50 user 21 critic

Topper (1937)

Passed | | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance | 16 July 1937 (USA)
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:
Mrs. Grace Stuyvesant
Miss Johnson
Policeman (as J. Farrell McDonald)
Three Hits and a Miss ...
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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ghost | bank | accident | anger | 1930s | See All (56) »


Roland YOUNG First hen-pecked husband who dared peck back...at a blonde! 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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The entrance to the Seabreeze Hotel, where Topper and the ghosts check in for a little fun, was filmed in front of Bullocks Department store on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. 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 »


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


The Old Oaken Bucket
(1818) (uncredited)
Music traditional
Lyrics by Samuel Woodworth (1818)
Sung a cappella by Cary Grant
See more »

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User Reviews

Ghostly Encounters--Act One
28 June 2004 | by 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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