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First a Girl (1935)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical | 31 December 1935 (USA)
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 »


Victor Saville


Marjorie Gaffney (scenario)


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Complete credited cast:
Jessie Matthews ... Elizabeth
Sonnie Hale ... Victor
Anna Lee ... Princess
Griffith Jones ... Robert
Alfred Drayton Alfred Drayton ... Mc Lintock
Constance Godridge Constance Godridge ... Beryl
Eddie Gray Eddie Gray ... Goose Trainer
Martita Hunt ... Seraphina
Donald Stewart Donald Stewart ... Singer


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 him in it? His new friend hesitates but finally makes her debut as ... a man posing as 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 | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Musical


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

31 December 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mulher Antes de Tudo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (British Acoustic Sound Full-Range Recording System: at Shepherd's Bush London)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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 »


Princess Mironoff: [watching 'Bill' on stage] Isn't he marvelous?
Robert: [absently] Adorable...
Princess Mironoff: *What*?
Robert: [hastily] Er... marvelous.
See more »


Remake of Victor and Victoria (1933) See more »


It's Written All Over Your Face
Written by Maurice Sigler (as M. Sigler), Al Goodhart (as A. Goodhart) and Al Hoffman (as A.Hoffman)
Performed by Jessie Matthews
See more »

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User Reviews

Jessie's Turn as Victor and Victoria!
1 June 2015 | by JLRMovieReviewsSee all my reviews

Jessie Matthews is a song-and-dance girl who loses her job and befriends an actor, Victor, played by Sonnie Hale, who dreams of being a serious stage actor, doing Shakespeare, being Hamlet and all that good stuff, but in the meantime has to make ends meet by being a female impersonator. When he's down to his last dollar and gets his latest call, he has a cold and no voice. The only possible solution is for her to keep his appointment. As fate would have it, Mr. Whozzit is in the audience and says he'll sign him, her, him – because he's so good at impersonating a woman. Also, in the audience is a princess, played by Anna Lee, of "General Hospital" and "The Sound of Music" fame, and her fiancé, played by Griffith Jones. But he came in late and thought she was a girl, until the end of the number, when her/his wig came off. Shocked by his attraction to another man, he means to know if he is a he or she is a she or what. Obviously, the precursor to Blake Edwards' smash hit, Victor/Victoria, starring his wife, Julie Andrews, this film is just as enticing, charming, and lively. I was afraid this was going to be one of the those forgettable 1930s movie musicals with stagy and tedious musical numbers, but this was out-of-this-world great. It's my favorite "new film" now. Having seen and loved Victor/Victoria beforehand, which is why I got this to begin with, helps. But neither one takes away from the other. There are slight variations on how it's discovered and a few details. But this outing is filled with flirtatious and sexy fun. Discover the stars Jessie Matthews and Sonnie Hale, who were married in real life and enjoy her being "First a Girl" and then a guy!

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