Lovely to Look At

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Lovely to Look At
Lovely to look at --- film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMervyn LeRoy
Vincente Minnelli (uncredited)
Produced byJack Cummings
Screenplay byGeorge Wells
Harry Ruby
Based onRoberta
1933 musical
by Jerome Kern
Otto Harbach
StarringKathryn Grayson
Red Skelton
Howard Keel
Ann Miller
Music byCarmen Dragon and Saul Chaplin
CinematographyGeorge J. Folsey
Edited byJohn McSweeney Jr.
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
4 July 1952
Running time
103 min.
CountryUnited States
Box office$3,774,000[1]

Lovely to Look At is a 1952 American MGM musical film adaptation of the Broadway musical Roberta, directed by Mervyn LeRoy.[2]


Tony Naylor, Al Marsh and Jerry Ralby are looking for backers for their new Broadway show. They have just run out of options when Al gets a letter from his aunt's attorneys and finds he is a part-owner of a dress salon in Paris. Thinking to sell his share, he, Jerry, and Tony fly to Paris, only to find the shop is almost bankrupt. There they also find Stephanie and Clarisse, who own the other shares of the business. Tony is able to convince the anxious creditors to back a fashion show, hoping to put the shop back on top. As the plot progresses, Tony is torn between his growing affection for Stephanie and his desire to finance his show. Meanwhile, Jerry falls for Clarisse, and Al has a crush on Stephanie. Eventually, Al goes for Bubbles, who has followed the boys from New York.


Source: The New York Times[3]


The film was originally announced as a vehicle for Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, who had teamed together several times previously.[4][5]

Other than keeping the musical score and retaining the idea of a dress shop being inherited by someone, it bears almost no resemblance to the show or 1935 film.[6][3][5]

The finale, a fashion show, was directed by Vincente Minnelli, with costumes by Adrian, "who had created more than 40 costumes, at a cost of $100,000."[7]


The music was written by Jerome Kern.


According to MGM records the film earned $2,571,000 in the U.S. and Canada, and $1,203,000 elsewhere, resulting in an overall loss of $735,000.[1]

The New York Times reviewer wrote: "The producers ... have used the full and wonderful complement of tunes from the sturdy score [of Roberta]. Thus, only the tone deaf can be apathetic to Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel's rendition of "You're Devastating" or "The Touch of Your Hand." The bittersweet lilt of "Yesterdays," as sung by Miss Grayson, has not lost its haunting quality and the now-classic "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" still has notes and lyrics of poetic beauty... Although all of the dance numbers choreographed by Hermes Pan are not inspired, he has inventively devised spirited turns for "I Won't Dance" and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" to which Marge and Gower Champion contribute professional grace, verve and charm. And Ann Miller is permitted to exhibit both her beautiful legs and her staccato tapping in a snappy run through of "I'll be Hard to Handle. Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson, who have no need to prove their eminence as singers, again are in fine voice and make a handsome couple whose misunderstandings are inconsequential."[3]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. ^ "Lovely To Look At (1952) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2017-04-08.
  3. ^ a b c " 'Lovely to Look At,' Based on Musical Comedy, 'Roberta,' Arrives at Music Hall" The New York Times, May 30, 1952
  4. ^ HEDDA HOPPER. (1949, Mar 10). Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  5. ^ a b " 'Lovely to Look At' Notes", retrieved April 12, 2019
  6. ^ "Lovely to Look At". FilmAffinity. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  7. ^ Roger Fristoe. "Articles", retrieved April 12, 2019
  8. ^ Awards for Roberta (1935) at Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]