28 user 4 critic

Lovely to Look At (1952)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 4 July 1952 (USA)
Three Broadway producers struggling to get backing for their show hope one's sudden inheritance of a half interest in a Parisian fashion house is the answer. They travel to Paris only to learn the salon is in debt and requires their help.


Mervyn LeRoy


George Wells (screenplay), Harry Ruby (screenplay) | 2 more credits »


Complete credited cast:
Kathryn Grayson ... Stephanie
Red Skelton ... Al Marsh
Howard Keel ... Tony Naylor
Marge Champion ... Clarisse
Gower Champion ... Jerry Ralby
Ann Miller ... Bubbles Cassidy
Zsa Zsa Gabor ... Zsa Zsa
Kurt Kasznar ... Max Fogelsby
Marcel Dalio ... Pierre
Diane Cassidy Diane Cassidy ... Diane
Learn more

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Al Marsh, Tony Naylor and Jerry Ralby, Broadway producers, are desperately looking for backers. Al is one of the heirs of a dress salon in Paris, but this is almost bankrupt. The two other heiresses, Stephanie and Clarisse and the three producers are able to convince the creditors to back a fashion show there. Things become complicated, when Al and Tony fall in love with Stephanie and Al's New York girl friend Bubbles arrives. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One of the Grandest Romantic Musicals in Years! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Zsa Zsa Gabor's movie debut. See more »


In one scene Stephanie and Tony ride through the park in a carriage. About once per minute the background jerks and then repeats showing that it is back projected on a loop. See more »


Stephanie: [singing] Now laughing friends deride, Tears I cannot hide, So I smile and say, When a lovely flame dies, smoke gets in your eyes.
See more »


Featured in That's Entertainment, Part II (1976) See more »


Opening Night
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Sung by Howard Keel, Red Skelton and Gower Champion
See more »

User Reviews

Light musical with a fun plot and great dance team
14 November 2018 | by SimonJackSee all my reviews

"Lovely to Look At" is one of the lesser films of the legendary MGM musical era. That's not to say it isn't very good and entertaining. It doesn't have the score, dance and musical depth, or the top casts of the grand MGM productions of the period. But the plot is okay, the cast is a fun mixture, and all of them are good. The camera work and color are very good, and it has a different twist with a splashy fashion show set music and some colorful set designs.

Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel are the musical leads as Stephanie and Tony Naylor. Red Skelton is most of the comedy in the film, but his Al Marsh isn't a barrel of laughs. Ann Miller does a couple of dance numbers with songs and Zsa Zsa Gabor adds some light humor in her flighty champagne-drinking and partying fun.

But the best reason to see this film - and what raises it above mediocre, is the dancing of Gower and Marge Champion. This is just one of seven films in which they have respectable lead or supporting roles. They are fine as actors, but it's their dancing that shines. It's too bad that MGM didn't have some better films that the Champions could have acted and danced in. But this one is a keeper if just for one big electric dance number.

They were not Astaire and Rogers, nor were they Kelly and Charisse. But the Champions had a vibrant, fast and snappy dance style that showed great talent and that entertained many people. They did appear in a number of other movies - usually, just for one or two dance routines. They were in some TV programs and had a short-lived program of their own in 1957. As interest in musical films decline, the Champions turned to Broadway.

The couple were married in 1947 and divorced in 1973. Marge won an Emmy in 1975 for choreography of the TV movie, "Queen of the Stardust Ballroom." Gower Champion received 15 Tony nominations from 1949 to 1981. He won eight Tony's, five for choreography and three for directing musicals. His last Tony for choreography was presented posthumously for the smash hit musical, "42nd Street," for which he also received a directing nomination.

Champion never saw the show because he died the morning of its opening. After long standing applause with several curtain calls that night, producer David Merrick announced from the stage that Gower Champion had died that morning of a rare cancer. He was 59. The show was the best hit of all of Gower Champion's musicals that included "Bye Bye Birdie," "Hello, Dolly!" and "I Do! I Do!" When it closed after 3,486 performances in 1989, "42nd Street" was the third longest running Broadway show in history. As of November 2018, it was in 14th place of all time.

Besides this movie, there are some others in which the Champions have solid parts or leads with superb dance numbers. The best are "Mr. Music" of 1950, "Show Boat" of 1951, "Everything I Have is Yours" of 1952, "Give a Girl a Break" of 1953, and "Three for the Show" of 1955.

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Release Date:

4 July 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El amor nació en París See more »


Box Office


$2,813,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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