My Old Addiction

Movie Reviews By Bil Antoniou

Topper (1937)

NORMAN Z. McLEOD

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1937Hal Roach Studios.  Screenplay by , , , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1937.  

The delightful comedy that inspired two sequels and a television series.   and Cary Grant are a wealthy society couple whose responsibilities are just momentary details in their days and nights of drunken carousing and joyriding.  After a careless accident turns them both into ghosts, the fun only increases as they begin to hound a member of their bank’s board (Roland Young) in an effort to get him to loosen up a little.  As we all know, being a visible ghost requires an exhausting use of ectoplasm (of course), so they frequently go invisible and give the special effects department opportunities to show off a remarkable amount of visual prowess.  Topper Returns has a tighter plot, getting Young involved in a murder mystery, but film noir was nowhere near the minds of audiences at the tail-end of the Depression and the original film’s looseness makes it a sweet, breezy viewing experience.  Bennett is the very picture of boozy class, and Young is charmingly befuddled throughout.

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