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Topper (1937)

Passed  -  Comedy | Fantasy | Romance  -  16 July 1937 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 4,435 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 17 critic

A fun-loving couple, finding that they died and are now ghosts, decide to shake up the stuffy lifestyle of a friend of theirs.

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(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: Topper (1937)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Wilkins
...
Casey
Arthur Lake ...
Elevator Boy
...
Mrs. Stuyvesant
Virginia Sale ...
Miss Johnson
Theodore von Eltz ...
Hotel Manager
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Policeman (as J. Farrell McDonald)
Elaine Shepard ...
Secretary
...
Rustic
Si Jenks ...
Rustic
Three Hits and a Miss ...
Themselves
Edit

Storyline

The funloving Kerbys, stockholders in the bank of which henpecked, stuffy Cosmo Topper is president, drive recklessly once too often and become ghosts. In limbo because they've never done either good or bad deeds, they decide to try a good one now: rehabilitating Topper. Lovely, flirtatious Marion takes a keen personal interest in the job. Will Topper survive the wrath of jealous ghost George? Will Mrs. Topper find that a scandalous husband isn't all bad? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Cary GRANT Dashing knight of the night clubs...Has been under all the best tables! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 July 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das blonde Gespenst  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The commercial and critical success of this film led director Norman Z. McLeod to include much of the principal cast in his next film, Merrily We Live (1938). Constance Bennett, Alan Mowbray, and Billie Burke all received major parts in McLeod's next work, with Mowbray reprising his role as a stuffy butler and with Burke again playing the matriarchal head of a household. See more »

Goofs

You can see through various people and objects when George and Marion appear and disappear. See more »

Quotes

George Kerby: Say, if I'm in the way, you folks could leave.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Topper Takes a Trip (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Man Moon
(1937)
Music & Lyrics by Hoagy Carmichael
Sung by Hoagy Carmichael (uncredited), Constance Bennett (uncredited) and Cary Grant (uncredited)
Played as dance music by nightclub orchestra and
Sung by Three Hits and a Miss (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ghostly Encounters--Act One
28 June 2004 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

Cosmo TOPPER has his stuffy, henpecked life turned upside down by the interference of two recently deceased friends.

The folks at Hal Roach Studios fashioned this popular supernatural comedy. Intended to be at the opposite extreme from the typical ghost thriller, there are no sudden chills or eerie ectoplasms here--just lots of good humor and a few (well done) special effects.

Owlish Roland Young plays the bemused recipient of his dead friends' good deeds. No matter how drastically the intentions backfire, leading to arrest & scandal, Young remains a decent chap bent on regaining some equanimity in his life. (What is most impressive about his performance are his hilarious physical contortions when under the invisible influence of the ghosts.) Dear Billie Burke is wonderful, as usual, as Young's slightly bewildered wife, who has relinquished the role of lover to be mother hen to her husband -- hoping her control over him assures their acceptance by high society.

As the Kerbys--living and dead-- Constance Bennett & Cary Grant have plenty of star power & charm to spare and their spirits are certainly blithe, but a frank examination of their characters reveals some flaws. There is nothing funny about alcoholism or reckless driving, both of which contribute to their demise, and they are fortunate they kill only their own silly selves and not anyone else. That being said, they certainly do make a pair of great-looking spooks.

The rest of the cast adds to the fun: Alan Mowbray once again plays a butler with an attitude; young Arthur Lake appears as a hapless hotel employee; elegant Hedda Hopper does well with her single scene as an unstuffy society doyenne; J. Farrell MacDonald plays a no-nonsense cop; and corpulent Eugene Pallette has fun with his role as a suspicious hotel detective.

Composer Hoagy Carmichael appears as himself and Ward Bond plays a taxi driver, both uncredited.

This was the first of a 3-film series and was followed by TOPPER TAKES A TRIP (1939) and TOPPER RETURNS (1941).


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