30 August 2005 | jotix100
The Kerbys in purgatory
"Topper", the delightful and original film directed by Norman Z McLeod, should be seen more often. It is one of the best things Hollywood ever produced at the height of the madcap comedy craze of the thirties. In fact, just to watch Roland Young, Constance Bennett and Cary Grant in the same film is a dream come true.
"Topper" has always been an old time favorite. We were treated the other night to watching it again, courtesy of TCM. The film's great black and white cinematography by Norbert Brodine looks good, even after these many years.
Constance Bennett and Cary Grant made a fabulous couple. Ms. Bennett had the uncanny gift of blending with all her leading men well. She was a charming actress with such a sense of style and an amazing figure to boot that made her an irresistible presence on the screen. Cary Grant is also seen at his best in the film as the careless and fun loving George Kerby.
Roland Young, in our humble opinion, steals the show! He plays the staid banker Cosmo Topper, who is all business until he starts being made the object of the Kerby's antics. Cosmo Topper's wife is the incomparable Billie Burke, one of the most gracious actresses of that era.
The rest of the cast is not too shabby. Alan Mowbray, Eugene Palette, Ward Bond, Hoagy Carmichael, and as an extra, Lana Turner could be seen backing the principals with their usual elegance and enormous screen presence.
"Topper" is a film that should be "rediscovered" by new audiences, as it shows how great Hollywood could be when it wanted to be original. But above all, "Topper" should be seen for the fantastic Roland Young, who is nothing short of perfection in the film!