ROBERTA Director:William A. Seiter Genres:Comedy Fun's in fashion when Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (plus Irene Dunne and Randolph Scott) enter the ultra-chic Parisian world of high fashion in "Roberta." — The third Astaire/Rogers film is a silky adaptation of the 1933 ... more »Broadway hit (whose original cast included Bob Hope, Sydney Greenstreet and Fred MacMurray). It features a jaunty romantic plot, fabulous sets (the three-level salon set required the world's larges camera crang), memorable music (including Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach's "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes) and above all, incomparable dance magic to match the score.« less
"Whatever you have heard or read to the contrary, this is the best Rogers/Astaire movie. The music is wonderful, the plot is painless, and the dances are the best these two ever did -- particularly "I'll Be Hard to Handle," recorded live so you hear Ginger's breathless laughter. She was never again as beautiful or as sexy as she is here; her five-second skip-dance to the window to hear Fred's orchestra is greater than most performers' entire careers. Endlessly re-seeable and enjoyable."
CLASS ACT FROM 1934
scotsladdie | 11/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When ROBERTA (the name of a chic fashion designer) was produced, Irene Dunne was the queen of the RKO lot, and the film was built around her. Dunne sang - with her own voice - YESTERDAYS, LOVELY TO LOOK AT & SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES. Astaire and Rogers dance to LOVELY TO LOOK AT & I WON'T DANCE; he and Ginger both sang and danced to the high-spirited I'LL BE HARD TO HANDLE. If there are weak points in the film, they would include the blandness of Scott's personna and a too-long fashion show at the finale. Notice the pretty blonde model who shows off a very expensive gown with ostrich feathers - it's 24 year-old Lucille Ball!! The Otto Harbach-Jerome Kern musical ROBERTA caused a sensation on Broadway when it opened in the fall of 1933, due mainly to its enchanting song SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES. The original broadway cast included Bob Hope(!), Fred MacMurray and Sydney Greenstreet (!!); it enjoyed a 295-performance run."
Fun, but far from one of Fred and Ginger's best
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 04/25/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Astaire and Rogers were the number one box office draw for 1935, but it wasn't because of the farsightedness of RKO. After the two had managed to score unexpected popularity as a result of their second billed roles in FLYING TO RIO, they obviously needed to be paired in a follow up film. Actually, Fred was quite hesitant about this. He had been part of a dance team for most of his life, as the lesser half of Adele and Fred Astaire. He wasn't sure he wanted a new partner, and he wasn't confident that Rogers, with her background in completely different dance forms, would be the right partner under the best of circumstances. Luckily, he gave the pairing a try, and the result was the greatest dance team in cinema history.Their second film together was THE GAY DIVORCEE, and it is shocking that after the success of that film, RKO could have even remotely considered having them second billed to anyone. Any film fan today can merely shake their head and ask, "What were they thinking?" Luckily, after this film they were first billed again and reunited with their best director, Mark Sandrich, to continue a string of musical films that remain unmatched.So, trying to put the disappointment that Irene Dunne and not Fred and Ginger star in the film, how enjoyable is this film? It isn't unwatchable, and the scenes with Fred and Ginger are good. They have some nice dance numbers, though their performance of "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" seems more of an afterthought. Irene Dunne was a fine comedic actress, as films such as THE AWFUL TRUTH and MY FAVORITE WIFE would later show, but despite her later appearance in the James Whale version of SHOW BOAT a year later, I don't care for her in musicals. Her voice was a tad too shrill for my taste, and her vibrato irritatingly fast. Moreover, while I like Randolph Scott in Westerns, he always seemed out of place in comedy (though he would be appropriate for MY FAVORITE WIFE). He similarly marred FOLLOW THE FLEET, playing the second romantic lead to Fred. But there is another reason that this film falls far short of what we would later come to expect from an Astaire and Rogers film: the supporting cast. TOP HAT, THE GAY DIVORCEE, and SWINGTIME are all absolutely stellar films, and each one features a rich, deep, and talented cast of supporting players such as Edward Everett Horton, Eric Blore, Erik Rhodes, Helen Broderick, and Alice Brady. ROBERTA lacks this kind of depth, and as a result lacks the charm and wit we normally associate with their best films.So, this is not an unwatchable film, but it is far from one of Fred and Ginger's best. But any serious fan of their work should see it at least once."
A french affair
Steven L. Katz | Newton, MA United States | 05/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this movie is extremely entertaining. Ginger's accent is hilarious. (Vill you dell madame Robairta, that I have an engargment with de Marquis de Indianans.) She steals every scene she's in, and her 'I'll be hard to handle' number is one of my favorites. she and Fred have that friends type relationship which is very amusing. Wisecracks fly everywhere, incuding Fred biting Ginger's hand in the beginning!! They of course do fall into each other's arms at the end, but would the public want it any other way?"
Fred & Ginger's Best Movie!
Robert Moore | 09/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jerome Kern's classic songs like "I'll Be Hard To Handle", "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", "I Won't Dance", and "Lovely To Look At" are only part of the reason that I like Roberta. Even though Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers were not the main focus of this movie they stole the show with thier dancing and comedy. Many people say that this was not Fred & Ginger's best film but I disagree. No matter what anybody else thinks I still say that Roberta is "Lovely to look at"!"