BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Topper (1937) - Blu-ray Review

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Topper (1937) - Blu-ray

5 beers

“You know something, George?  I think we’re dead.”

Some films, no matter when they were made, remain connected with whatever audience comes its way.  Topper, a supernatural comedy directed by Norman Z. McLeod (Pennies from Heaven), is one of those rare films.  Not many can forget the opening scene as Cary Grant drives his custom built supercharged 1936 Buick/Cord automobile with his feet.  He’s perched up on top of the driver’s seat, whistling without a care in the world as Constance Bennett chatters on next to him.  And their banter is superb.

The highs of this clever comedy are only beginning.  Mark my words.  Making sure that Topper’s debut on 1080p is handled with the upmost care, VCI Entertainment presents this classic with a remastered print and a new HD transfer.  The results are stunning and well defined. 

George (Grant) and Marion (Bennett) Kerby are filthy stinking rich.  They are also insanely in love.  They’ve done nothing with their lives except drink, dance, and drive.  And one of those is going to kill them.

After wrecking their fancy vehicle, George wakes up next to his wife on the cold ground.  The fast-moving couple has died in the wreck and, with nothing to show for their lives, has to make a quick decision.  Their poor friend, Cosmo Topper (Roland Young), is miserable and they reason – with quick-witted ease – that they must free him from his sad existence and irksome wife, Clara (Billie Burke), who believes everything about them and their life together must be on the up-and-up. 

Scheduled to death and ready to be free of social norms, Cosmo is all in on their plan to “free” him – except everything goes disastrously wrong and scandal after scandal emerges as Topper himself almost becomes another of the dearly departed before his life aligns in an agreeable manner.

Those of you wise to Grant’s career know that it is with this film that his career in screwball comedies took off.  Bringing Up Baby and The Awful Truth are because of his wild and whip-smart performance throughout all of Topper.  He is smooth, clever, and makes every wink and nudge and smirk to the camera necessary.  His performance is perfect and definitely paved the way for the rest of his filmography in comedy; and he knows just how important the role is.  You can just tell.

And Bennett nails her performance, too.  Everyone – including Burke and Young – received acclaim for their wonderfully engaged performances.  Not a moment or a chuckle is missed by their back-and-forth banter.  Even the pauses in between the dialogue are pregnant with humor.  The film is endlessly fun – even the butler (Alan Mowbray) gets in on the spirit of the movie – and it delivers a memorable experience that was tried over and over again as this successful screwball comedy launched two sequels (without Grant), a television series and a 1979 made-for-television remake starring Jack Warden and Rue McClanahan.

No good deed goes unpunished in 1937’s Topper.

Topper (1937) - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: Not rated.
Runtime: 97 mins
Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Writer: Jack Jevne, Eric Hatch
Cast: Cary Grant, Constance Bennett, Roland Young
Genre: Comedy | Romance
Tagline: The wound him up and let him run...Riot!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Yes, I... cut my tongue when I was shaving this morning."
Theatrical Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Official Site:
Release Date: July 16, 1937
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: October 31, 2017
Synopsis: A fun-loving couple, finding that they died and are now ghosts, decide to shake up the stuffy lifestyle of a friend of theirs.

Topper (1937) - Blu-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: VCI
Available on Blu-ray
- October 31, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.37:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
 
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

VCI Entertainment presents this B&W film with a crackling HD 1080P transfer.  Loaded with great textures and defined shadows, this comedy looks as good as Day One of its life.  Maybe even better.  The balance of gray and black levels is pure perfection.  And the suits have textures as the early supernatural effects shine with a gleam unnoticeable before.  This is perfection.  The film is presented with an aspect ratio of 1.37:1 and a PCM Mono track.  This is an All Regions release.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Nothing too grand or important is included here..which is unfortunate.

  • Original Theatrical Trailer

Topper (1937) - Blu-ray

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