Director: Norman Z. McLeod Cast: Cary Grant
Cary Grant
, Constance Bennett
Constance Bennett
, Billie Burke
Billie Burke
Norman Z. McLeod


Director: Norman Z. McLeod Cast: Cary Grant
Cary Grant
, Constance Bennett
Constance Bennett
, Billie Burke
Billie Burke
Norman Z. McLeod


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By 1937, producer Hal Roach was hoping to wean himself away from the Laurel & Hardy-Our Gang slapstick on which he had built his studio's reputation by delving into the "screwball comedy" genre. Roach selected the racy Thorne Smith fantasy novel Topper for adaptation, and the result was one of the most endearingly funny films of the decade. Constance Bennett and Cary Grant play Marion and George Kerby, a wealthy, freewheeling young married couple whose uninhibited lifestyle is the talk of the town. After a particularly bibulous evening on the town, the Kerbys race homeward in their gleaming new roadster. George fails to negotiate a curve, and the car plows into a tree, killing both its occupants. Seconds later, the ghosts of George and Marion emerge from the wreckage, behaving as frivolously as if nothing had happened. Upon realizing that they're dead, the Kerbys also realize that they haven't been immediately snatched up into Heaven. Determining that they're required to perform one good deed before being allowed past the Pearly Gates, George and Marion set about to "liberate" stuffy, sedate, henpecked banker Cosmo Topper (Roland Young). At first resistant to the charms of his invisible benefactors, Topper begins to loosen up and truly enjoy life for the first time. Naturally, this doesn't sit well with Topper's supercilious wife (Billie Burke) nor his long-suffering butler (Alan Mobray), especially during a climactic free-for-all at a vacation resort. Though special effects abound in Topper, most of the humor derives from the embarrassed reactions of Roland Young as he tries to fend off the flirtatious advances of the ghostly Marion and the benignly strongman tactics of the spectral George. Adding to the fun are Eugene Pallette as a flustered house detective and Arthur Lake as a pratfalling bellboy. The musical score by longtime Hal Roach composer Marvin Hatley is perfectly attuned to the zany goings-on (including snatches of background music from Roach's earlier Laurel and Hardy comedies), while Hoagy Carmichael appears briefly on screen to introduce the film's signature tune, "Old Man Moon." Topper proved successful enough to warrant two sequels, as well as a popular TV series of the early 1950s.

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Product Details

Release Date: 10/31/2017
UPC: 0089859903120
Original Release: 1937
Source: Vci Video
Time: 1:37:00
Sales rank: 5,003

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cary Grant George Kerby
Constance Bennett Marion Kerby
Billie Burke Mrs. Topper
Roland Young Cosmo Topper
Alan Mowbray Wilkins
Eugene Pallette Casey
Arthur Lake Elevator Boy
Hedda Hopper Mrs. Stuyvesant
Virginia Sale Miss Johnson
Theodore Von Eltz Hotel Manager
Irving Bacon Hotel clerk
Elaine Shepard Secretary
Doodles Weaver Rustic
Si Jenks Rustics
Betty Blythe Lady
Hoagy Carmichael Bill, the Piano Player
Claire Windsor Actor
Donna Dax Hat Check Girl at Rainbow Nightclub
John Farrell MacDonald Policeman
Ward Bond Car mechanic/salesman
Martha Tilton Lounge singer

Technical Credits
Norman Z. McLeod Director
Milton H. Bren Associate Producer
Norbert F. Brodin Cinematographer
Hoagy Carmichael Songwriter
Hugo W. Friedhofer Score Composer
Eric Hatch Screenwriter
Marvin Hatley Musical Direction/Supervision
Irene Costumes/Costume Designer
Jack Jevne Screenwriter
Samuel Lange Costumes/Costume Designer
Eddie Moran Screenwriter
Edward B. Powell Score Composer
William Randall Sound/Sound Designer
Hal Roach Producer
Arthur I. Royce Art Director
Roy Seawright Special Effects
Walace L. Stevens Set Decoration/Design
William L. Stevens Set Decoration/Design
William Terhune Editor

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