Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Leo G Carrol, Anne Jeffreys, Robert Sterling
Genres: Comedy, Television
Studio: Gotham (dba Alpha) Release Date: 03/29/2007
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A BLAST FROM THE PAST...
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 07/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this DVD, because I had a vague recollection that I had loved this television series as a child. I also have always had a great liking for the actor Leo G. Carroll. Moreover, the price of the DVD seemed to be a bargain.
Based upon the characters created by Thorne Smith in his best selling book of the same name, this television series followed on the heels of the success of the Topper films that were made for the silver screen. The television series was also a hit and ran for several years during the nineteen fifties. I am not surprised at its success, given the quality of some of the writing. A number of the episodes were written by Stephen Sondheim, who later went on to greater fame and fortune. Mr. Sondheim's involvement in the television series was something of which I was unaware, until I received the DVD.
The thrust of the story is that the dapper and elegant Cosmo Topper (Leo G. Carroll) is vice-president of a bank. He is married to the sweet but dim Henrietta (Lee Patrick). They live in a house that they bought from the estate of an unfortunate young couple, George and Marion Kirby (Robert Sterling and Anne Jeffreys), who died in a skiing accident after being swept away by an avalanche. Their St. Bernard, Neil, who was unable to rescue them, also died with them. To Cosmo's surprise, his house is haunted by their ghosts and that of their alcohol imbibing St. Bernard. The problem is that only he can see or hear them. This allows for a lot of funny episodes, as the Kirbys tend to complicate Cosmo's life. As soon as I heard the theme song for the series, I was transported back in time.
There are four episodes on the DVD. Everyone one of them is guaranteed to bring a smile to the viewer's face. The role of Topper was perfectly cast, as Leo G. Carroll makes a delightful Topper. Lee Patrick is darling as his well-meaning, sweet and silly wife. Anne Jeffreys is terrific as the beautiful Marion Kirby, and Robert Sterling is great as her freewheeling husband. Of course, our cocktail loving St. Bernard is wonderfully portrayed by Buck. Moreover, the sponsor for the series is Jello and several of the episodes include some of the original commercials, which certainly takes the viewer on a trip down memory lane and provides its own share of laughs.
In terms of the quality of the DVD, well, one gets what one pays for, as the quality of the DVD itself is dreadful. This DVD seems to have been made from an old, dirty print and not remastered or cleaned up in any way, shape, or form. At times, there is some very distracting background noise, as well as visuals that are somewhat grainy, at best. Still, notwithstanding that, I would buy this DVD again, simply because I love this series. While the quality of the DVD rates a two, at best, the content of the DVD rates a high five. I only wish that some television honcho would consider a remake of this wonderful television series.
6 episodes from the 1953-1955 TV series:
native main-ah | Sedgwick, ME United States | 10/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Starring Anne Jeffreys as Marion Kerby, the ghostess with the mostest. Robert Sterling as George Kerby, that most sporting spirit. And Leo G. Carroll, host to said ghosts as ... Topper!
So starts the introduction to this sitcom from the 50's which still holds up very well today. And it's no surprise, as the Kerby's are a very modern couple who are more like equals than your basic Ward and June, Ozzie and Harriet, even Ricky and Lucy male dominated partnership.
Leo G. Carroll stars as bank vice-president Cosmo Topper who with his wife Henrietta move into a house previously owned by the Kerbys, who died in an avalanche while on a skiing vacation. Also killed in the avalanche is a St. Bernard rescue dog named Neil who happens to like alcohol ... lots of alcohol. Cosmo Topper is the only human who can see them and they do turn his life upside down. Smartly written (including Stephen Sondheim), and perfectly cast (Jeffreys and Sterling are married in real life, to this day !!!!), Lee Patrick as Henrietta and the always good to see Kathleen Freeman as Katie their housekeeper help prop up the cast.
On this 2 disc DVD are 6 episodes from the second season of the show. "Trip to Las Vegas", "Henrietta Sells the House", "Decorating", "Proposal", "Second Honeymoon" and "Sweepstakes". The prints are fair to very good, nothing straight from the vault. For real TV collectors, the first episode is 29:30 minutes long as it has the original opening prominently featuring Camel cigarettes, and all the commercials for Camel are kept in the show. It ends with the old CBS shutter eye logo. The rest are 25:00 to 25:30 minutes long. The second episode also features an alternate Camel opening but no commercials. The remaining four episodes feature the opening when the show went into syndication.
The special effects are of course not on a par with movies or TV shows from today, but then again, it's the stories and actors that make this show so special. To be honest, I can't figure out how they did a lot of the effects. For a top notch show from the 50's that should get more airplay today, I can heartily recommend this show.
Until this show gets the full treatment (if ever), this is a well priced and decent introduction to this classic series.
Josephine Segraves | Pleasant Hill, California USA | 08/09/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Beware the video with no image to view. I purchased this video expecting the movie and received the TV series instead. I enjoyed the series and you will too."
Memories flood back
Carol L. Smith | 12/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I grew up watching Topper. It brought back that youthful innocence and naivete'. Thanks."