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Topper


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I tried to sit through Topper last nite and found it quite excruciating. not a very funny film at all. the beginning of the film has george kerby not taking a stockholders meeting very seriously while marion kerby annoys topper in his office.
I found constance bennett's "comedics" stupid and unfunny. only funny thing she did was slap the elevator guy. couldn't watch any more after her dance with roland young in the kerby's apartment. george kerby? ain't that glenn ford's real name in the fastest gun alive? :D cary grant wasn't any more funny then constance bennett but he certainly was more affable. I found the whole film stupid. roland young talks quite low and I can see why leo g. carroll got the part in the TV show. he sounded very much like roland young. as the film progresses we see that mrs. topper has her trained pet hubby cosmo on a strict daily regimen. he rebels by deciding to take a spin in the kerby's repaired super-charged automobile. custom-built too. :) at first I thought it was a cord. then he encounters the kerby's at the spot of their demise. at least we learn that dead people meander not too far. :) the humor's not forced. it just ain't there. the preface of the story is really lame. the kerby's drive to the bank with george mistaking his legs for his arms and I suppose that was funny in 1937? :huh: marion kerby is what? playful, flirtatious or just plain annoying? IMDb has nothing but praise for this film but I'm sorry. constance bennett was annoying and roland young was flat. yeah, I know his character is supposed to be flat but not the whole film. very overrated.

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I tried to sit through Topper last nite and found it quite excruciating. not a very funny film at all. the beginning of the film has george kerby not taking a stockholders meeting very seriously while marion kerby annoys topper in his office.

I found constance bennett's "comedics" stupid and unfunny. only funny thing she did was slap the elevator guy. couldn't watch any more after her dance with roland young in the kerby's apartment. george kerby? ain't that glenn ford's real name in the fastest gun alive? :D cary grant wasn't any more funny then constance bennett but he certainly was more affable. I found the whole film stupid. roland young talks quite low and I can see why leo g. carroll got the part in the TV show. he sounded very much like roland young. as the film progresses we see that mrs. topper has her trained pet hubby cosmo on a strict daily regimen. he rebels by deciding to take a spin in the kerby's repaired super-charged automobile. custom-built too. :) at first I thought it was a cord. then he encounters the kerby's at the spot of their demise. at least we learn that dead people meander not too far. :) the humor's not forced. it just ain't there. the preface of the story is really lame. the kerby's drive to the bank with george mistaking his legs for his arms and I suppose that was funny in 1937? :huh: marion kerby is what? playful, flirtatious or just plain annoying? IMDb has nothing but praise for this film but I'm sorry. constance bennett was annoying and roland young was flat. yeah, I know his character is supposed to be flat but not the whole film. very overrated.

The best sequence is Roland Young's mime while he's drunk, he's just great, you should have kept watching it's the visual comedy of the film.

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I agree with "cigarjoe" that the visuals were the funniest part of the film. Imagine the movie audience

in 1937 watching the trick photography; it must have been a great novelty.

I thought Constance Bennett was ok with the comedy although I feel she was more suited to drama and soap opera type films. I had read that originally Jean Harlow was chosen for the part of Marian but then she got sick and died. I think that Jean would have been a lot funnier and more compatible with Cary Grant than Constance.

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The best sequence is Roland Young's mime while he's drunk, he's just great, you should have kept watching it's the visual comedy of the film.

maybe, I just found constance bennett's marion kerby very irritating...

 

even more so than barbra streisand in what's up, doc? :lol:

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I thought this film was very funny.  I agree with Cigar Joe that the visuals are the funniest part: When Topper is driving with the Kerbys in the car, but it looks like the car is driving itself and he's a passenger; When the couple starts trashing the nightclub but nobody can see them; The drunk Topper being helped by the ghosts through the bank while everyone's watching; Poor Dagwood constantly getting kicked by the ghosts.  There were lots of visual gags that were hilarious.  The bystanders' reactions were pretty funny too.

 

The reason that Cary Grant wasn't taking his meeting seriously is he's still partially sloshed from the night before.  He and Mrs. Kerby partied all evening and slept in their car in front of the bank.  Mrs. Kerby is still sloshed too.  The Kerbys also owned a majority of the shares of the bank so I imagine that they are probably used to getting to do whatever they wanted. 

 

I was more annoyed by Billie Burke's sing-song voice than anything Constance Bennett did.  Mrs. Topper was more concerned with keeping up appearances and climbing the social ladder that she wouldn't let poor Mr. Topper do anything! She's got him on such a strict schedule and keeps him from doing anything fun because she wants to maintain a facade of respectability.  She continually refers to them being "middle-aged" and constantly implies that it wouldn't be appropriate for Mr. Topper to do this or that.  Poor Mr. Topper is forced to watch his wife do needlepoint while they engage in idle chit-chat, how boring would that be?

 

When the Kerbys die and come back as ghosts, they wonder why they're in limbo.  They're not in heaven or hell.  They realize that they haven't done anything good or bad to go anywhere.  They decide that their good deed will be to help free their friend Topper from his boring life.  Throughout most of the first half of the film, Topper exhibits some jealously toward the fun that the Kerbys seem to have and how he doesn't do anything.  The comedy from the film comes from all the things the Kerbys get Topper to do to help loosen him up. 

