Greetings from VKMfanHuey!!!

Welcome to the Gingerology blog for the 1935 RKO film, Roberta!!!

This was the third pairing of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire...and their partnership really hits stride here, as they workout "I'll Be Hard To Handle" and glide through the beauty of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes". The setting is at Roberta's, the top fashion shop in Paris - and concerns one of the designers there, Stephanie (Irene Dunne), and her budding romance with John Kent (Randolph Scott), the nephew of the lady currently running Roberta's, Aunt Minnie (Helen Westley). When Minnie passes away, John assumes the role of running the shop, but is not quite up to the task...but Stephanie should be. With help from John's musical bud Huck Haines (Astaire) and the 'Pseudo Countess Scharwenka', a.k.a. Lizzie Gatz (Rogers), who also just happens to be Huck's 'old gal' from Indiana, Stephanie might make be able to salvage the shop...and her relationship with John.

Please note the 'menu' above, which has various information regarding the film; to the right (just below the Gingerology link) there are additional links regarding the film.

Please feel free to leave a comment with any general info, links, pics, or just to say hi!

...And be sure to check out our 'main' site, Gingerology - just click on the Ginger pic to the right. There you'll find a list of ALL of Ginger Rogers' films; click on any one, and you will be directed to a 'dedicated' blog about that film (not unlike this blog).

Keep It Gingery, y'all!



Saturday, August 31, 2013

Archive Post #2 - from Gingerology - originally posted November 3, 2010

...OK...SOMEbody's been holding out on us...

...regarding Roberta...well, MAYBE. I am currently reading an 'unauthorized biography' of Ginger that was written in the 60's by a dude named Dick Richards, who was (or still may be) a film critic of the Daily Mirror, a London newspaper. He had met Ginger a few times, seen and reviewed most of her films, and wrote this bio around the time she was starring in the London production of 'Mame' - the first chapter talks about how that production came about with Ginger in it. But the second chapter begins the 'chronological' story of Ginger, and overall seems pretty accurate...
...BUT, check THIS out - on page 74 of this tome, he states the following regarding the film 'Roberta': "I'll always recall a gown of glittering gold metal leaf cloth worn by Ginger. Above all, the dress parade which was the film's climax was in colour, then a comparative novelty, and it was rich and rewarding. It revealed Ginger's hair as by no means a fiery red but a soft, fair auburn and at the sight of it her male fans in the cinemas should have renewed their marital vows."
...OK - so... WHERE IS THIS COLOR (or 'colour') VERSION? Did WB just 'blow off' the color portion and made it all B/W throughout? Or was this an 'English only' thing (which would have been kinda weird to not have been that way stateside...) - see, every time things seem to be in harmony in GingerLand, something like this pops up, which just...BUGS me!!! Well, y'all can relate... OGRE - sounds like a mystery for you to unravel... oh well, we at least have Maria to provide us with awesome color 'stills' from this great film...
Anyway, overall this is a pretty interesting book, and dude is definitely a big Ginger fan, but there are a few 'iffy' parts here and there, at least in comparison to Ginger's bio... another big "???" is that he claims Ginger's favorite GandF movie is 'Top Hat'... er, that's first time I've heard that... I tend to think it was probably her LEAST fav, if just for the 'feathers' incident alone, not to mention the presence of Mr. Sandrich... and she says herself that 'Swing Time' is her fav, so there ya go.
BTW, be on the lookout for MY 'unauthorized biography', "Huey Rogers: The Bodacious Life of a Cabana Boy" - guess I COULD do the 'novel writing' contest or whatever... if only time would allow...
Well, hope everyone survived Halloween... guess Thanksgiving is next....well, it's really Veteran's Day next... so lots of stuff ahead. In the meantime...

Keep It Gingery!!!


  1. Hey honey! Great post! You never cease to amaze me with all you know about Ginger! So glad to see you have a new post. Hope you have a fabulous night and thanks for the new comments on my post! Kori xoxo
  2. I think the dude was dreamin! Maybe he watched Roberta and wished that sequence was in color. Maybe he got mixed up with Carefree. Besides the dress Ginger wore as part of the fashion show was the black dress!
  3. To me ROBERTA is the greatest musical film ever. My favorite 1933 musical 42ND ST, GOLDDIGGERS and Footlight PARADE are great - ROBERTA is different. ROBERTA is absolutely perfect. It's like the most brilliant painting you've ever seen - everything is 100%. The way they've connected music, dancing, comedy, drama and fashion is even 200%. I didn't know this was possible before I saw it. It's not a work of all those patterns - they connected all to one brilliant piece of art. Besides ROBERTA exhales such great humanist, kind philosophy that makes me love it even more.

    There's only one film that ranks higher than ROBERTA and that is the Jean Arthur western ARIZONA. But this doesn't necessarily mean that ROBERTA is less brilliant.

    Wait until it'll be 1935 on my blog. ROBERTA will get what it deserves. I'll probably work days and days at that article...
  4. Well, several things....
    1. HUEY ROGERS????
    Are you contemplating a name change or is this a nom de plume?

