Friday, 22 June 2012

L'amour - l'amour.. ..Clara and Cosmo Topper

In case you are one of my facebook friends you will be aware that I did kind of a "Topper-thon" the last few days watching all three TOPPER films: TOPPER (1937), TOPPER TAKES A TRIP (1938) and TOPPER RETURNS (1941).

For those who do not know the films - it is merely about Cosmo Topper (Roland Young) who is a bank director and whose very low-key life is troubled by ghosts: 

In the first film TOPPER (1937) it's Constance Bennett (one of my favourite actresses) and Cary Grant as Marion and George Kerby - a recently passed away couple - who try to add a little more excitement to Cosmo Topper's life. (This one is my least favourite of the three films to be honest..)

In the second film TOPPER TAKES A TRIP (1938) Marion (Constance Bennett) returns to help Cosmo Topper to save his marriage since his wife Clara (my beloved Billie Burke) is filing for divorce and courted by playboy Alexander D'Arcy (another one I like very much..). In this one as in the first film Alan Mowbray is the faithful butler to Cosmo and Clara Topper.. Also this film has an adorable ghost dog - who is played by no other than Asta of THIN MEN fame.. 

The third film TOPPER RETURNS (1941) has Topper mixed up with the murder of a young lady (one of my alltime favourites: Joan Blondell) he just met and who returns as a ghost to solve the crime - of course together with Cosmo Topper.. An amazing cast in this film.. It has e.g. George Zucco, Carole Landis and Patsy Kelly!! (yes, some actors who I adore..) In this film the great Eddie Anderson is the chauffeur to the Toppers.. and H.B. Warner is in it, too.. 

I used to say that I love the third film the most - but after re-watching I really cannot tell which of the last two films I like more - I simply love them both..

So - now that you know about the TOPPER films - who is my beloved couple??

It is of course:

Clara (Billie Burke) and Cosmo Topper (Roland Young)

They do not have a starting romance since they are married for about twenty years - but I do love this couple who has of course some troubles - mainly caused by Clara's obedience to her women's club and the first ladies of the town (through the films there are among others e.g. Hedda Hopper and Verree Teasdale..) and Cosmo's frequent trouble with ghosts.. 

Clara is kind of naïve  - and of course Billie Burke could play a part like that like no one other could - but she is also sweet-natured and she loves her husband Cosmo with all her heart - though her heart would prefer if her husband wasn't acting so strangely..

~oh.. shush! Don't tell his wife what you just saw! ~
Clara would love to have a perfect marriage with a high prestige - while Cosmo just want to have a calm and peaceful, happy live - which is of course a bit hard to manage when frequently ghosts are either trying to help you or are needing your help.. 

And though he has a soft spot for Marion Kerby (Constance Bennett - and who could blame him for that?) he always stays true to his wife. I really appreciate that - though I actually will not judge couples who can not manage to have such a "long breath".. I think most important is respect for each other - no matter if you are staying together for twenty days or twenty years - and I also think this does not only apply for love attachments but for every relation ship - I might say for every aspect in life. 

Clara and Cosmo might not be perfect in this - but they are at least trying their best. And that's all one can ask for - isn't it?

~ Eddie Anderson, Roland Young and Billie Burke ~

Of course it is nice to follow a young couple in films finding their love - but I for one enjoy seeing a couple which is devoted to each other over two decades. And: who would match as fine as Billie Burke and Roland Young do? Truth is that I watch the first film merely because of their scenes together.

~  Publicity still with Joan Blondell, Roland Young, Carole Landis, Billie Burke
- or: four actors I really adore! ~

Thank you all for listening! 

And in case you have found love: try to keep hold of it!



  1. Can I just say that this is one of your best posts I think you have done. VVery enjoyable! And I agree..the Topper films are awesome!

    1. That is a wonderful compliment, Monty! Thank you so much for it!

  2. Topper Returns is my favorite of the bunch, but they are all so good! My sister and I are always quoting a line from Topper Returns: "May I suggest, sir, that you break the glass?" And I love what you say about Clara and Cosmo's long-term relationship, which really is so wonderful, particularly with this two actors. Very fun!

    1. Haha.. yes - I LOVE that line!! Glad you enjoy those films (and especially TOPPER RETURNS), too! And also that you like me like Roland Young and Billie Burke! That's wonderful!


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