Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Forgotten Movies: TOPPER



This is a screwball comedy of 1937 starring Cary Grant (in the movie that made him a star) and Constance Bennett as a couple that die in a careless accident, then come back to haunt Cosmo Topper (Roland Young) their uppercrust banker. Charming, I remembered it, and so was the TV show that followed it with Leo J. Carroll playing Topper.

(I believe in the TV show they were killed in an avalanche, somewhat making them less careless.)

Okay, here's the thing. I saw this movie was on TV and thought it would make a good choice for this post. I watched it and boy, was I disappointed. It dragged terribly and the same jokes popped up over and over again. What should have been quick bits, were not. Cary Grant disappeared pretty much after the first half hour and Constance Bennett is just not very good. Roland Young was very fine in his bits but boy, no clever dialogue and so preachy. A big disappointment. Why waste something as cool as ghosts on just dispensing advice.

15 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - I admit - haven't seen this film. But maybe I'll wait on it...

Todd Mason said...

I haven't watched the film in decades...wonder if I'll be as disappointed in reviewing it. Have you read Thorne Smith's novel?

Anonymous said...

Patti, you're right. I was a big fan of the TV show ("host to said ghosts") and was hugely disappointed when I finally saw the movie. I can't remember which (maybe both?) but at least one of the sequels - TOPPER TAKES A TRIP and TOPPER RETURNS - was a lot more fun.


Jeff M.

Ron Scheer said...

As a boy, I liked the TV series. Should have been a clue to my parents that they brought the wrong kid home from the hospital...

James Reasoner said...

I had the same experience when I watched this a few years ago. I watched TOPPER RETURNS after that, though, and thought it was pretty good. Loved the TV show when I was a kid.

Al Tucher said...

I remember the movie fondly. Maybe I shouldn't see it again.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And another annoyance was the canned music playing in the background. After a beautiful rendition of HOW HIGH THE MOON, I had big expectations. But it was that music that always use in Laurel and Hardy and OUR GANG movies.

RT said...

Isn't it odd the ways in which our positive memories of past movies or TV shows can be damaged by current viewings? It happens to me also with the rereading of books. And the meeting of people from the past. Sometimes it is better to leave the past alone. Memories may be flawed but they are then safe. BTW, I fondly remember the TV show. I think I should not see it again.

Todd Mason said...

Oddly enough, the Smith novel sequels are relatively flat, as I remember them, while the novel TOPPER was fine. Wonder if there's a correlation.

George said...

Like Jeff, I enjoyed the TV TOPPER a lot more than the movie.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have a friend who had the books. Maybe I will borrow them.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Charming stuff - thanks Patti (never saw the TV version though).

David Cranmer said...

I have to disagree. I enjoyed the film and just saw it last week. I didn't roll in the aisles as they say but chuckled at several scenes like Constance waiting for the lift to get even with the elevator operator. Not belly laughs but entertaining.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Your sweetness is so endearing!

Kelly Robinson said...

I remember liking this ages ago. Maybe it doesn't hold up.