Fans of the movie TOPPER can rejoice in the knowledge that they can now own the film in the best quality possible. VCI has just released the movie in blu-ray format and it's about time. The film was a huge hit when released and a much needed boost in the careers of its stars, in particular Cary Grant who went on to mega hits in the screwball comedy genre.
The story revolves around Marion and George Kirby (Constance Bennett and Grant), a wealthy married couple who spend the nights drinking and carousing, a fun loving pair with little care in the world. When the movie opens they're on their way to an annual meeting overseen by their trusted caretaker Cosmo Topper (Roland Young), a banker who oversees their investments and takes care of things.
Cosmo is the complete opposite of the Kirbys. He's more inclined to sit passively while life passes him by, more intent on pleasing his wife Clara (Billie Burke), a woman intent on making it in high society. But is he really content? On the outside Cosmo is the stuffy shirt that the Kirbys might tease but he has a boyish quality to him inside.
Things change when the Kirbys leave the meeting and George's reckless driving lands them in a wreck killing the two of them. But fear not, that doesn't end to film. It's actually the beginning as both Marion and George become ghosts. Stuck in limbo since their lives led them to do neither good nor bad they realize that the only way to move on is to do a good deed. They decide that the best thing to do is rescue Cosmo from his boring life.
Soon they have Cosmo out on the town having the fun he always wanted. He buys their car and has it restored. All of this is to the consternation of his wife who feels he will end up disgracing the family name while she continues to pursue the upper crust crowd. Oddly enough she gets her wish not by her snooty attitudes but by Cosmo's change of attitude.
Every step of Cosmo's transformation finds him aided by the Kirbys. Sometimes seen and at others invisible they help him to discover that he may not need to go quite as far as they did with having fun but that he can enjoy life rather than be chained down by it.
The movie is a fun filled one that offers the cast the chance to do what they do best. Bennett was already a major star at the time the film was made and this one just advanced her career in that upward direction. As noted for Grant this was his first major comedic role and it suited his style perfectly. He went on to star in many more screwball comedies as well as dramas. For Young it was the biggest role of his career and one that earned him an Oscar nomination.
One wouldn't think that a movie focused around the death of a young couple would offer many laughs but the opposite is true. To this day the movie is a fan favorite for many and a perfect example of the screwball comedy genre. The story was popular enough to lead to two sequels as well as two TV series based on the story. Sadly many young people might not be familiar with the film but getting them to watch it should result in their discovering that movies were as good back then as they are today if not better.
Extras are nearly non-existent here with just the theatrical trailer available. But the real treat here isn't the extras but the movie itself. It's a fun filled romp that's sure to entertain even some 80 years later. Hard to believe it's that old.
Comedy / Fantasy / Romance
Comedy / Fantasy / Romance
The funloving Kerbys, stockholders in the bank of which henpecked, stuffy Cosmo Topper is president, drive recklessly once too often and become ghosts. In limbo because they've never done either good or bad deeds, they decide to try a good one now: rehabilitating Topper. Lovely, flirtatious Marion takes a keen personal interest in the job. Will Topper survive the wrath of jealous ghost George? Will Mrs. Topper find that a scandalous husband isn't all bad?
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October 31, 2017 at 01:22 PM