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Topper / Topper Returns [Import]

16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Roland Young, Joan Blondell, Billie Burke
  • Directors: Norman Z. McLeod, Roy Del Ruth
  • Writers: Eddie Moran, Eric Hatch, Gordon Douglas, Jack Jevne, Jonathan Latimer
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • Release Date: June 17 2003
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008ZZ7B
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Product Description

Product Description

In Topper, Cary Grant and Constance Bennett star as George and Marion Kerby, a fun-loving couple who find themselves in limbo as ghosts after an unfortunate auto accident. Deciding that heaven is just one good deed away, they turn their attention toward their dull friend Cosmo Topper. But Topper is one stodgy banker, and it'll take all the high jinks the Kerby's can muster to haunt Topper into loosening up and living it up. In Topper Returns, Cosmo Topper finds himself once again spooked by a ghost. This time, it's the young and beautiful Gail Richards, the accidental victim of a phantom killer whose intended target is wealthy heiress Ann Carrington. Set on finding her killer, Gail enlists the help of Topper with hilarious results in this zany and entertaining murder mystery.

A classic screwball comedy with a supernatural twist, Topper stars the incomparable Cary Grant and sparkling Constance Bennett as George and Marion Kirby, a fun-loving couple who cap an evening of jazz and champagne by running their car into a tree. They return as ghosts with a mandate to liven up the straight-laced hen-pecked life of bank president Cosmo Topper (Roland Young), who's hungry for just such a shake-up. Before long he's boozing, dancing, and getting into fights, all of which gives him a rakish reputation--much to the consternation of his wife (Billie Burke, best known as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz). The sequel replaces Grant and Bennett with Joan Blondell, who can't quite compare, but she's charming in her own way. Topper Returns is a rambunctious murder mystery with some gorgeous sets and elegant cinematography--the sequence of Blondell's death and ghostly rise is dazzling. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 23 2007
Format: DVD
You can tell your life is REALLY pathetic when ghosts have to show you how to live.

But that is what happens to Cosmo Topper, in the charming "Topper" and its equally charming sequel "Topper Returns." It's basically your typical screwball comedy (complete with Cary Grant), but with an injection of supernatural pranking and murder mystery. In other words, it's loads of fun.

George and Marion Kirby (Cary Grant, Constance Bennett) love fun, partying until clubs kick them out, and generally not taking life seriously. So it's a shock to them when they die in a car accident, and linger on as ghosts. Apparently they have not done any good deeds to go to the Great Beyond.

So when George's boss, Cosmo Topper (Roland Young), crashes his new car in the same spot, the Kirbys take him under their wing. Poor Cosmo is stodgy and timid, with a domineering wife who schedules his day down to the minute. So it's up to the Kirbys to show the poor man how to live life and have fun, but their good deed rapidly gets away from them...

And most sequels stink, but goofy murder mystery "Topper Returns" is just as funny as the first movie. Instead of a ghostly screwball, this time it's a spoof of "haunted house" stories, with a nod to Hitchcock's "Rebecca."

Ann Carrington (Carole Landis) is returning to her ancestral home and inheritance, with cheeky pal Gail (Joan Blondell) in tow. But after the girls switch bedrooms, someone murders Gail. Confused, she drifts over to the house of Cosmo Topper (Roland Young), whose car she hijacked earlier in the day.

Gail blackmails Topper into helping her discover who murdered her, and who is trying to kill Ann.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11 2004
Format: DVD
Although I don't think Topper with Cary Grant is as good as some of his other B&W comedies, "Bringing up Baby", "The Bachelor and Bobby Soxer" or even "Monkey Business", it is a good old B&W movie to watch. However, I think I like "Topper Returns" even better, "Topper" gets bettter as the movie nears the end, but "Topper Returns" seems to keep laughs coming throughout the picture. I find the scenes with "Rochester" from the old Jack Benny show most memorable, the comments he makes ( he has a very memorable voice) , the way he rolls his eyes and responds to the ghost extremely funny. "Topper Returns" has more people doing the funny scenes, little things throughout the movie.
The picture and sound quality on this DVD seems better on our Hitachi 57S700 better than "Topper Returns" by Alpha Video. We have one of our Dtivos getting every Cary Grant movie for the past few years but never seemed to get Topper. We were at a store and saw "Topper Returns" by Alpha Video. After buying this I decided to buy Topper/Topper Returns here on Amazon, just to get "Topper" with Cary Grant, and glad I did. Once again, for those of you that like old B&W comedies, this DVD is welll worth the Amazon price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Chandler TOP 100 REVIEWER on Jan. 16 2006
Format: DVD

Never seen so much cigarette smoke

This is a must have for this that lived thought the era. However I was surprised to see so much smoking. Has society change that much that most of the scenes look like one big cigarette commercial? It is hard to see the ghosts through all the smoke.

Although there is a series of Topper movies, this TV series is the Topper I came to know and love. Once in a while I see the actors in other movies and it reminds me of the character he/she played on this movie. Anne Jeffreys as Marion Kerby, can be seen again in the movie "Boys' Night Out" (1962) Leo G. Carroll as Cosmo Topper, can be seen again as Rev. Dr. Mosby in "The Parent Trap" (1961).

Basic story is that a young fairly modern couple, George and Marion Kerby got caught in an avalanche along with there rescue St Bernard, Neil. They refused to give up the ghost and went home to live. Turns out that Cosmo toper and his wife Henrietta (Lee Patrick) Bought the Kerby house. Yep now Cosmo can see the Kerby's when they wish and Neil turns out to be a lush. The situation now has its plusses and minuses as everyone becomes one happy family.


"Topper Returns"

Topper has a girl on his lap

And his wife caught him. Besides revisiting your favorite characters, there is a pretty good murder mystery going. There is an old dark house with secret passages and secret people. In the middle of this is Topper. And on top of Toper's lap there is a ghost.

Ann Carrington (Carole Landis) is returning to her old family estate.
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Format: DVD
"Topper" is the supernatural screwball comedy about a pair of fun-loving ghosts who wreak havoc on the life of henpecked banker, Cosmo Topper (Roland Young). Cary Grant and Constance Bennett simply glow as George and Marion Kirby, a couple of devil-may-care free spirits who accidentally kill themselves by wrapping their car around a tree. They return as a couple of blithe spirits, determined to introduce Cosmo to the good life. Billie Burke costars as Cosmo's stuffy and hilarious bubble-head wife. The sequel, "Topper Returns" uses this same premise but replaces Grant and Bennett with Joan Blondell. Although she's amply cast, she doesn't quite eclipse the memory the original. The engaging murder mystery plot of "Topper Returns" with its sumptuous setting and elegant cinematography compensate, particularly the surreal visual splendor of Blondell's haunting death and her ghostly reincarnation.
THE TRANSFER: "Topper" is a little bit worse for the wear than "Topper Returns". This is to be expected since, after years of being a late night television fav', the rights to this classic have fallen into public domain. MGM is credited with originally making this classic. The gray scale is a trifle underexposed on "Topper" well seemingly close to dead on in "Topper Returns." Age related artifacts are more heavy and noticeable on "Topper" as well. Over all, the image has a dated appearance but contrast and black levels are generally good on both movies. Edge enhancement is present slightly on "Topper" only. The audio is mono for both films. "Topper" suffers from slight hiss and popping but "Topper Returns" is generally more natural sounding on the ears.
BOTTOM LINE: "Topper" is an outstanding Cary Grant comedy with few equals - save "Bringing Up Baby." Perhaps one day we'll see the release of that classic on DVD!
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