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USA 1937
Directed by
Norman Z. McLeod
97 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars


In the 1960s, television series like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie and My Favorite Martian were built around the appeal of apparently telekinetically-moving objects. It did nothing for me but had enough popular appeal to last many seasons. Topper is essentially a feature length precursor of the same concept and, according to your inclinations, its rewards are equivalent.

Cary Grant and Constance Bennett play a rich, good-time couple who get themselves killed in a car accident.  As a good deed to ensure their passage to Heaven they decide to liven up the life of mousy, henpecked banker, Mr Topper (Roland Young). The visual effects and the single note premise of Topper inverting his drab lifestyle is pretty much all the film has to offer bar the amusing performance of Billie Burke as Topper’s controlling wife and familiar character actor, Eugene Pallette, as a hotel detective.

As with the  the television series, silliness was no hindrance to success and the film catapulted Grant to the big-time and revived Bennett’s flagging career whilst Young was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance.




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