7.1/10
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Roberta (1935)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 8 March 1935 (USA)
In Paris, a man clueless about fashion suddenly inherits his aunt's dress shop, while his bandleader friend reunites with his old flame.

Director:

William A. Seiter

Writers:

Jerome Kern (from the play), Otto A. Harbach (book) | 5 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Irene Dunne ... Stephanie
Fred Astaire ... Huck Haines
Ginger Rogers ... Lizzie Gatz aka Tanka Scharwenka
Randolph Scott ... John Kent
Helen Westley ... Aunt Minnie ak Roberta
Claire Dodd ... Sophie Teale
Victor Varconi ... Prince Ladislaw
Luis Alberni ... Alexander Petrovitch Moscovitch Voyda
Ferdinand Munier ... Lord Henry Delves
Torben Meyer ... Albert
Adrian Rosley Adrian Rosley ... Professor
Bodil Rosing ... Fernande
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Storyline

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 <hamilton@gl.umbc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Jerome Kern's Queen of Musical Romances! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lucille Ball, who appears uncredited in this film as a fashion model, would later buy RKO, the studio that made this film. At the height of their success during I Love Lucy (1951), she and Desi Arnaz purchased it and renamed it Desilu Studios. See more »

Goofs

The premiere of Huck & Liz's show at Cafe Russe is advertised as being on Wednesday the 25th. Since a November 1934 magazine was seen earlier in the film, the first Wednesday falling on the 25th following November 1934 was in September 1935. However, several days *after* the premiere, the invitation to Roberta's musical fashion show says it will occur on Tuesday, September 10th, which is consistent with September 1935, but which date is over two weeks past in the film's time line. See more »

Quotes

Roberta: Oh, Ladislaw, I hope you're in good finger today.
See more »


Soundtracks

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Otto A. Harbach
Played during the opening credits and danced to by Astaire and Rogers in the fashion show finale.
Performed by Irene Dunne
See more »

User Reviews

 
Captivating
13 January 2005 | by trpdeanSee all my reviews

What's not to like - Astaire-Rogers dancing to "I Don't Dance, Don't Ask Me", ocean liners crossing the Atlantic, trains racing across northern France, jazz bands rehearsing in Paris clubs, stupendous art deco sets, a couturier's elegant salon, serenading to balalaikas, stunning models privately displaying satin gowns, Russian princes, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" sung by the beautiful Irene Dunne, an elegant Old Russian restaurant with its frescoes, fashion show that incorporates Astaire and Rogers dancing, Irene Dunne's warmth, a witty script, a Broadway smash hit brought to the screen - geez, what a movie! It is only recently that I've begun to enjoy musicals. The ones I like are the light ones - not the ones incorporating social issues which I feel musicals are ill-equipped to handle.

But a light musical comedy - with exquisite dancing, charming leads, swank clothes, elegant sets, witty dialogue - WOW! And this is definitely such a musical - absolutely charming.

The four leads are wonderfully cast. Irene Dunne reminds me of Greer Garson in having a certain soulfulness combined with innate gentility and enormous warmth - Dunne also happens to have had a world-class operatic singing voice (that in later movies, as operettas ceased to be appealing, was seldom heard). There is something so very vulnerable about a wounded Irene Dunne character - and she is wonderful in this part.

Randolph Scott has a big, clean, very handsome, American quality that is also wonderfully suited to this part - one in which his character is candid, straightforward, easily swayed by others who are sophisticated -but at a certain point will act decisively when he comes to realize his judgment has been mistaken.

Fred Astaire's subordinate comic supporting role is suited well by the enormous difference in size between himself and Scott - and obviously his dancing and his easy way with humorous lines is just wonderful.

The 24 year old Ginger Rogers may be the biggest revelation to me - it's not just that she can dance astonishingly well, that she is wonderful (and wonderfully funny) with accents, that she can sing songs equally comically or romantically (and with great gestures), that she is very VERY funny, whip-smart with dialogue,, but she perfectly suits the job of one hustling for jobs, adapting to all circumstances, rough and ready -- and extremely aware at all times.

I think studio heads really saw Rogers' amazing abilities through the end of World War II (after which she was shamefully abandoned) - she seldom played the "classy woman" and we instead find her as a shop girl, prisoner on furlough, society wannabe, entertainer. I would like to have seen her play in her career, a part in which she more deliberately seductive (like Barbara Stanwyck or Joan Crawford, Miriam Hopkins or Bette Davis often did) but alas.

You'll like this - just relax and feel yourself enthralled.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Russian

Release Date:

8 March 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Roberta See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$610,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,493
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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