BFI Musicals: First a Girl (U)

Did you know that one of the most brilliant 1930s musicals was made in the UK? Sly, sparkling comedy First a Girl is a joy to watch and everything you need for your big screen musical fix.

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.

Dir: Victor Saville I UK I 1935 I 1hr 38min

We are absolutely delighted to be screening this stand-out musical 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. bfimuscials.co.uk.Screening 

The screening will be introduced by film writer and historian Dr Lawrence Napper.

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