The third and final entry in Hal Roach's famed "Topper" trilogy may very well be the best of the lot. Returning for their third portrayal of Mr. and Mrs. Cosmo Topper, Roland Young and Billie Burke are consistently upstage... more »d by a sparkling new addition to the "Topper" troupe, Jack Benny's famed manservant, the loveable and irascible Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. This time around there is a "new" ghostly presence in the shapely form of Joan Blondell, who is unceremoniously dispatched by a cloaked knife murderer in a case of mistaken identity. Naturally, Joan floats over to the Topper's quiet abode and nags Cosmo into investigating her death. Back they come to the spooky scene of the crime, where Topper is accused of the murder by a houseful of creeps headed by ghoulmeister George Zucco. And who else should be the lead detective on the case, but the uproarious Donald McBride of "Room Service" fame, thoroughly bungling everything in sight!« less
Stuart Gardner | Interzone, Alphaville | 07/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I couldn't be more pleased with the image quality of both TOPPER and TOPPER RETURNS on this DVD from Hallmark & Artisan, and I'm a demanding viewer. Both prints are top-notch and the transfers are outstanding, offering extremely clean, clear presentations. I'm so pleased with this DVD that I was compelled to write this (my first note on Amazon) just to assure fellow fans of these great comedies that you should by all means order this disc with confidence."
In Response to, "Disgusted Hal Roach Fan"
Stuart Gardner | 08/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The "Disgusted Hal Roach Fan" seems to be in his own tormented little world! I read his review prior to buying the Topper/Topper Returns video because I love this movie and had not seen it in a very long time. I thought, oh well, even if it is as bad as the "DHRF" said it was, at least I would get to see this movie again. My only explanation for the "DHRF" is that his sight isn't very good, he needs a new DVD player, or he just has an ax to grind against Artisan Video. The Topper video is crystal clear and the sound is great. If you like Cary Grant and want to see one of his earlier screwball comedies, this is a great DVD."
Funny 1937 Original w/1941 sequel now on remastered DVD!!
forrie | Nashua, NH United States | 08/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ARTISAN Home Entertainment brings us a remastered DVD of Hal Roach Studios (who brought us Laurel & Hardy and the Little Rascals in 1920's through the 1930's on the side experimented with full length feature films,greater than 65 minutes in length) original 1937 Topper. In 1937 Hal Roach used trick photography, camera magic and ground breaking FX technology for the amazing ghost creations."Topper" with a Star studded cast Cary Grant as Millionaire George Kirby (at his comedic best), Constance Bennett as his wife Marion (a beautifully devine actress), Roland Young as their Banker Cosmo Topper (nominated for Best Supporting Actor as "Topper") and Billie Burke as Mrs. Topper (best known as Glenda the "Good Witch" from the 1939 "The Wizard of OZ"). Included is a very young song writer/singer Hoagy Carmichael.This wonderfully remastered Black / White Standard Feature DVD is delightful. Worth the price of admission alone but the 1941 sequel "Topper Returns" is also included. Note: a very weak sequel but still a cute storyline featuring Roland & Burke in reprise. A double feature DVD with no extras.Summary: The jet setting, ever partying Millionaire Kirby's die in an automobile accident on a late night country road. They enter a state of limbo (earthbound ghosts) until they perform a good deed. So they go about trying to free their banker "Topper" from his dull routine high collar lifestyle and make him a jet setting man of high society. This is a great story with ghosts, floating objects and Topper talking to himself. Mrs Topper has the hardest time trying to figure out whats happening to her timid obedient husband. Lots of laughs here. Enjoy."
Well worth the price
forrie | 07/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although I don't think Topper with Cary Grant is as good as some of his other B&W comedies, "Bringing up Baby", "The Bachelor and Bobby Soxer" or even "Monkey Business", it is a good old B&W movie to watch. However, I think I like "Topper Returns" even better, "Topper" gets bettter as the movie nears the end, but "Topper Returns" seems to keep laughs coming throughout the picture. I find the scenes with "Rochester" from the old Jack Benny show most memorable, the comments he makes ( he has a very memorable voice) , the way he rolls his eyes and responds to the ghost extremely funny. "Topper Returns" has more people doing the funny scenes, little things throughout the movie.The picture and sound quality on this DVD seems better on our Hitachi 57S700 better than "Topper Returns" by Alpha Video. We have one of our Dtivos getting every Cary Grant movie for the past few years but never seemed to get Topper. We were at a store and saw "Topper Returns" by Alpha Video. After buying this I decided to buy Topper/Topper Returns here on Amazon, just to get "Topper" with Cary Grant, and glad I did. Once again, for those of you that like old B&W comedies, this DVD is welll worth the Amazon price."
A Comic Gem
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 12/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When bombshell Joan Blondell accompanies friend Carole Landis to her spooky family home and is murdered for her pains, she returns as a ghost bent upon the solution of her own murder--and enlists Roland Young (as Cosmo Topper) as an unlikely aide. The result is a wildly funny film that offers great performances from some of the finest screwball character actors of the period.Based on characters originally seen in the earlier TOPPER starring Cary Grant and Roland Young, TOPPER RETURNS is a broad take-off on the stereotypes of "old dark house" mysteries popular in the 1930s and 1940s--most particularly the classic CAT AND THE CANARY and THE BAT, which were noted for their black-costumed criminals and creepy mansions complete with secret passages, but also referencing Hitchcock's REBECCA. Blondell gives a typically lively performance as a ghost with attitude, and Young is perfectly cast as the mild-mannered banker she blackmails into assisting her. Carole Landis is also attractively cast as the heiress targeted for murder.But the real stars of TOPPER RETURNS are the supporting cast, most particularly Billie Burke, Patsy Kelly, and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. Burke gives her sublime flair for the ridiculously absurd full reign in the role of Cosmo Topper's ditsy wife, and few could match Patsy Kelly's combination of drop-dead humor and double-take. But the real scene-stealer is Eddie Anderson, best known as Jack Benny's radio and television sidekick "Rochester." Although the actual script plays to racial stereotypes of the day, Anderson completely transcends its less savory aspects with a performance that is nothing short of comic genius, and it makes one wish the era in which he worked had afforded him broader opportunity.The entire family should enjoy TOPPER RETURNS, which plays at director Hal Roach's typically fast pace with nary a lag, and the special effects are fun to watch. The film is an overlooked comic gem and deserves a place in any collection."