Topper Returns (1941)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5.  USA, 1941.  Screenplay by , , additional dialogue by , based on fictional characters conceived by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1941.  

Joan Blondell and Roland Young in Topper Returns.

The first one was just fun and games, but in a new era that looks down on carefree pleasure, we need to have an actual plot. Roland Young is once again the befuddled husband and Billie Burke his airheaded wife who are being pestered by phantoms. This time it’s in the form of Joan Blondell, who stays at her wealthy girlfriend’s mansion as a guest and is accidentally murdered in her hostess’ stead.  Blondell posthumously enlists Young’s services to help solve the mystery of who killed her, but not without making him look crazy to the authorities and unfaithful to his spouse.  Imagine a lightweight Agatha Christie whodunit with the added pleasures of clever visual effects and you have this thoroughly enjoyable romp, one that pleases while it plays and does not last for a millisecond after its conclusion.

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