TOPPER
1937, Sonar Entertainment, 97 min, USA, Dir: Norman Z. McLeod

Cary Grant and Constance Bennett play a wealthy, fun-loving couple who awaken from a sports car accident only to discover that they’re dead. They have to perform at least one good deed to make it into Heaven, and to do that they try to teach their stick-in-the-mud friend Cosmo Topper (Roland Young, Oscar-nominated) how to enjoy life. This sparkling box office hit (which spun off a pair of sequels and a TV series) helped establish Grant as a screwball comedy star of the first order.


IT’S A GIFT
1934, Universal, 73 min, USA, Dir: Norman Z. McLeod

Considered by some to be the Great Man’s greatest film, this short, sweet W.C. Fields vehicle is little more than a series of zany sketches loosely tied to his desire to move to California and grow oranges. Includes the legendary "Mr. Muckle" and "Carl LaFong" scenes, as well as the hanging mirror and sleeping porch routines. Jean Rouverol, who co-wrote THE FIRST TIME, plays Fields’ daughter.


MONKEY BUSINESS
1931, Universal, 77 min, USA, Dir: Norman Z. McLeod

The Marx Brothers’ first original screenplay - by S.J. Perelman and an uncredited Ben Hecht, among others - is perhaps their most bizarre (and the only one in which they have no character names). They’re stowaways on an ocean liner, wreaking havoc and getting mixed up with rival gangsters as well as Thelma Todd. Includes the famous scene where all four try to get through customs by pretending to be Maurice Chevalier.


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