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Roberta

4.3 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Fun's in fashion when Fred, Ginger, Irene Dunn and Randolph Scott enter the world of Paris fashions. Marvelous Jerome Kern music graces standards like Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and I Won't Dance.

Special Features

  • Vintage musical short "Starlit Days at the Lido"
  • Classic cartoon "The Calico Dragon"
  • Audio-only bonus: Hollywood on the Air radio promo
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Irene Dunne, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott, Helen Westley
  • Directors: William A. Seiter
  • Writers: Alice Duer Miller, Allan Scott, Dorothy Yost, Glenn Tryon, Jane Murfin
  • Format: Full Screen, Original recording remastered, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 24, 2006
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H6SXLU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,483 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Roberta" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 12, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
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.
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By A Customer on November 20, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
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.
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A Kid's Review on August 31, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
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"!
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Format: VHS Tape
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?
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Format: VHS Tape
Much has been said about this film over the years. Many think it's somehow below par because Astaire & Rogers are playing secondary co-stars rather than leads. But consider this: each new A-R film borrowed plot points from their previous one. They were 'comic relief' co-stars in 3 different movies: FLYING DOWN TO RIO, ROBERTA, and FOLLOW THE FLEET- the last two movies both with Randolph Scott and a singing love interest. These two latter films alternated in relaease with GAY DIVORCEE, TOP HAT, and SWING TIME- and if the plot wasn't 'mistaken identity' (my least favorite story), then it had Astaire & Rogers as one of two couples. I actually preferred these films a tad more because Astaire and Rogers weren't carrying the heavier half of the plot. They already know each other and can make wicked sideline commentary while waiting to go on the dance floor. This is most evident in the wonderful first duet in ROBERTA, "I'll Be Hard To Handle," a wonderfully spontaneous tap debate in a rehearsal setting. This sequence transfers to the critical plot twist with the title character. While the film does go surprisingly dramatic, it's carried off quite nicely with Irene Dunne and title character Helen Westley- already established in a kind of mother-daughter working relationship- in the breathtaking scene which becomes the song "Yesterdays." (It's a bewitching moment when the light dims in the room as Dunne's vocal fades away). And all the crazy fashions are worth enduring for the Astaire-Rogers duet of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes." Rogers emerges as one of the models on parade (following a cameo by a platinum Lucille Ball) in what looks like a satin nightgown and joins Astaire for a sublime walk-around-the-floor. My only complaint lies in the poor sound quality of the musical soundtrack more than anything else.
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Format: VHS Tape
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.
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