Topper Returns (1941)

“It isn’t every day a girl gets murdered!”

Topper Returns Poster

Synopsis:
When the friend (Joan Blondell) of an heiress (Carole Landis) is accidentally murdered, her ghost enlists the help of Cosmo Topper (Roland Young) in identifying the killer.

Genres:

Review:
Roy Del Ruth directed this final installment in the inexplicably popular Topper trilogy, which banks on much of what made the first two so successful: plenty of ghostly special effects and tedious slapstick humor. While it’s no masterpiece, the presence of Joan Blondell as the ghost de jeur (replacing Constance Bennett’s “Mrs. Kirby”) adds a much-needed touch of sass and vigor to the proceedings, and the Old Dark House “whodunit” plot at least provides viewers with a welcome narrative hook (I’ll admit the ending caught me by surprise). Best of all: Billie Burke as Cosmo’s airhead wife is given mercifully few scenes!

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Joan Blondell as Gail
    Topper Returns Blondell

Must See?
No. As noted previously, the Topper sequels are certainly not must-see viewing — though Blondell makes this one more bearable than its predecessors.

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