    2. Huey Rogers: The Bodacious Life of a Cabana Boy
    Hahahahaha Where do I pre-order???

    3. I'm with Sassy. I've never seen anything anywhere about Roberta being available in color. I also think Ginger enjoyed the non-Sandrich Fred films better than those he directed. As far as the finished product she seemed to indicate Swing Time

    4. I love Roberta, too, Clarissa. Ginger and Fred really seemed to enjoy themselves in that one, and there was a great amount of energy in the film. On the subject of Ginger's little curls being hard to keep in place, did you notice her hair in "Hard To Handle"? It was coming out there. Same is true after she danced in Bachelor Mother.
  5. Yes, I certainly adore Ginger's curls in ROBERTA. But it's just a few months ago, ROBERTA struck me like an angelophany. My veneration of FOLLOW THE FLEET has a much longer tradition, that goes back to the late 80s. I grew up with that stuff and it influenced me enormously. Ginger Rogers to me was above all that girl in FOLLOW THE FLEET. And I always tried to follow that idol.

    Do you mean her curls uncurled? Well, if you have them in resin - like those prehistoric bugs - then they will do millions of years... :D
  6. Huey I have that book. I haven't had time to read the whole thing, just been going back through certain parts that I wanted to read about...seeing that Ginger put out her own autobio. I too am confused about what he is talking about. I know there is a movie that is completely B&W until the models shows their gowns, then that whole part is in color, then it switches back to B&W. I forget what that movie was called, but it sounds like he is describing that movie and not "Roberta"...and Ginger was definitely not in that other movie obviously.
  7. I just remembered what movie that might be..."The Women" :-D
  8. Kori - Thanks for the kind words! Glad you are better, and hope you have a VERY Gingery weekend! :-] BTW, nice work on the 'new look' for Blonde Episodes...only issue is, no Kori pics! :-( otherwise, it's great!

    SG - yeah, I just think dude has his films mixed up... maybe the 're-make' of this one, 'Lovely to Look At', had a color scene during the dress show... but the way he details Ginger's hair color (colour) makes you go hmmmm...

    CS - 'Roberta' gets better every time I watch it - I am becoming a big fan of Irene Dunne - saw 'My Favorite Wife' the other day, and she was great in it with Cary... I guess I just concentrate on the Ginger scenes, but viewing the 'bigger picture', it works very well.

    Fioraon - Well, maybe that will be my 'pen name', sure... sounds about right to me... :-] ...As for Ginger's locks, they had much attention given to them, but I guess after so long, they 'lost form', unfortunately... I guess Ginger had somewhat curly hair, anyway... ??? Again, not a hair expert, but just LUV hers... :-P

    Desarae - Cool! It is a pretty cool read... not exactly sure as to it's 'accuracy', and not a HEAP of photos, but still pretty interesting... it kinda surprised me that dude didn't remember much about 'Swing Time' - couldn't even remember the plot! Seems like 'Top Hat' was the biggie for folks in the U.K.
    Hmmm - I bet you are correct in that he is probably thinking of some other movie...'The Women' - haven't seen it, but need to... but dang, I would REMEMBER Ginger in color, you know? But then again, that's not too shocking coming from me, is it? :-]
  9. Irene has a perfectly skilled voice. In that little scene when drunken Randolph Scott blames her (before she's going to sing her great SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES) Irene says:

    Now would you pleas go?

    A very simple phrase, but nobody else could speak it out like that. There is so much dignity in her voice. But this certainly comes from her enormous skills as a true Bel Canto singer. And it makes her absolutely believable as princess.

    As a loving woman she's always very human. It's the exact contrary of the 60s' sexual revolution - "back to nature", or let me paraphrase kind of 'let's-be-wild-animals-again'-attitude.

    As blogger happythoughts wrote on THE MORE THE MERRIER:

    "In a film today they’d have been pushing each other up the stairs and tearing each other’s clothes off. I don’t say that in moral judgment, really." []

    Well, I mean it as a moral judgment. Because I don't want to live in such a world, with such philosophy - or call it just moral. And that's the actual reason why my world is the 30s. I do claim dignity ... at least for myself - if other people despise that I can't help them. But I won't be around! I switch the screen off, or go away. And then maybe I enjoy ROBERTA again, which tells me: "There is another world, with real culture, love and truth and it still exists. There are still people who appreciate and live that.

    Fred Astaire himself is a good example. He was really a true husband. How he suffered after his Philis' death. And I really appreciate the 'pretension', not to kiss anybody. This saved all the Fred & Ginger Project from being flat. Their final hug in SWINGTIME says so much more.
  10. I just saw STAGE DOOR, still having Kate's most tragic reciting in my ear. So I read the paragraph next to the last of my yesterday's comment and laugh myself to death. Because in my mind I hear Kate speaking it.

