Ghost (1990 film)

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Ghost
Ghost (1990 movie poster).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJerry Zucker
Produced byLisa Weinstein
Written byBruce Joel Rubin
Starring
Music byMaurice Jarre
CinematographyAdam Greenberg
Edited byWalter Murch
Production
company
Distributed byParamount Pictures[2]
Release date
  • July 13, 1990 (1990-07-13)
Running time
128 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$22 million
Box office$505.7 million

Ghost is a 1990 American romantic fantasy thriller film directed by Jerry Zucker, written by Bruce Joel Rubin, and starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Goldwyn, and Rick Aviles.[3] The plot centers on a young woman in jeopardy (Moore), the ghost of her murdered lover (Swayze), and a reluctant psychic (Goldberg) who assists him in saving her.

Ghost was theatrically released on July 13, 1990, by Paramount Pictures. The film received mixed reviews from the critics but was a huge box office success, grossing over $505 million on a budget of $22 million[4] to become the highest-grossing film of 1990 and at the time of its release the third-highest-grossing film of all time.[5] Adjusted for inflation, as of 2015 Ghost is the 93rd-highest-grossing film of all time.[6] Despite mixed reviews, the film received five nominations at the 63rd Academy Awards; Best Picture, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, and winning Best Supporting Actress (for Goldberg) and Best Original Screenplay.

Plot[edit]

Sam Wheat, a banker, and his girlfriend Molly Jensen, a potter, renovate and move into an apartment in Manhattan with the help of Sam's friend and co-worker Carl Bruner. One afternoon, Sam confides in Carl his discovery of unusually high balances in obscure bank accounts. He decides to investigate the matter himself, declining Carl's offer of assistance. That night, Sam and Molly are attacked by a mugger who shoots and kills Sam in a scuffle before stealing his wallet. Sam sees Molly crying over his body and discovers he is now a ghost, invisible and unable to interact with the mortal world.

Molly is distraught in the days after Sam's death, as Sam remains close to her. Carl comes over and suggests Molly take a walk with him; Sam, unable to follow, stays behind. Moments later, the mugger enters the apartment in search of something. When Molly returns, Sam scares their cat into attacking the thug, who flees. Sam follows the mugger to his Brooklyn apartment and learns that the man, Willie Lopez, was sent by an unknown party.

After leaving Willie's residence, Sam happens upon the parlor of psychic Oda Mae Brown, a charlatan pretending to commune with spirits of the dead who is shocked to discover her true psychic gift when she can hear Sam speaking. Sam persuades her to warn Molly that she is in danger. To allay Molly's skepticism, Oda Mae relays information that only Sam could know. Molly later gives Willie's address to Carl, who volunteers to investigate. She then goes to the police, who have no file for Willie but they show her Oda Mae's lengthy one as a forger and con artist.

Meanwhile, Sam follows Carl and is devastated to learn he and Willie are working together. Carl is laundering money for drug dealers and he had Willie rob Sam to get his apartment key, which Carl uses to obtain Sam's book of passwords and transfer the money into a single account under the fictitious "Rita Miller".

Sam learns from a violent poltergeist haunting the subway system how to use energy to move objects. Sam then persuades Oda Mae to help him thwart Carl. Before Carl can transfer the money for his clients, Oda Mae impersonates Rita Miller, closes the account, and reluctantly donates the $4 million cashier's check to charity. As Carl desperately searches for the money, Sam reveals his presence by typing his name on the computer keyboard. Carl goes to Molly, who reveals she spotted Oda Mae closing an account at the bank. Carl and Willie go to Oda Mae's place but Sam warns her and her sisters to take shelter. When Willie arrives, Sam spooks him, causing him to flee into the street in a fit of panic before being struck and killed by an oncoming car. Shadowy demons emerge from the darkness to drag Willie's ghost down to Hell.

Sam and Oda Mae return to the apartment where—by levitating a penny into Molly's hand—he convinces Molly that Oda Mae is telling the truth about him. Oda Mae allows Sam to possess her body so he and Molly can share a slow dance. Carl breaks into the apartment but Sam is too exhausted from the possession to fight Carl. The women escape onto the fire escape, to a loft under construction, but Carl catches Oda Mae and holds her at gunpoint, demanding the check. Sam recovers and pushes Carl off her, prompting Carl to take Molly hostage and plead with Sam for the check. Sam disarms Carl and attacks him again. Carl tries to escape through a window and tosses a suspended hook at Sam, but the hook swings back, shattering the window and causing it to slide down, fatally impaling Carl with a glass shard. The shadowy demons who came for Willie return to claim Carl's ghost for Hell.

