Topper (MGM 1937, Cary Grant, Constance Bennett)

Topper 1937

Topper was one of the greatest delights of ’30s cinema. Happy-go-lucky married couple Cary Grant and Constance Bennett fritter away their time and considerable wealth with parties, driving fast cars, and annoying stuffy banker Roland Young with their inattention to important matters such as boring board meetings.

When they run their roadster into a tree, their consternation at being only halfway to heaven turns to a conviction that they must liven up Young’s life. So the specters instigate parties, purchases of roadsters, and holidays at the shore. Young’s wife is outraged at his newfound zest until she starts to have fun too. Young could not be better as he reacts to his invisible visitors (the scene in which the ghosts help the drunken Young down hotel steps and through the lobby is priceless physical comedy). Followed by two sequels and a TV series.

Topper also has the dubious distinction of being the first feature film to be colorized. Turner Entertainment, owner of the film library of MGM, aggressively pursued an early colorization process.

Academy Award Nominations: Best Supporting Actor: Roland Young; Best Sound Recording.

Cast: Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Roland Young, Billie Burke, Hedda Hopper, Alan Mowbray, Eugene Pallette,

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Producer: Hal Roach
Director of Photography: Norbert F. Brodine
Editor: William H. Terhune
Composers: Hugo Friedhofer, Edward B. Powell
Screenwriters: Eric Hatch, Jack Jevne, Eddie Moran
Art Director: Arthur Rouce

USA / MGM / 97 minutes / 1937

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