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First A Girl + intro
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.
Introduced on Wednesday by Lawrence Napper, lecturer on musicals and cinema at King’s College, London