Sam asks if the women are all right. Molly is now able to hear him and a heavenly light shines in the room, illuminating Sam's presence. Realizing that it is time for him to go with his task now completed, he and Molly share a tearful goodbye and one final kiss, finally having a proper closure between them. Sam thanks Oda Mae for her help and then walks into the light and onward to Heaven.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Ghost was the first film Jerry Zucker directed on his own. He had previously been part of the Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker directing team, known for their screwball comedies. Zucker stated that his decision to direct Ghost was not made to distance himself from comedies or to mark a new chapter in his career, but was merely “just looking for a good film to direct.[7]"

Screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin was initially apprehensive when he learned that Zucker intended to direct the film, as his initial drafts were much darker and he feared Zucker would try to turn the film into a comedy. But after a meeting with Zucker, Rubin realized that he had nothing to worry about and the two collaborated on further drafts of the script. Some humor was ultimately added, but Zucker’s main contribution was increasing the story’s pacing, as his time as a comedy director had instilled in him a keen understanding of pace.[citation needed] Zucker credited arguments from radio host Dennis Prager with deciding to "lighten" Rubin's original script with a moral message.[8]

Rubin noted that he "wanted to tell a ghost story from the ghost’s perspective": “One day, I was watching a production of ‘Hamlet,’ which begins with the ghost of Hamlet’s father saying, ‘Revenge my death,’” he recalled. “I thought, ‘Wow, let’s transpose that into the 20th century; it’d be an interesting story.’ And the idea hit me.”[9]

Filming for Ghost began shooting in July 1989. Most of the interior scenes were shot at Paramount in Los Angeles while the exterior scenes were shot in New York City, particularly in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Soho, and Wall Street, for about five weeks. The film features about 100 special effects shots.[10] Demi Moore's famous 'boy cut' in the movie was designed by Manhattan hair stylist John Sahag.[11]

Soundtrack[edit]

The music for Ghost was written by veteran French composer Maurice Jarre, whose work was nominated for the 1990 Academy Award for Best Original Score (won by John Barry for Dances with Wolves).[12] The soundtrack also featured the 1955 song "Unchained Melody", composed by Alex North with lyrics by Hy Zaret. This was originally written for the film Unchained – a very different, low-budget movie about prison life. In Ghost the song appears both in instrumental and vocal form, the latter being the version recorded by The Righteous Brothers in 1965.[13]

The soundtrack album was issued worldwide on Milan Records, but licensed to Varèse Sarabande in North America. It was reissued with two extra tracks in 1995, and later as part of Milan's Silver Screen Edition series with the extra tracks and an interview with Maurice Jarre.[14]

Release[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film became an unexpected huge box-office success, grossing $505,702,588 on a budget of $22,000,000.[15][16][17][18] It was the highest-grossing film of 1990.[5] Box Office Mojo estimates that the film sold over 51.46 million tickets in the US.[19]

Critical response[edit]

Ghost has a rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes based on reviews from 69 critics, with an average rating of 6.88/10. The consensus states that the film "offers viewers a poignant romance while blending elements of comedy, horror, and mystery, all adding up to one of the more enduringly watchable hits of its era."[20] It has a score of 52 on the review site Metacritic based on 17 reviews, indicating mixed or average reviews.[21] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[22]

Roger Ebert gave Ghost two-and-a-half out of four stars in his review for the Chicago Sun-Times, regarding the film as "no worse an offender than most ghost movies, I suppose. It assumes that even after death we devote most of our attention to unfinished business here on Earth, and that danger to a loved one is more important to a ghost than the infinity it now inhabits." He was also critical of the film's "obligatory action climax", the "ridiculous visitation from the demons of hell", the "slow study" of the Molly character, and the "single best scene" in which Sam overtakes Oda Mae's body to caress Molly: "In strict logic, this should involve us seeing Goldberg kissing Moore, but of course the movie compromises and shows us Swayze holding her - too bad, because the logical version would actually have been more spiritual and moving."[23] David Ansen of Newsweek, despite finding the ending too sentimental, praised the film as "a zippy pastiche that somehow manages to seem fresh even though it's built entirely out of borrowed parts."[24] Variety magazine called the film "an odd creation – at times nearly smothering in arty somberness, at others veering into good, wacky fun."[25]

Goldberg received considerable praise for her performance. In a review for The New York Times, Janet Maslin comments "Ms. Goldberg plays the character's amazement, irritation and great gift for back talk to the hilt. This is one of those rare occasions on which the uncategorizable Ms. Goldberg has found a film role that really suits her, and she makes the most of it."[26] Even some writers who gave negative reviews of Ghost extended praise to Goldberg's work in the film.[27] Goldberg went on to win an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe for her performance.

