the kindly couple but exploited by villainous Terry-Thomas and henchman Sellers. Charming Puppetoons sequences, Oscar winning special effects, perfect Peggy Lee - Sonny Burke score. Filmed in England. Available on DVD and VHS
One of Jessies most underated and charming performances despite problems that she suffered with Director Alfred Hitchcock. The plot is weak but the relationships (within the great Strauss Dynasty) and popular classical score including "The Blue Danube"
make it a most watchable film. Jessie gets to sing but heavy editing of prints after it's origianl cinema release deprived audiences of the score. Fortunately about 15 years ago the film's missing scenes were restored to the film and the Universal DVD release is complete. Whilst it was not a great success there is much to be fond of in this period classic.
Network DVD Jessie Matthews Collection
Unfortunately at the time of writing no blu-ray discs of Jessie's films or TV have been released. If like me you would like to see Jessie released in full high definition please write to the releasing companies to ask that they issue blu-rays of their Jessie Matthews titles. I here some people ask what about 4K? Unfortunately 4K is not really taking off and is so ultra high in definition that it exagerates grain, artifacts, blemishes, scratches, lighting anomolies etc on everything that wasn't filmed in ultra high resolution. Even nitrate stock is not sufficiently high in definition to benefit from the 4K process. If Jessie films were released in 4K without significant restoration and digital upscaling the result would be poor in quality. The best format for showing pristine copies of vintage film on TV is 1081 HD / blu-ray.