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

Director:

Norman Z. McLeod

Writers:

Jack Jevne (screen play), Eric Hatch (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Constance Bennett ... Marion Kerby
Cary Grant ... George Kerby
Roland Young ... Mr. Cosmo Topper
Billie Burke ... Mrs. Clara Topper
Alan Mowbray ... Wilkins
Eugene Pallette ... Casey
Arthur Lake ... Elevator Boy
Hedda Hopper ... Mrs. Grace Stuyvesant
Virginia Sale ... Miss Johnson
Theodore von Eltz ... Hotel Manager
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Policeman (as J. Farrell McDonald)
Elaine Shepard ... Secretary
Doodles Weaver ... Rustic
Si Jenks ... Rustic
Three Hits and a Miss Three Hits and a Miss ... Three Hits and a Miss
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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:

HEAVY WITH ROMANCE! FROTHY WITH FUN! (print ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - MIdway Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - January 1, 1946 - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hal Roach immediately wanted Cary Grant to play George Kerby, but he had difficulty getting the actor to agree to play the part, since Grant was concerned about the supernatural aspects of the story. Assurance from Roach that the screwball aspects of the story would be played up - plus a fee of $50,000 - were sufficient to convince Grant to do the film. See more »

Goofs

When Topper leaves the shower to get the towel held up by Wilkins (9:35 min), he can be seen to be wearing white boxers and isn't wet. See more »

Quotes

Secretary: Why, shame on you! Biting little children...
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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)
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User Reviews

 
Introducing George and Marion Kirby, ghosts
25 November 2006 | by blanche-2See 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.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 July 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Topper See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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