Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Topper Returns


Then as now, sequels are usually a bad idea. This is one of those times. Just a pale shadow of the wit of Topper, this movie bumbles along as a strictly by-the-numbers grind. Abbott & Costello or the Three Stooges would have been right at home in this plot and haunted house setting. Joan Blondell is no match for Constance Bennett, and they couldn’t persuade Cary Grant to show up at all for this turkey. The only one with some good lines is poor Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, who is forced to play that staple buffoon of the time, the spooked spook, as terrified of ghosts as any Stepin Fetchit. The best bit: Soon after he first sees the results of the invisible woman moving around, he goes to his room and packs. Interrupted by Mrs. Topper, he says he is leaving, “Going back!” “Back where?” Billie Burke squeaks. “Back to Mr. Benny! Nothing like this ever happened with him!” Right on, Eddie. At least with Jack, you always gave as good as you got, and had the last line.