    We vintage people seem to be rather tragic people -- aren't we?... ;)

    But stage door is really wonderful.
  11. Oooh this is interesting! Just when you think you know everything about a actor/movie, some new info comes up! :)
  12. CS - agree on Irene... she is VERY 'classy', IMHO... really way too good for Ol' Randy... oh well. Very astute commentary on the 'lowest common denominator' of today's screen 'romance' scenes... It's funny - I was watching 'Kitty Foyle' with my wife and when 'Wyn' is speaking to Kitty in his office and says (paraphrasing somewhat) - "I think about making love to you" -she said, 'whoa!' didn't know they could say THAT back then! Of course, I explained it was a whole different context back then... ...sad how that phrase (as Fred also sings in 'Night and Day', of course...), which obviously meant 'to romance' in a...well, genteel manner, is nowadays just another crass way of describing 'intercourse'... yes, things were more 'naive' back then, which was a good thing in many respects...

    Stage Door... an essential. Yes, a pretty 'dramatic' ending... but seems to catch the 'reality' of actresses trying to make it big... Ginger and Kate trading barbs is so priceless... Ginger and Ann hoofing it up... perfect! OK - guess I need to go watch that one again now... Thanks, CS! :-]

    JH - It's always something, isn't it? I was just really wondering if anyone else had heard of this, as I have not. I really need to sit and watch 'Roberta' with the 'commentary' on... my mom does that, and comes back with all kinds of cool facts... she is the 'matron saint' of Gingerology...well, of course she is still VERY much with us, but you know what I mean...

    Y'all KIG!

    What's so brilliant in this one is the combination of comedy and tragedy. The whole musical is actually full of tragedy -- and yet it's extremely funny. So is actually live: It's tragic and funny. And this film shows it in a way not many movies productions in Hollywood's history have achieved.

    I found it very amusing that Ginger and Kate acted practically in changed parts. In real live Kate had that big mouth and Ginger held back. I laughed very much when Kate wanted to know what to do with that blindfold and Ginger answered: "You swallow it with a glass of water." -- Then Ginger's champagne tipsiness was really too cute. Nobody can really describe that, they have to see it themseves...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Archive Post #1 - from Gingerology, originally posted October 25, 2009


...For the AWESOME new header pic! It was kinda tough to change up from the 'Original' G-ology header pic, which will always be a favorite (will still be my avatar...) - but the new one is another favorite of mine (Gin just looks angelic in this one...), and now in killer color by Maria of the 'Let Yourself Go' blog...
If you are a Ginger / Fred fan, do yourself a favor and follow that site...Maria has done an outstanding job of adding color to some great pics!

...also, I will probably be 'wrapping up' the results of the first G-ology Poll in a day or so, when I can give it sufficient time... It was good to know each entry got significant votes, which helped me to feel better that I picked some of the best ones...


  1. Oh, how pretty. Very nice job, Maria.
  2. Oh, Jwalker, there was no need to thank me in a post. You made me blush. Thanks a lot for use it and yeah, looks really nice against the green background of your blog.
  5. Very nice! What year was that taken?
  6. It's from Roberta, so probably in '34 or '35.

  7. ...More specifically, the outfit was used in the Roberta number 'I Won't Dance' 1935.
    I think her hair is a bit different in the pic than in the movie, but the outfit is unmistakenable...
  8. BTW, a big Gingerology welcome to Fioraon, who is by all accounts an AVID Ginger fan!!! Great to have you on board, me laydee!!!
  9. "...More specifically, the outfit was used in the Roberta number 'I Won't Dance' 1935. "
    More specifically, I think that may be her own dress.

  10. More specifically, I think that may be her own dress.

    Exactly, Lauren. Didn't she say that in her biography?
  11. "Didn't she say that in her biography?"
    I don't know. I haven't read it. Actually I read the first few pages but haven't gone past there yet.

  12. I haven't read the whole thing but I think that I read the part about Roberta and she said that the dress was of her own and she was really happy to have wore it at that movie.
  13. From "Ginger, My Story":

    "The gold lam(ay) dress I wore for the "I Won't Dance" number was a dress I had bought while in New York as part of my trousseau. That was the first time I ever wore a personal dress in a motion picture, and it was probably because Bernard Newman had designed it." there you have it. I love it when a thread comes together...
  14. hehe, thanks a lot for quoting it, Jwalker. I already said it in other comment, if we want to know asomething about GR, you would know the answer ;)
  15. 'I love it when a thread comes together...'
    Perfect since we are talking about clothing.

  16. This picture is lovely in black and white. Stunning with the gold. Beautifully done.

    BTW, thanks for the welcome, JWalker.
  17. ...good to have Miss Fioraon on board!

    Maria - Thanks for the kind words...I am far from a Ginger expert, but definitely striving for that status!

    Lauren - glad I can keep you in stitches... or at least in bad puns and cliches...
  18. HAHA! It's because it sort of reminds me of... me! But we can keep that statement under wraps. :D

  19. ...well, there you go, Miss S!
    BTW, how is Petrov doing? I think I scared him off after the last round of smack I flung towards him... he is good at dishing, but can't take it, eh?