Football player John Kent tags along as Huck Haines and the Wabash Indianians travel to an engagement in Paris, only to lose it immediately. John and company visit his aunt, owner of a posh...
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William A. Seiter
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Football player John Kent tags along as Huck Haines and the Wabash Indianians travel to an engagement in Paris, only to lose it immediately. John and company visit his aunt, owner of a posh fashion house run by her assistant, Stephanie. There they meet the singer Scharwenka (alias Huck's old friend Lizzie), who gets the band a job. Meanwhile, Madame Roberta passes away and leaves the business to John and he goes into partnership with Stephanie. Written by
Diana Hamilton <email@example.com>
RKO sold the rights to "Roberta" to MGM, which remade the film as Lovely to Look At (1952). MGM kept its film of "Roberta" out of distribution for many years, as it did not want any competition between the two films. See more »
When John Kent arrives in Paris and goes to the building where Roberta lives, the doorman tells him that she is on the "troisième étage " and indicates that John should press the corresponding button. John is eventually taken to Roberta on the third floor, which is incorrect since the "troisième étage " corresponds to the fourth floor. In France, the "premiere étage" (first floor) is not the ground floor but the next one up. See more »
Irene Dunne, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Randolph Scott shine in "Roberta," a 1935 film directed by William Seite, based on the Broadway play, with music by Jerome Kern This isn't a typical Astaire-Rogers film, so if you're looking for that, you may be disappointed. The emphasis here is on fashion, and on the design house of Roberta - in reality, John Kent's (Randolph Scott) Aunt Minnie (Helen Westley), a dressmaker who found success in Paris. Astaire plays Kent's friend, Huckleberry Haines, a bandleader. Irene Dunne is Stephanie, the head designer at Roberta's. Actually, she and her doorman cousin Ladislaw (Victor Varooni) are Russian royalty. Rogers plays Countess Schwarwenka, a troublemaking client who's recognized by Huckleberry as Lizzie Gatz, an old girlfriend from back home. The Countess gets Hucklebery and his band a job at the Cafe Russe, and Stephanie and John find they're interested in one another. Then Roberta dies, and John inherits the design shop.
The film is filled with not only beautiful music but the fashions of the day in gorgeous art deco settings, making for a very sophisticated and polished look. Astaire and Rogers are actually comic support, but they're knockouts.
The music consists of some familiar tunes, including the haunting "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," sung by Irene Dunne and later danced by Astaire and Rogers, "Lovely to Look At," sung by Dunne and then danced by Astaire and Rogers, "Yesterdays," sung by Irene Dunne, and, of course, "I Won't Dance" - but they do. Astaire sings the lively "Let's Begin" as well.
This enchanting musical was re-made in 1952 as "Lovely to Look At," but somehow, it's not as good, lacking the cast. "Roberta" shows up on TCM occasionally. Don't miss it.
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