First A Girl (U)
Dir: Victor Saville
Cast: Jessie Matthews, Sonnie Hale, Anna Lee
UK, 1935, 93 mins
A sly, sparkling, cross-dressing comedy, First a Girl is an absolute joy to watch. An adaption of the 1933 German film Viktor und Viktoria (later remade as Victor Victoria with Julie Andrews) it sees a shop girl pretending to be a boy in order to perform onstage as a female impersonator. Starring Jessie Matthews, one of the era’s biggest British stars, the film mixes its clever conceit with risqué comedy and impressive song-and-dance numbers to thoroughly entertaining and surprisingly transgressive effect.