Topper Takes a Trip (Blu-ray Review)
DirectorNorman Z. McLeod
Release Date(s)1938 (November 27, 2018)
Studio(s)Hal Roach Studios (VCI Entertainment)
- Film/Program Grade: C+
- Video Grade: B
- Audio Grade: B
- Extras Grade: F
After the success of Topper starring screen legend Cary Grant, as well as Constance Bennett, Roland Young, and Billie Burke, two more sequels were made: Topper Returns and Topper Takes a Trip. In the latter, Bennett, Young, and Burke reprise their characters of Marion, Cosmo, and Clara Topper respectively, with Grant appearing only in a flashback scene.
Marion Kirby (Bennett) is attempting to get into heaven by doing a good deed. She is faced with the task of reuniting Cosmo Topper with his wife Clara after their separation and ongoing divorce proceedings. Meanwhile, Clara’s divorce lawyer (Veree Teasdale) is working extra hard to keep the Toppers apart while Clara is being courted by the rich tike Baron (Alex D’Arcy of Horrors of Spider Island fame). Along the way, both Topper, his wife, and Marion get caught up in a host of silly situations.
Without Cary Grant’s presence, Topper Takes a Trip isn’t quite as good as the original film. However, it’s still a charming, feel-good, goofy comedy with a great cast and certainly stands up on its own comedic merits. Roland Young hands in a fabulously funny performance as Cosmo while Skippy the dog, who is mostly remembered for playing Asta in The Thin Man series, plays another loveable pooch, Mr. Atlas.
VCI Entertainment, with the assistance of MVD Visual, have released Topper Takes a Trip on Blu-ray and it’s quite good. It’s a crisp black and white image with naturally-appearing film grain, excellent grayscale, and strong black levels. It doesn’t have the an enormous amount of depth, but there’s still a great deal of it to be found in both interior and exterior shots.
As for the audio, an English 2.0 LPCM track is provided with optional English subtitles. It’s strong with all of the various elements, including dialogue, the whimsical musical score by Hugo Friedhofer and Edward Powell, and even Atlas’ dog barks, coming in loud and clear. Some minor hiss can be heard here and there, but it’s nothing major. The only extra supplied is a trailer.
Topper Takes a Trip is a fine comedy – worthy of being in any collection for those who like tongue-in-cheek slapstick classics. It certainly makes for a pleasant matinee viewing experience and the A/V presentation makes it a worthy upgrade.
– David Steigman