Accolades[edit]

Award Category Nominee(s) Result
Academy Awards Best Picture Lisa Weinstein Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Whoopi Goldberg Won
Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Bruce Joel Rubin Won
Best Film Editing Walter Murch Nominated
Best Original Score Maurice Jarre Nominated
American Cinema Editors Awards Best Edited Feature Film Walter Murch Nominated
American Comedy Awards Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Whoopi Goldberg Won
American Society of Cinematographers Awards Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases Adam Greenberg Nominated
ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards Top Box Office Films Maurice Jarre Won
British Academy Film Awards Best Actress in a Supporting Role Whoopi Goldberg Won
Best Original Screenplay Bruce Joel Rubin Nominated
Best Make Up Artist Ben Nye Jr. Nominated
Best Special Visual Effects Bruce Nicholson, John T. Van Vliet, Richard Edlund and Laura Buff Nominated
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards Best Supporting Actress Whoopi Goldberg Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Ghost Nominated
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Patrick Swayze Nominated
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Demi Moore Nominated
Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Whoopi Goldberg Won
Golden Screen Awards Ghost Won
Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation Jerry Zucker and Bruce Joel Rubin Nominated
Japan Academy Film Prize Outstanding Foreign Language Film Ghost Nominated
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actress Whoopi Goldberg Won
Mainichi Film Awards Readers' Choice Award – Best Foreign Language Film Jerry Zucker Won
Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Dialogue and ADR for Feature Film Lee Haxall Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Whoopi Goldberg Won
Nikkan Sports Film Awards Best Foreign Film Ghost Won
People's Choice Awards Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture Won
Sant Jordi Awards Best Foreign Film Jerry Zucker Won
Satellite Awards Best Classic DVD Ghost Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Film Won
Best Actor Patrick Swayze Nominated
Best Actress Demi Moore Won
Best Supporting Actor Tony Goldwyn Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Whoopi Goldberg Won
Best Director Jerry Zucker Nominated
Best Writing Bruce Joel Rubin Nominated
Best Music Maurice Jarre Nominated
Best Special Effects Bruce Nicholson, John T. Van Vliet, Richard Edlund and Laura Buff Nominated
TV Land Awards Favorite Character from the "Other Side" Whoopi Goldberg Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screenplay Bruce Joel Rubin Nominated
Young Artist Awards Most Entertaining Family Youth Motion Picture – Comedy/Horror Ghost Won

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Home media[edit]

The film was released on video and LaserDisc in the United States on March 21, 1991 and sold a record 646,000 videos for rental, breaking the record set by Die Hard 2,[30] and a record 66,040 LaserDiscs.[31] The rentals generated a gross of $40 million for Paramount. The video went on sale in the fall and generated sales of $25 million.[30]

Legacy[edit]

Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, in one of the most famous scenes from the movie[32]

The film inspired a musical stage version, Ghost: The Musical. The show had its world premiere in Manchester, UK, in March 2011[33] before transferring to London from June 2011 and having its premiere on July 19, 2011.[34]

The pottery wheel scene became widely known,[32][35] and has been cited as "one of the most iconic moments of '90s cinema."[36] It has also frequently been parodied,[35] such as in The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear, the short British animated film Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death[37] and US TV series Two and a Half Men.[36]

Remakes[edit]

In November 13, 2010, Paramount and Shochiku released a Japanese remake of Ghost, titled Ghost: In Your Arms Again (ゴースト もういちど抱きしめたい, Gōsuto Mouichido Dakishimetai).[38] The remake stars Nanako Matsushima, South Korean actor Song Seung-heon, and veteran actress Kirin Kiki.[39] In this film, the ghost is a woman, played by Matsushima. An unofficial remake of the film was made in Telugu language by name Aatma Bandham.[citation needed] A Bollywood Hindi remake of the film was also made in the year 1991 just after the original film released in 1990, the remake was titled Pyaar Ka Saaya starring Rahul Roy as the protagonist.[citation needed]

TV series[edit]

In November 2013, it was announced that Paramount Television is developing a television series adaptation of Ghost, with Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner writing the pilot.[40]

Background[edit]

The film belongs to a series of films that present metaphysical or even spiritual experiences such as near-death experiences, after-death contacts, media experiences no longer as fairy-tale fantasy, but as reality.[41] The subject matter also includes films such as Hereafter by Clint Eastwood (2010), The House of the Spirits (1993), Ghost Whisperer (2005-2010).

