Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Alice Duer Miller's novel Gowns by Roberta was adapted into the 1933 Broadway musical Roberta, with music by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach. The 1935 filmization of Roberta was slightly adapted to accommodate the dancing talents of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, though their roles are secondary to the characters portrayed by Irene Dunne and Randolph Scott. Dunne plays a deposed White Russian princess who has become a famed Parisian couturier. Dunne is the partner of "Roberta" (Helen Westley), who passes away, leaving her half of the business to American football player Randolph Scott--who of course knows next to nothing about the gown business, and couldn't care less anyway. Astaire co-stars as bandleader Huck Haines, the character played by Bob Hope in the original Broadway production of Roberta. Rogers rounds out the cast as a phony Polish countess who happens to be Astaire's former girlfriend. Many of the songs written for Roberta were retained for the film version, including "Lovely to Look At," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "I Won't Dance;" other tunes are heard as background music. Keep an eye out for a blond Lucille Ball as a fashion model. Withdrawn from circulation for many years due to the 1952 MGM remake (titled Lovely to Look At), Roberta began making the public-domain rounds in the early 1980s.
assumed-identity, disguise, fashion-show, football-player, princess, designer, music, performer, band [music group], dance [art], romance