Topper Returns (1941)

Topper ReturnsTopper Returns poster
Directed by Roy Del Ruth
Written by Jonathan Latimer, Gordon Douglas, and Paul Girard Smith
Hal Roach Studios

First viewing/Netflix rental


Sgt. Roberts: Innocent men stay home nights. They don’t hide in iceboxes. And they don’t take dead bodies on boat rides.

The final film in the series of three “Topper” films is as funny as any of them.

Ann Carrington (Carole Landis) is headed to meet her father at his mansion for the first time since she was a baby and collect the inheritance due her on her upcoming 21st birthday.  Her friend Gail (Joan Blondelle) is along for the ride.  The taxi cab they are travelling in crashes and they hitch a ride with Cosmo Topper (Roland Young).

That night at the mansion, the girls decide to switch bedrooms and Gail is murdered.  Her ghost heads straight to Topper’s house next door and enlists his help.  Her body quickly goes missing and the rest of the film is taken up with some spooky goings on and lots of gags.  With Billie Burke as Mrs. Topper, H.B. Warner as Mr. Carrington, Dennis O’Keefe as the cab driver and Eddie “Rochester” Anderson as Topper’s driver.

Topper Returns 1

With a cast like this, you can’t go too far wrong.  It’s a little more slapstick than the first film but viewers who liked that one should like this one too.

Topper Returns was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Sound, Recording and Best Effects, Special Effects.

Trailer (note tie-in to “News on the March” from Citizen Kane!)

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