16 user 6 critic

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)


Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Elaine Bradford is a young singer and dancer, looking for her big break. Peter Carlton is a gossip columnist facing a deadline and a blank page. So, Peter invents "Mrs. Smythe-Smythe", a ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Saville
Stars: Jessie Matthews, Robert Young, Sonnie Hale
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Aspiring singer Susanne takes over for ham actor Viktor at a small cabaret in Berlin where he works a woman impersonator and per chance she's discovered by an agent, who thinks that she ... See full summary »

Director: Reinhold Schünzel
Stars: Renate Müller, Hermann Thimig, Hilde Hildebrand
Evergreen (1934)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Harriet Green, a beloved and radiant music hall star of the Edwardian era, has a guilty secret: She has a baby daughter, born out of wedlock. Harriet leaves her public and flees to South ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Saville
Stars: Jessie Matthews, Sonnie Hale, Betty Balfour
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Four young Germans in a Soviet POW camp decide to join the Red Army to hasten the end of the war. Their new identities elicit different reactions from Germans and Russians, and are ... See full summary »

Director: Konrad Wolf
Stars: Peter Prager, Uwe Zerbe, Eberhard Kirchberg
The Boss (1973)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1970s Palermo, a hit-man finds himself embroiled in the middle of a Mafia war between the Sicilians and the Calabrians.

Director: Fernando Di Leo
Stars: Henry Silva, Richard Conte, Gianni Garko
Body Puzzle (1992)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A homicide detective realizes that the brutal murders committed by a mysterious serial killer he's after have something to do with the late husband of a beautiful widow.

Director: Lamberto Bava
Stars: Joanna Pacula, Tomas Arana, François Montagut
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Deep in Malaya, as World War II is rapidly coming to an end, men, women and children, trapped by the Japanese invasion, are held captive in the Blood Island prison camp. Knowing that ... See full summary »

Director: Val Guest
Stars: André Morell, Carl Möhner, Walter Fitzgerald
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Judy O'Brien is an aspiring ballerina in a dance troupe. Also in the company is Bubbles, a brash mantrap who leaves the struggling troupe for a career in burlesque. When the company ... See full summary »

Directors: Dorothy Arzner, Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Maureen O'Hara, Louis Hayward, Lucille Ball
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

It is pouring with rain at one minute to midnight on Friday the thirteenth, and the driver of a London bus is peering through his blurred windshield as his vehicle sails down an empty road.... See full summary »

Director: Victor Saville
Stars: Jessie Matthews, Sonnie Hale, Muriel Aked
O.K. (1964)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In a reception camp for ethnic Germans in Eisenach, the director gets to know the girl Doris S. who went to West Germany and came back. This film interview tells the story of her individual fate in a divided Germany.

Director: Walter Heynowski
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Christopher Powell is in Malaysia with his fiancée and her father, capturing wild animals. While out hunting, he is attacked by a tiger, and his native guides run away, leaving him for dead... See full summary »

Director: Wilhelm Thiele
Stars: Dorothy Lamour, Ray Milland, Akim Tamiroff
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Odile Étaix
Stars: Michèle Brabo, Nicole Calfan, Jean-Claude Carrière


Complete credited cast:
Jessie Matthews ... Elizabeth
Sonnie Hale ... Victor
Anna Lee ... Princess
Griffith Jones ... Robert
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 »


Elizabeth's hands pose differently between shots when Victor brings medicine to her. See more »


Robert: [calculatingly] We have dinner late and then decide to motor on. The car will conveniently break down - there.
Princess Mironoff: That's original!
Robert: We... we then, walk, three kilometres.
Princess Mironoff: Now don't get too original, darling.
Robert: Well, what's three kilometres on a nice moonlight night? At the end of that walk, by chance, we will arrive at an inn, which, by a strange coincidence I know well. I shall telephone the "patron" and make some interesting reservations.
See more »


Featured in Forty Minutes: Catch a Fallen Star (1987) See more »


Memphis By Morning
Written by Peter De Rose and Eugene West
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Makes for a good comparison to Victor/Victoria
14 November 2009 | by AlsExGalSee 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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed