Every month on Monty and Desiree’s website, we’re going to be featuring a star of the month. Each month all writers will choose a star for that month and everyone involved will be reviewing movies from the chosen star. To start off the monthly series, Monty had the first pick and he has chosen Constance Bennett, so for November we’re going to be showcasing Constance Bennett. The film that I have chosen to review is “Topper” which stars Constance with the very handsome Cary Grant.
Constance Bennett and Cary Grant ignite the screen in this humorous fantasy film that will entertain audiences. Marion and George Kerby ( Constance Bennett and Cary Grant ) are frivolous stockholders. Even though they are affluent with money, they are also audacious and irresponsible. One night they are involved in an accident after driving recklessly and are killed instantly. As a result of never doing good or bad deeds they discover that they are now ghosts in limbo. For a ticket to heaven they decide to rehabilitate and enlighten the repetitious life of Cosmo Topper, a wealthy banker who is trapped in a monotonous job and loveless marriage with his dictatorial wife Clara ( Billie Burke ). Fun and games ensue as they buoyantly haunt Topper.
Being an ardent fan of Cary Grant, it’s a wonder that I’ve never seen this movie before watching it the other day , but somehow it has seemed to escape me all these years. Apart from seeing a few Constance Bennett films, I’ve never really delved into her filmography. After seeing this film though I might need to change that. I’m not a big fan of Constance, but I found her copacetic in the role as the libidinous Marion and felt that she delivered a commendable performance. Cary as always was inimitable, and will always impress me no matter what.
This was Lana Turner’s second film appearance. She was uncredited, but played a very minor role as a nightclub patron.
This was the first black & white film to be “colorized” in 1985. Luckily though I viewed the original black & white version.
Producer Hal Roach wanted W.C. Fields and Jean Harlow to star as, respectively, Cosmo Topper and Marion Kerby, but neither was available at the time.
Quotes from film:
Marion Kerby: “Oh, George, I can see right through you.”
George Kerby: “Say, that’s funny. I can see through you, too.”
Marion Kerby: [seeing her body lying next to George’s beside the car, which has just crashed] “George, look. You know something George? I think we’re dead.”
George Kerby: “I think you’re right. Funny; I don’t *feel* any different.”
Cosmo Topper: “So I’m a ditherer? Well, I’m jolly well going to dither, then.”
Constance Bennett: Born Constance Bennett on October 22nd, 1904 in New York. Died: July 24th, 1965 in Fort Dix, New Jersey. Note: Constance is the sister of notable actress Joan Bennett.
Cary Grant: Born Archibald Alexander Leach on January 18th, 1904 in Bristol, England. Died: November 29th, 1986 in Davenport, Iowa.