Topper (1937)

TOPPER (1937)
Article #746 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-31-2003
Posting Date: 8-28-2003
Directed by Norman McLeod
Featuring Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Roland Young

A stodgy and dull bank president finds himself haunted by two ghosts intent on getting him to enjoy life.

First, a rant.

Ever order a movie on the internet, and then wait with baited breath for it to arrive, and when it does, you discover to your horror that you got the COLORIZED version? ARRGGGHHHH!!!!! Not only that, but it was one of the very first movies to undergo colorization, so it’s done particularly badly. Double ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!

Still, it was the only copy of the movie I had, so I watched it anyway. Fortunately, it’s a good one, with great dialogue and wonderful performances from Roland Young, Constance Bennett, Cary Grant, Billie Burke, Alan Mowbray and Eugene Pallette. Hedda Hopper and Doodles Weaver are also in there somewhere. It’s consistently amusing and fun to watch, but I do have a couple of minor quibbles (outside of the ghastly colorization); there’s a long stretch in the second half where Cary Grant is nowhere to be found (he’s one of my all-time favorite actors), and despite all the fun, it never quite cuts loose in the way you hope it might. Still, it was a joy to watch, and though I definitely plan to watch it again sometime, I will wait until I have a chance to upgrade my copy to one in which the predominant colors are various shades of grey.

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