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First a Girl (1935)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 232 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 3 critic

Elizabeth, a delivery girl, dreams of being a music-hall singer but she is refused at the first casting she takes part in. A bit depressed, she gets to know Victor, a would-be Shakespearean... See full summary »



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Title: First a Girl (1935)

First a Girl (1935) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Complete credited cast:
Jessie Matthews ...
Sonnie Hale ...
Princess Mironoff
Griffith Jones ...
Alfred Drayton ...
Mr. McLintock
Constance Godridge ...
Eddie Gray ...
Goose Trainer
Martita Hunt ...
Madame Seraphina
Donald Stewart ...


Elizabeth, a delivery girl, dreams of being a music-hall singer but she is refused at the first casting she takes part in. A bit depressed, she gets to know Victor, a would-be Shakespearean actor and another audition victim. When Victor quite unexpectedly gets a female part in a music-hall number he unfortunately finds himself voiceless. Why wouldn't Elizabeth replace it? His new friend hesitates but finally makes her debut as ... a man posing for a woman! She is noticed by McLintock, an influential talent agent who hires Mr. Victoria (Elizabeth's stage name) and launches his/her brilliant international career. One day, Robert, a handsome young man engaged to Princess Mironoff, makes friends with this young man posing as a woman posing as a man ... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Musical


See all certifications »




Release Date:

31 December 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

First a Girl  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Full Range Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The long scarf worn prominently by Sonnie Hale during the early scenes had been knitted for him by Jessie Matthews on the set of her previous film, Evergreen (1934). See more »


Victor and Elizabeth are drying off. When Victor begins to lose his voice, he is holding a wig in a box in his right hand and puts his left hand towards his own throat. In the next shot, made out to be in real time, his right hand is immediately where his left hand was; what's more - it is without the wig in a box. See more »


[pointing to male dressing room]
Elizabeth: [to Victor] Listen - I've put your trousers on, but I'm not going to take them off in *there*!
See more »


Remake of Viktor and Viktoria (1933) See more »


Sweet Lucy Brown
Written by Leon René and Otis René
See more »

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User Reviews

Makes for a good comparison to Victor/Victoria
14 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This little British-made gem of a film was one of the last movies to be released exclusively on VHS format. Too bad it wasn't one of the first to be released on DVD. It is similar in storyline to Victor/Victoria, but it is different enough that you can watch both and enjoy the comparisons without feeling that you have just watched the same film twice.

Elizabeth (Jessie Matthews) is a British shop girl working in a fashion boutique that caters to the wealthy. She dreams of being a famous entertainer. One rainy day - while wearing the fancy clothes she is supposed to be delivering - she runs into Victor, aspiring Shakespearean actor and actual female impersonator who works the bawdy music halls of London. He is down to his last shilling when he gets a one-time engagement to work in one of these halls. Unfortunately, the rain has taken a toll on his voice and he is unable to take the job. Likewise, Elizabeth has ruined the clothes she was supposed to deliver and can't go back to her job. They forge an alliance for what is supposed to be a one-time thing - Elizabeth will go on as Victor and be a woman impersonating a man impersonating a woman so they both can collect the money they badly need. A high-class booking agent sees the act and offers the pair a chance to be the toast of Europe. A reluctant Elizabeth agrees since it does give her a chance at her dream.

The complications arise in France where a princess and her fiancé, which the princess treats more as a lapdog than a man, see her act. The fiancé arrives late to the performance and is at first attracted to Elizabeth, whom he believes is a woman performing as a woman. The princess enjoys telling him the joke is on him when she shows him the program that introduces Victoria - the great female impersonator.

The differences between this film and Victor/Victoria are that the princess sees her fiancé's attraction to "Bob" and yet wants to prove "Bob" to be a girl, opening up a pathway for a romance between the two, and also the princess starts a romance of sorts with Elizabeth's mentor, Victor. Thus the princess is not the jealous gun moll that Leslie Ann Warren plays in Victor/Victoria. Instead she is a Marie Antoinette-like character that seems to take nothing seriously. There are implausibilities in both films. In Victor/Victoria the film would lead you to believe that most of 1930's Paris is gay. In this film no trace of a gay lifestyle is ever mentioned. Instead Victor is supposed to be a straight man who lives in close quarters with the very attractive Elizabeth and apparently never has an impure thought or act. However, the rather unlikely pairing of Victor with the princess seems to be thrown in just so that the audience is assured of his straightness.

There are several very good Busby Berkeley-like musical numbers in the film as well as some very good and catchy tunes to go along with them.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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