Topper (1937)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Romance  |  16 July 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 4,870 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 18 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.



(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
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 ...
Si Jenks ...
Three Hits and a Miss ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The wound him up and let him run...Riot! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 July 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das blonde Gespenst  »

Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was the first black & white film to be "colorized" in 1985. See more »


When George and Marion walk into the club as they are sitting down someone already seated at the table calls George "Cary". See more »


Marion Kerby: Let's go have some dinner.
Cosmo Topper: Oh no, we cannot eat on an empty stomach!
Marion Kerby: Then we better have a few drinks first!
See more »


Featured in The 56th Annual Academy Awards (1984) See more »


Old Man Moon
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

Introducing George and Marion Kirby, ghosts
25 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A dead couple is determined to loosen up their friend in "Topper," a 1937 comedy starring Constance Bennett, Cary Grant, Roland Young, and Billie Burke. Cosmo Topper (Young) is a bank president whose wife (Burke) has him on a strict schedule and, though unhappy, Cosmo complies.

When bank stockholders George and Marion Kirby are killed when their car crashes into a tree, the two become worried about what St. Peter will have to say to them. They were, after all, two fun-loving, hard-drinking, partying kooks. They decide they must do a good deed before approaching the pearly gates so they make loosening up Topper their project.

This is a wonderful film that inspired the Leo G. Carroll TV series with real-life marrieds Anne Jeffreys and Robert Sterling as Marion and George. The special effects in the 1937 film are groundbreaking and ingenious. Mores have changed over the years - driving drunk is no longer acceptable. I'm afraid George and Marion would be heartily disapproved of today. Nevertheless, they're a gorgeous, glamorous couple and the real stuff of fantasy. Bennett only has a couple of years of big stardom left and, with his second billing, Cary Grant is still on the ascent. They're both hilariously madcap, Grant blasting into a stockholders' meeting and trying to take notes, and Bennett flirting with poor Topper in her silky voice.

Roland Young is the perfect Topper - henpecked, confused, and a nervous wreck. He's a man dying to break free of his shackles, and he's always envied George and Marion's lifestyle, even though it killed them. His frustration and unhappiness make him sympathetic, and the audience is with him all the way.

Very enjoyable, with some effects that were eye-popping in 1937. Don't miss "Topper." It's a classic.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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