Top Flat (1935)

  |  Comedy, Short


Patsy and her boyfriend come to visit Thelma in her penthouse apartment, where she works as a maid.


6.7/10
105

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10 July 2000 | RJV
8
| A droll gem from an injustly forgotten comedy duo
TOP FLAT was one of the last two-reelers produced by Hal Roach which starred the comedy team of Thelma Todd and Patsy Kelly. The team had been making shorts since 1933 but the series was terminated by Todd's sudden death. Had it not been for this tragedy, the team would've surely enjoyed a long and flourishing career. Thelma's glamorous sophistication contrasts nicely with Patsy's plebeian earthiness. They are spirited and engaging performers who can deliver laughs from even pedestrian material.

Fortunately, the comedy material in TOP FLAT is worthy of their talents. In this short, Thelma fancies herself a great poet, although Patsy loudly disagrees. It's a delight to watch Thelma with dreamy conviction of her literary genius recite her asinine verse and to watch Patsy observe her partner with disbelief and disdain and parody her poetry with some choice barbs.

This is only the beginning of the fun. Offended by Patsy's remarks, Thelma leaves in a huff, insisting she'll make a fortune from her poetry. When Kelly next sees Todd, she's emerging from a limousine in front of a posh apartment. In fact, Todd's only a maid for a wealthy couple. But Patsy doesn't know it and proceeds to invite herself and some boisterous friends to the penthouse. The results are a delightful mixture of farce and slapstick as Patsy and her friends run amok in the flat and Thelma struggles to maintain order. As with all Hal Roach shorts, TOP FLAT benefits from a strong supporting cast, particularly Fuzzy Knight and Garry Owen as Kelly's rowdy friends. The direction by both Jack Jevne and William H. Terhune deftly executes the comic potential in the situations and moves the short along at a brisk pace.

If you're already familiar with the team of Thelma Todd and Patsy Kelly, you'll find TOP FLAT a wonderful showcase for their talents. If you're not familiar with them, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find them as funny and appealing as Hal Roach's celebrated team Laurel and Hardy.

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Storyline

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Genres

Comedy | Short

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