6.9/10
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46 user 17 critic

Topper Returns (1941)

Approved | | Comedy, Fantasy, Mystery | 21 March 1941 (USA)
A fun-loving young woman is murdered after trading bedrooms with her wealthy friend. Her ghost seeks aid from Topper to find the murderer.

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Writers:

Thorne Smith (based on: the fictional characters conceived by the late), Jonathan Latimer (original screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Blondell ... Gail Richards
Roland Young ... Cosmo Topper
Carole Landis ... Ann Carrington
Billie Burke ... Mrs. Clara Topper
Dennis O'Keefe ... Bob
Patsy Kelly ... Topper's Maid
H.B. Warner ... Mr. Carrington
Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson ... Topper's Chauffeur
George Zucco ... Dr. Jeris
Donald MacBride ... Police Detective Roberts
Rafaela Ottiano ... Lillian - the Housekeeper
Trevor Bardette ... Rama - the Butler
Edit

Storyline

Topper is once again tormented by a fun-loving spirit. This time, it's Gail Richards (Blondell), who was mistakenly murdered while staying at the home of her wealthy friend, Ann Carrington (Landis), the intended victim. With Topper's help, Gail sets out to find her killer with the expected zany results. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Topper's having girl trouble again!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 March 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Topper Returns See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the film, Eddie (played by Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson) says that he's going back to "Mr. Benny", an in-joke reference to the fact that Anderson played Rochester, the valet, on Jack Benny's radio program and later TV show. See more »

Goofs

When Gail is driving Topper's car in the chase, there is a close-up of the steering wheel moving on its own, and there is no assist knob present on the steering wheel. But, at the end of the chase when she gets out of the car, the knob is clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Roberts: So you admit there is a body.
Cosmo Topper: Yes. I came over here to look for it.
Sgt. Roberts: Well, how did you know it was here?
Cosmo Topper: She told me.
Sgt. Roberts: She? Who's she?
Cosmo Topper: The dead girl.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Phantoms (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ghostly Encounters--Act Three
10 July 2004 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

Cosmo TOPPER RETURNS and this time he's involved with murder!

Hal Roach Studios presents one more look at the continued supernatural adventures of Cosmo Topper. The Old Dark House routine is trotted out as our hero finds himself in a spooky cliff-top mansion replete with strange disappearances, hidden passageways and a fiendish knife-wielding killer.

Roland Young & Billie Burke are back one final time as the Toppers and they remain a delight--Mr. Young owl-like & serious in the scariest of situations and Miss Burke forever sweetly vague and befuddled. They are joined by vivacious Joan Blondell (who actually snags top billing) as a ghostess intent on forcing poor Topper into discovering who's just murdered her.

More new costars are on hand to help liven things up: lovely Carole Landis as a rich girl in much need of protection; Dennis O'Keefe as a taxi driver willing to provide that protection; gaunt H.B. Warner as Miss Landis' invalid father; menacing George Zucco as his sinister doctor; Rafaela Ottiano as a frightened housekeeper; Donald MacBride as a moronic cop; and the delightful Patsy Kelly, underused as the Toppers' tough maid. Best of all is Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson,' more or less playing himself (he even makes a gag about returning to 'Mr. Benny') who rivals Miss Burke in getting the best lines in the picture.

Contemporary references to Orson Welles' radio plays and the Alfred Hitchcock movie REBECCA (1940) should amuse cognoscenti. The serious viewer must not expect to have all the mysteries solved by film's end; indeed, most of the loose ends remain resolutely untied. Just sit back and enjoy the comedic chills served-up by this group of very fine performers.

This was the third of a 3-film series, coming after TOPPER (1937) and TOPPER TAKES A TRIP (1939).


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