Topper (1937)

topper 1937

Classic comedy based on the Thorne Smith novel. Roland Winters is bank president Cosmo Topper. Billie “Glinda The Good Witch” Burke is his controlling wife Clara. Alan Mowbry is their amused butler Wilkins. Cary Grant and Constance Bennett are George and Marion Kerby. Winters was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. The winner was Joseph Schildkraut for “The Life Of Emile Zola.”

The movie has a great cast with Constance Bennett a standout. She fun every second she’s on screen. The TV series (1953-55) changed a lot of things around including Mrs.Topper from Clara to Henrietta.

Cosmo Topper’s every minute is controlled by his wife Clara. That includes how to eat breakfast to catching the train. He’s the overly mild mannered president of a bank. It’s time for the annual board of directors meeting. George Kerby is the major stockholder and reluctantly makes the trip into town with wife Marion.

The night before they go clubbing and after singing a few choruses with Hoagy Carmichael It’s time to go. They pull up in front of the bank in the middle of the night and decide to sleep in car. The next morning a crowd looks on at the sleeping couple. George wakes up and goes to the meeting where he doesn’t pay attention but seconds a motion to end it. Marion wakes up and goes inside to look for him.

After the meeting they try and convince Topper to live a little and stop paying so much attention to what Clara says. On the way back home George is driving like a maniac. Marion says she wants to perform a good deed. That means getting Topper to have some fun out of life. Just then the car blows a tire and crashes. When they see each other are transparent they realize they’re dead.

Topper wants to buy the repaired car. Clara says no. Time for him to start rebelling. He jumps in the car and takes off. He runs off the road at the exact spot where George and Marion crashed. He’s shocked to see the couple. Marion starts her plan to do a makeover on Topper.

Topper goes to the Kerby’s apartment and dances and has a few drinks. Out on the town he gets into an altercation with a chauffeur and ends up arrested. It’s the next days headlines. Clara thinks her social life is over. Anything but as some society women tell Clara they can’t wait to meet Topper and invites them to a party. At the bank Topper is looked on with respect. Marion keeps slinking around giving Topper other thoughts.

Topper gets in real trouble as Marion buys some lingerie. The item floats through the air as Marion is invisible. Topper grabs them and stuffs them in his jacket. Back home they fall out in front of Clara. She thinks her’s been unfaithful. Topper jumps in the car. Marion’s there and suggests a hotel where they can have some fun. Topper gets in trouble with the house detective (Eugene Pallette) as Marion keeps appearing and disappearing. Back at Topper’s place George is looking for Marion.

This is a very funny movie and one comedy fans shouldn’t miss.


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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