Topper Returns

Topper Returns

4.0 1
Director: Roy Del Ruth

Cast: Joan Blondell, Roland Young, Carole Landis

     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The third of producer Hal Roach's Topper films, Topper Returns eschews the frothy "screwball" format of the first two in favor of an "old dark house" comedy-mystery. Roland Young returns as banker Cosmo Topper, who gallantly offers a lift to pretty hitchhikers Gail Richards (Joan Blondell) and Ann Carrington (Carole Landis). This results in a few baleful…  See more details below

Overview

The third of producer Hal Roach's Topper films, Topper Returns eschews the frothy "screwball" format of the first two in favor of an "old dark house" comedy-mystery. Roland Young returns as banker Cosmo Topper, who gallantly offers a lift to pretty hitchhikers Gail Richards (Joan Blondell) and Ann Carrington (Carole Landis). This results in a few baleful glances from Topper's wife, Clara (Billie Burke), but the worst is still to come. It seems that Gail and Ann are en route to a chilly old mansion, recently inherited by Ann and populated by all manner of sinister types, including old reliable menaces Dr. Jeris (George Zucco) and Lillian (Rafaela Ottiano). The only person whom the girls can trust -- or can they? -- is Ann' father (H.B. Warner). Unable to sleep in the creepy mansion, Gail suggests that she and Ann exchange bedrooms. This proves to be a major mistake when a mysterious, hooded assailant, intending to murder Ann, kills Gail instead. Seconds later, Gail's ghost arises from her body and heads to the nearby summer house where Mr. and Mrs. Topper are staying. Having had his fill of ghosts in the first two Topper films, Topper wants nothing to do with Gail's spirit, but she finally convinces him to help her identity her killer, and to rescue Ann from a similar fate. Some of the film's best moments belong to Eddie "Rochester" Anderson as Young's eternally frightened chauffeur (at one point, Anderson threatens to quit the Toppers and go back to Jack Benny)! More contrived and slapstick-oriented than the earlier Toppers, Topper Returns still works as a neat and entertaining comedy, even in its dreadful computer-colorized version. A decade later, Thorne Smith's "Topper" characters would be revived for a popular TV series, starring Leo G. Carroll, Anne Jeffreys, and Robert Sterling.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
By the time this third entry in the Topper series came around, the characters and basic situation had become well enough established that a slight change of pace was needed, so Topper Returns goes the "old dark house" route -- with delightful results. True, Returns doesn't have the same charm as the original, largely because the inimitable Cary Grant is missing, and it's neither as fresh nor as surprising as the first; but Returns offers a nice variation on the haunted house theme, and the "find my killer" plot is a nice change of pace for the series. Returns doesn't become so concerned with its plot that it forgets to stint on the laughs, however; indeed, Returns probably contains more moments of sheer laughter than the original. If this sequel is ultimately somewhat less successful, it's because many of those laughs come out of left field, jokes that are tangential to or unsupported by the plot, or that come at the expense of character consistency. Returns also boasts a first-rate cast, with Roland Young and Billie Burke inhabiting the Toppers like a pair of comfortable old shoes and Joan Blondell providing some sassy, wisecracking spice. Carole Landis looks lovely, and the supporting cast of character actors delivers exactly what they're supposed to deliver. Returns is not Topper, but it's an extremely enjoyable little film nevertheless.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/05/2016
UPC:
0637801681918
Original Release:
1941
Rating:
NR
Source:
Desert Island Films
Time:
1:28:00
Sales rank:
80,446

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joan Blondell Gail Richards
Roland Young Cosmo Topper
Carole Landis Ann Carrington
Billie Burke Mrs. Topper
Dennis O'Keefe Bob
Patsy Kelly Emily the Maid
H.B. Warner Mr. Carrington
Eddie "Rochester" Anderson Chauffeur
George Zucco Dr. Jeris
Donald MacBride Sgt. Roberts
Rafaela Ottiano Lillian
Trevor Bardette Rama

Technical Credits
Roy Del Ruth Director
Norbert F. Brodin Cinematographer
Bernard Carr Asst. Director
Gordon M. Douglas Screenwriter
Werner Richard Heymann Score Composer
Jonathan Latimer Screenwriter
James Newcom Editor
William Randall Sound/Sound Designer
Nicolai Remisoff Art Director
Hal Roach Producer
Royer Costumes/Costume Designer
Roy Seawright Special Effects
Paul Gerard Smith Screenwriter
Walace L. Stevens Set Decoration/Design

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >