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