Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

First A Girl (1935)

Hoping to break into show business, a singer/dancer (Jessie Matthews) allows herself to replace a female impersonator (Sonnie Hale) and pass herself off a boy. Which makes it difficult when she finds herself falling in love with a dashing playboy (Griffith Jones). Directed by Victor Saville (THE SILVER CHALICE), this is an English language version of the 1933 German film VIKTOR UND VIKTORIA which was made again in 1982 by Blake Edwards as VICTOR VICTORIA. While it lacks the sophisticated elegance and sexual freedom that the 1980s allowed the Edwards film, this is still a charming little musical. Great Britain in the 1930s was no match for the Hollywood musicals of Astaire & Rogers or Busby Berkeley but in the toothy Jessie Matthews they had a true musical star. She had a nice soprano, was a decent dancer with great legs and a warm screen presence. But not unlike the 1982 film, it's almost stolen by Sonnie Hale as her mentor in much the same way that Robert Preston commanded VICTOR VICTORIA. The songs aren't much but Ralph Reader's choreography is lively though it owes much to Busby Berkeley. All in all, a glistening B&W confection. With Anna Lee (HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY) and Martita Hunt. 

No comments:

Post a Comment