Topper Takes A Trip

1939, Movie, NR, 85 mins

Review

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This follow-up to the surprisingly successful TOPPER picks up where the last film left off. After reprising the auto accident that killed the drunken Kerbys (Cary Grant and Constance Bennett) in the first film--turning the erstwhile socialites into ghosts who must perform a good deed before they are allowed into Heaven--the action shifts to Young, who has chased his wife (Burke) to Paris, where she is trying to get a divorce. Burke spotted Young and the ghostly Bennett together and immediately assumed that her henpecked husband had finally taken up with another woman. Unable to explain that Bennett is only a ghost, Young tries to fast-talk Burke into a reconciliation. After the scenes from the original TOPPER are replayed, Grant disappears entirely from this sequel, leaving Bennett and their dog (Skippy)--who was also killed in the wreck--to bail Young out of his marital mess. Several floating martinis later, Bennett manages to reunite the couple and, having done her good deed, floats off to rejoin her own husband. As in the 1937 film, the trick photography by Roy Seawright is as amusing as it is amazing. Cushions deflate when invisible figures sit on them, cigarettes are smoked in mid-air, and pencils write notes by themselves--effects that are all executed with skill. Perhaps the most creative and funny invisibility tricks are those involving the dog. It seems that poor little Skippy forgets to make his tail invisible at times, and audiences are treated to the sight of it wagging, disembodied, furiously in midair. The feisty little ghost also has a penchant for attacking ankles, and the sight of men struggling to pull their legs free from an invisible hound is hilarious. The special effects were nominated for an Oscar in a category created by the Academy that year. There would be a third "Topper" film, TOPPER RETURNS (1941), followed by a television show in the 1950s and a made-for-TV remake in 1979. leave a comment

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Topper Takes A Trip
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