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Roberta

Roberta(1935)

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Crying Boy

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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Because he was expecting American Indians, Alexander Voyda, the owner of the Cafe Russe in Paris, refuses to honor his engagement contract with the Wabash Indianians, an all-white jazz band led by the versatile Huck Haines. With no immediate job prospects in Paris, the band follows John Kent, a former college football star who is traveling with them, to Roberta's, an exclusive dressmaking shop run by John's aunt, Minnie. There John meets Stephanie, Minnie's devoted assistant and an exiled Russian princess, while Huck runs into Lizzie Gatz, a former lover who is masquerading as the tempermental cabaret performer, Comtesse "Tanka" Scharwenka. To assure Huck's silence, Lizzie arranges for the Wabash Indianians to audition at the Russe Cafe, unaware that Voyda has already rejected them. In spite of the band's impressive audition, Voyda refuses to hire them until Lizzie threatens to sing at a rival club. Then John, whose snobbish fiancée, Sophie Teale, had broken their engagement because of his simple country ways, is "made over" by Stephanie and Minnie. A short time later, Minnie dies of a heart attack, and John inherits Roberta's. After some argument, John and Stephanie agree to form a partnership and run the business together. When Sophie reads of John's new venture, she leaves America and heads for Paris, her romantic interests suddenly rekindled. Although jealous and hurt, Stephanie, who has fallen in love with John, feigns indifference to her forceful rival. However, when Sophie insists on buying a revealing dress that John had previously ordered removed from the collection, Huck and Stephanie sell it to her, knowing that John will react violently upon seeing it on her. As predicted, John fumes at the sight of the tasteless dress, causing Sophie to storm away from the Cafe Russe in a huff. Then Stephanie, who is singing for a group of fellow Russians, admits that she sold Sophie the dress and is denounced by John. After both Stephanie and John desert the business, Huck fills in for them temporarily but shows no talent for fashion design. To save Roberta's reputation, Stephanie agrees to design a line of clothes for an upcoming fashion show, at which Huck, Lizzie and she will also perform. During the show, John shows up and hears that Stephanie is going to marry Ladislaw, an exiled Russian prince. In spite of the show's success, which has inspired Lizzie to accept Huck's proposal, John prepares to leave Paris until Stephanie confesses her love and assures him that Ladislaw is her cousin, not her lover.