First a Girl

Directed by Victor Saville

This little-known British adaption of the 1933 German film Viktor und Viktoria (later remade as Victor Victoria and similarly reworked in Shakespeare in Love) sees a shop girl pretending to be a boy in order to perform onstage as a female impersonator.

First a Girl stars Jessie Matthews (Evergreen), one of the era’s biggest British stars. She and Sonnie Hale were a successful screen partnership in British cinema, and this is their most polished collaboration. Victor Saville’s film mixes its clever conceit with risqué comedy and impressive song-and-dance numbers (including the fabulous, feather-trimmed performance of ‘Everything’s in Rhythm with My Heart’) to thoroughly entertaining and surprisingly transgressive effect.

Screening as part of BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery, BFI Film Audience Network and ICO. #bfimusicals

98 minutes


Country of origin:
Great Britain

Year of production: