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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 4,391 users  
Reviews: 38 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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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Airs Mon. Dec. 08, 10:00 PM on TCM

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Title: Topper (1937)

Topper (1937) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Topper (TV Movie 1979)
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Topper Returns (TV Movie 1973)
Comedy
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Cosmo Topper is bedeviled by two ghosts whom only he can see and hear. This pilot updated the 1937 film premise in that the ghosts died forty years earlier and haven't adjusted to the hip 1970s.

Director: Hy Averback
Stars: Roddy McDowall, Stefanie Powers, John Fink
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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:

The wound him up and let him run...Riot! 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

Producer Hal Roach wanted W.C. Fields and Jean Harlow to star as, respectively, Cosmo Topper and Marion Kerby, but neither was available at the time. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Mrs. Topper: Wilkins, after all these years, are you trying to be funny?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: Major Topper (1978) 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

 
Host To Said Ghosts
7 July 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Roland Young's portrayal of stuffy banker Cosmo Topper was so well received that it spawned two sequel films and a television series during the Fifties. It's a great example of that genre that was done best in the Thirties, the screwball comedy.

Cary Grant and Constance Bennett are George and Marion Kerby, a pair of rich dizzy socialites for who life is a non-stop party. Every now and then we have to tend to business, such as Cary showing up for Board of Directors meeting of the bank where Roland Young is president.

One find day while driving at a high speed Cary totals his car and he and Constance wind up ectoplasm. Stuck between this world and the next Connie concludes that a good deed must be done if they're to gain entrance through the pearly gates. Who to bestow this good deed on, but Roland Young.

Though this is now classified as a Cary Grant film, Cary has a lot less to do here than either Bennett or Young. He has his moments, but it's really their show. Though physical consummation is impossible, Bennett and Young run off to a resort hotel for a wild fling. That sets the stage for a lot of physical type comedy which Bennett does well and Young is properly maintaining dignity at all costs.

Billie Burke plays Young's wife who doesn't quite know what to make of her husband's rebellion against their well ordered life. Butler Alan Mowbray is equally nonplussed. However the best performances here among the supporting cast are Eugene Palette as the house detective and Arthur Lake as a bellboy at that resort.

Topper is one of those films that probably could do with a remake. I can see Julia Roberts in Connie Bennett's part and possibly Tom Hanks in the Cary Grant role.

But they'd have to go some to beat this one.


8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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