First a Girl


1h 33m 1935
First a Girl

Brief Synopsis

While working for a dressmaker, stage hopeful Elizabeth sees an audition notice. Outside a theater, she meets Victor, a female impersonator. Victor loses his voice and convinces Elizabeth to perform in his place. Elizabeth is a hit as "Victor," and is booked on a European tour, with Victor as her m...

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
Dec 31, 1935
Premiere Information
London opening: Nov 1935
Production Company
Gaumont-British Picture Corp.
Distribution Company
Gaumont-British Picture Corp. of America
Country
Great Britain and United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the German film Viktor und Victoria , written by Reinhold Schünzel (Ufa, 1933).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 33m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,273ft

Synopsis

While working for a dressmaker, stage hopeful Elizabeth sees an audition notice. Outside a theater, she meets Victor, a female impersonator. Victor loses his voice and convinces Elizabeth to perform in his place. Elizabeth is a hit as "Victor," and is booked on a European tour, with Victor as her manager. Suspicious of her gender, a princess and her companion, Robert, arrange for the three "men" to share the same room. Robert discovers Elizabeth's true gender when they go swimming, and they fall in love and marry.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Musical
Release Date
Dec 31, 1935
Premiere Information
London opening: Nov 1935
Production Company
Gaumont-British Picture Corp.
Distribution Company
Gaumont-British Picture Corp. of America
Country
Great Britain and United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the German film Viktor und Victoria , written by Reinhold Schünzel (Ufa, 1933).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 33m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,273ft

Articles

First a Girl


Jessie Matthews was the delicate and bright-eyed star of the British musical, The Dancing Divinity who made her name on the stage in productions by Noel Coward and Rodgers and Hart. Unfortunately, after a scandal where actor Sonnie Hale left his wife to marry Matthews, British audiences rejected the "homewrecker", and the stress of audience rejection contributed to nervous breakdowns that left theatrical backers reluctant to book the sensitive star. Finally, director Victor Saville gently guided her to success in movies like First A Girl (1935), a remake of the German farce Viktor Und Viktoria (1933). Here, Matthews plays a shy dressmaker's apprentice who, after a chance meeting with a female impersonator (Hale, her real-life husband), comes to his rescue by taking over his drag act when he gets a sore throat. However, the complicated woman-dressed-as-a-man-dressed-as-a-woman lifestyle takes its toll. (Sounds familiar? This story was remade once again as the Blake Edwards/Julie Andrews musical Victor/Victoria (1982). Matthews is not in the least bit believable as a man, but for an actress of her charm, that's mostly beside the point.

By Violet LeVoit
First A Girl

First a Girl

Jessie Matthews was the delicate and bright-eyed star of the British musical, The Dancing Divinity who made her name on the stage in productions by Noel Coward and Rodgers and Hart. Unfortunately, after a scandal where actor Sonnie Hale left his wife to marry Matthews, British audiences rejected the "homewrecker", and the stress of audience rejection contributed to nervous breakdowns that left theatrical backers reluctant to book the sensitive star. Finally, director Victor Saville gently guided her to success in movies like First A Girl (1935), a remake of the German farce Viktor Und Viktoria (1933). Here, Matthews plays a shy dressmaker's apprentice who, after a chance meeting with a female impersonator (Hale, her real-life husband), comes to his rescue by taking over his drag act when he gets a sore throat. However, the complicated woman-dressed-as-a-man-dressed-as-a-woman lifestyle takes its toll. (Sounds familiar? This story was remade once again as the Blake Edwards/Julie Andrews musical Victor/Victoria (1982). Matthews is not in the least bit believable as a man, but for an actress of her charm, that's mostly beside the point. By Violet LeVoit

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

This film was released in Great Britain at a running time of 93 min. Modern sources include Producer Michael Balcon, Associate Producer S. C. Balcon and Design Oscar Werndorff in the production.