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Roberta is a 1935 musical film by RKO starring Irene Dunne, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Randolph Scott. It was an adaptation of a 1933 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was based on the novel Gowns by Roberta by Alice Duer Miller. It was a solid hit, showing a net profit of more than three-quarters of a million dollars. The film kept the famous songs "Yesterdays", "Let's Begin" (with altered lyrics), and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" from the play, along with a fourth song, "I'll Be Hard to Handle". Three songs from the play were dropped — "The Touch of Your Hand", "Something Had To Happen" and "You're Devastating". Two songs were added to this film, "I Won't Dance" (lifted from the flop Kern show Three Sisters) and "Lovely to Look At", which both became #1 hits in 1935. The latter addition was nominated for the Best Song Oscar. The songs "I Won't Dance" and "Lovely to Look At" have remained so popular that they are now almost always included in revivals and recordings of Roberta. Roberta is the third Astaire-Rogers film, and the only one to be remade with other actors. MGM did so in 1952, entitling the new Technicolor version Lovely to Look At. Indeed, with an eye to a remake, MGM bought Roberta in 1945, keeping it out of general circulation until the 1970s.
director:William A. Seiter
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