Topper / Topper Returns [Import]
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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!
"Topper" with a Star studded cast Cary Grant as Millionaire George Kirby (at his comedic best), Constance Bennett as his wife Marion (a beautifully devine actress), Roland Young as their Banker Cosmo Topper (nominated for Best Supporting Actor as "Topper") and Billie Burke as Mrs. Topper (best known as Glenda the "Good Witch" from the 1939 "The Wizard of OZ"). Included is a very young song writer/singer Hoagy Carmichael.
This wonderfully remastered Black / White Standard Feature DVD is delightful. Worth the price of admission alone but the 1941 sequel "Topper Returns" is also included. Note: a very weak sequel but still a cute storyline featuring Roland & Burke in reprise. A double feature DVD with no extras.
Summary: The jet setting, ever partying Millionaire Kirby's die in an automobile accident on a late night country road. They enter a state of limbo (earthbound ghosts) until they perform a good deed. So they go about trying to free their banker "Topper" from his dull routine high collar lifestyle and make him a jet setting man of high society. This is a great story with ghosts, floating objects and Topper talking to himself. Mrs Topper has the hardest time trying to figure out whats happening to her timid obedient husband. Lots of laughs here. Enjoy.
Most recent customer reviews
A great movie. Loved it. A must see for classic movie fans. Clean, holism and a movie for the whole FamilyPublished 22 months ago by Berrylowcost
This was a great black and white classic with some star acting in it that makes it a hit and enjoyable to watch. Read morePublished on Feb. 10 2013 by Robert Wayne Howes
This DVD was in excellent condition. It was shipped immediately upon my order and was delivered quickly. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2011 by Dana
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. Read more
This is a good transfer indeed. I know Artisan is hit and miss. This DVD title is clear. The 1st Topper is always my favorite. Why? Cary Grant and Constance Bennett are in it. Read morePublished on May 7 2004 by Raechel Reiter
I was so happy when I saw that this classic film was finally on DVD. Topper is a masterpiece, especially considering when the film was made! Read morePublished on April 29 2004 by Anya
As a screwball comedy, Topper has it all: high spirits and hijinks, wonderful acting all around, sharp dialogue, deft physical comedy, and a theme lots of people can relate to. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2003
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