 

The ghost Kerbys have a fight after following Topper to the hotel which is why Cary Grant seems to disappear for awhile.  I didn't think Constance Bennett was that bad.  I don't think I would specifically watch a film to see her, but I wouldn't avoid a film she was in. 

 

The reason that Cary Grant was driving with his feet in the beginning is because he and Constance Bennett were out partying all night and they're both drunk.  He's just being reckless.  I was curious how the car was being powered, unless Bennett was hitting the gas and brake with her left foot. 

 

I found the film enjoyable and a good way to spend my Sunday evening.  I wish I had started watching the ghost movies earlier, as I missed The Ghost and Mrs. Muir again. 

 

Aside from Bennett, I think original choice Harlow would have been good as would Carole Lombard or Myrna Loy.

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I thought this film was very funny.  I agree with Cigar Joe that the visuals are the funniest part: When Topper is driving with the Kerbys in the car, but it looks like the car is driving itself and he's a passenger; When the couple starts trashing the nightclub but nobody can see them; The drunk Topper being helped by the ghosts through the bank while everyone's watching; Poor Dagwood constantly getting kicked by the ghosts.  There were lots of visual gags that were hilarious.  The bystanders' reactions were pretty funny too.

 

The reason that Cary Grant wasn't taking his meeting seriously is he's still partially sloshed from the night before.  He and Mrs. Kerby partied all evening and slept in their car in front of the bank.  Mrs. Kerby is still sloshed too.  The Kerbys also owned a majority of the shares of the bank so I imagine that they are probably used to getting to do whatever they wanted. 

 

I was more annoyed by Billie Burke's sing-song voice than anything Constance Bennett did.  Mrs. Topper was more concerned with keeping up appearances and climbing the social ladder that she wouldn't let poor Mr. Topper do anything! She's got him on such a strict schedule and keeps him from doing anything fun because she wants to maintain a facade of respectability.  She continually refers to them being "middle-aged" and constantly implies that it wouldn't be appropriate for Mr. Topper to do this or that.  Poor Mr. Topper is forced to watch his wife do needlepoint while they engage in idle chit-chat, how boring would that be?

 

When the Kerbys die and come back as ghosts, they wonder why they're in limbo.  They're not in heaven or hell.  They realize that they haven't done anything good or bad to go anywhere.  They decide that their good deed will be to help free their friend Topper from his boring life.  Throughout most of the first half of the film, Topper exhibits some jealously toward the fun that the Kerbys seem to have and how he doesn't do anything.  The comedy from the film comes from all the things the Kerbys get Topper to do to help loosen him up. 

 

The ghost Kerbys have a fight after following Topper to the hotel which is why Cary Grant seems to disappear for awhile.  I didn't think Constance Bennett was that bad.  I don't think I would specifically watch a film to see her, but I wouldn't avoid a film she was in. 

 

The reason that Cary Grant was driving with his feet in the beginning is because he and Constance Bennett were out partying all night and they're both drunk.  He's just being reckless.  I was curious how the car was being powered, unless Bennett was hitting the gas and brake with her left foot. 

 

I found the film enjoyable and a good way to spend my Sunday evening.  I wish I had started watching the ghost movies earlier, as I missed The Ghost and Mrs. Muir again. 

 

Aside from Bennett, I think original choice Harlow would have been good as would Carole Lombard or Myrna Loy.

just didn't strike me as funny, that's all. it all seemed very flat.

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I didn't find it funny, but I did find it entertaining.

 

It seems to me Cary Grant doesn't have his heart in this production - or his character was written so. Perhaps it had something to do with Roland Young getting more screen time, even though Constance Bennet and he were top billed, respectively. This may explain why Cary didn't take part in any sequel(s). I don't know the history behind that, so I just put it out there as an assumption.

 

My favorite scene is the morning bank meeting. Cary Grant's subdued comedy.

 

Constance Bennet's character is annoying at times, but I still enjoy her performance, and Roland Young carried this film very well. Billie Burke is, as always, enchanting - in her naive way.

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Topper is an excellent and very funny movie with good script and good acting on the part of the entire cast.  We watch it several times a year.  Personally I think Constance Bennett does an outstanding job, much better than Jean Harlow would have done.

I read one of the Topper books once and there was a lot more "chemistry" between Marian and Topper.

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I spent many a year in my youth watching the TV show starring LEO G. CARROLL before I EVER saw the movie it was taken from.

 

Both Carroll and Young do make excellent Cosmo Toppers.  At least, Carroll was an excellent choice for the TV version.  I'll have to look it up to discover which actor and actress played the Kirby's, though....

 

But, even after being so used to the TV show, when I finally saw the original movie, I wasn't disappointed. :)

 

 

Sepiatone

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A lot of people approach TOPPER as a screwball comedy.  It's not.  It's a character fantasy with some Hal Roach near-slapstick added to the final act.  I think it's a wonderful film.  The sequel, TOPPER TAKES A TRIP was somewhat of a misfire.  The third picture, TOPPER RETURNS, was a far more successful comedy mystery.  A socko hit.  But TOPPER is a great picture.  IMHO, of course!

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