- 1 hr 37 min
Topper is a 1937 screwball comedy film directed by Norman Z. McLeod and based on the novel by Thorne Smith. The film features a star-studded cast, including the legendary Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Roland Young, and Billie Burke. The story centers around wealthy banker Cosmo Topper (Roland Young), who is a staid and uptight man married to a similarly conservative wife (Burke). However, his life takes a wild turn when he meets the carefree and vivacious Marion Kerby (Bennett) and her husband, George (Grant).
After the Kerbys are killed in a car accident, they return as ghosts and choose Topper as the only living person who can see and hear them. The mischievous couple then sets out to bring some fun and excitement into Topper's life, leading him on a wild and hilarious adventure that involves car chases, gambling, and even a trip to a fancy hotel.
As Topper becomes less inhibited and more daring, his uptight wife and colleagues become increasingly concerned about his behavior, but he continues to have a blast with the Kerbys. Meanwhile, Marion starts to develop feelings for Topper, adding a romantic element to the film.
The movie is a classic example of a screwball comedy, with wacky situations and farcical misunderstandings driving the plot. The performances by the lead actors are all top-notch, with Bennett and Grant stealing the show as the effervescent ghosts who inject some much-needed fun into Topper's life. Roland Young also delivers a strong performance as the initially stuffy, but eventually liberated Topper.
Beyond its comedic elements, the film also has a somewhat subversive message about living life to the fullest and breaking free from societal constraints. The Kerbys, as ghosts, are both free from the responsibilities and expectations of the living, which allows them to lead a life characterized by fun and pleasure. By contrast, Topper is initially stuck in a rigid and boring existence, but the Kerbys help him break loose and tap into his inner desires.
Overall, Topper is a fun and entertaining film that stands the test of time as a classic screwball comedy. It's a must-see for fans of Cary Grant and the genre as a whole, and it's easy to see why it was so popular upon its release in 1937.
Topper is a 1937 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 37 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2.