There are media who claim, similar to the main character of the film Oda Mae Brown (played by Whoopi Goldberg, who won an Academy Award for this role), to have contacts to deceased people like Tyler Henry, Pascal Voggenhuber and many more.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kinn, Gail; Piazza, Jim (2014-12-16). Academy Awards®: The Complete Unofficial History -- Revised and Up-To-Date. Black Dog & Leventhal. ISBN 9781579129866.
  2. ^ Cieply, Michael; Easton, Nina J. (1990-09-11). "Paramount Reels in Power Struggle After Hits, Misses". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  3. ^ Honeycutt, Kirk (1990-07-13). "Director Leaves Laughs Behind to Capture Spirit of 'Ghost' : Movies: A suspense drama about the afterlife is the last film you'd expect from Jerry Zucker, one of the crazy guys who dreamed up 'Airplane!'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
  4. ^ "Ghost (1990) - Box Office Mojo". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "1990 Worldwide Grosses". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  6. ^ "All Time Box Office Adjusted for Ticket Price Inflation". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  7. ^ "Director Leaves Laughs Behind to Capture Spirit of 'Ghost' : Movies: A suspense drama about the afterlife is the last film you'd expect from Jerry Zucker, one of the crazy guys who dreamed up 'Airplane!'". 1990-07-13.
  8. ^ "RADIO : The Prager Prism : Dennis Prager has eight hours a week to talk on the radio about 'the great issues of life'; so, what makes him so important?". 1991-11-17. Archived from the original on 2020-01-29.
  9. ^ "Native Detroiter who wrote 'Ghost' reminisces about film as it turns 30". 2020-07-10.
  10. ^ Scapperotti, Dan (July 1990). "Ghost - Airplane's Jerry Zucker directs Patrick Swayze in a metaphysical comedy / drama". Cinefantastique. 21 (1): 12. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  11. ^ https://www.americansalon.com/hair/feature-remembering-john-sahag-mad-professor-hair
  12. ^ Clemmensen, Christian. "Ghost soundtrack review". Filmtracks.com. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  13. ^ Garber, Megan (July 13, 2015). "How 'Unchained Melody' Broke Free". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on July 14, 2015. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  14. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Ghost [Silver Screen Edition] - Review". All Music. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  15. ^ Broeske, Pat H. (1990-07-17). "'Ghost' Performing Solidly at the Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  16. ^ Broeske, Pat H. (1990-07-25). "'Ghost': Sentimental Choice as Summer Hit". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  17. ^ Broeske, Pat H. (1990-08-07). "'Ghost' Tops Box Office Again". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  18. ^ Easton, Nina J. (1990-09-05). "Hollywood's Summer of Love : Romantic 'Ghost' Outguns Macho Movies to Become Season's Biggest Hit". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  19. ^ "Ghost (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  20. ^ "Ghost (1990)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved February 27, 2020.
  21. ^ "Ghost Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-08-17.
  22. ^ "Cinemascore :: Movie Title Search". web.archive.org. 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2020-07-28.
  23. ^ Ebert, Roger (July 13, 1990). "Ghost". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  24. ^ "Immaterial Affections". Newsweek. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
  25. ^ "Ghost". Variety. 1989-12-31. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
  26. ^ "Ghost(1990)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
  27. ^ Podgorski, Daniel (October 15, 2015). "A Ghastly Script: The Mediocrity of Jerry Zucker's Romantic Classic, Ghost". The Gemsbok. Your Thursday Theater. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  28. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
  29. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
  30. ^ a b Berman, Marc (January 6, 1992). "Rentals Reap Bulk of 1991 Vid Harvest". Variety. p. 22.
  31. ^ "Ghost Conjures LaserDisk Record". Daily Variety. April 5, 1991. p. 2.
  32. ^ a b Cox, Gordon (March 6, 2009). "'Ghost' getting musical treatment". Variety. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  33. ^ "GHOST The Musical – About - Opening in Manchester 28 March 2011". www.ghostthemusical.com. Retrieved 2011-01-09.
  34. ^ "Ghost The Musical announces Manchester dates pre-West End". The Stage. Retrieved 2010-11-08.
  35. ^ a b "Ghost: 7 parodies de la scène légendaire de la poterie" [Ghost: 7 parodies of the famous pottery scene]. Première (in French). December 12, 2015. Archived from the original on October 7, 2018. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  36. ^ a b Hood, Bryan (February 28, 2014). "Kutcher parodies Demi's iconic 'Ghost' pottery scene". New York Post. Archived from the original on October 10, 2015. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  37. ^ Simon, Ben (December 18, 2008). "Wallace & Gromit: A Matter Of Loaf And Death". Animated Views. Archived from the original on November 4, 2010. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  38. ^ Shiso (2010-11-14). "Japanese Remake of Ghost to Be Released in 5 Different Countries". Tokyohive. Retrieved 2011-03-19.
  39. ^ Fischer, Russ (2010-06-09). "Paramount to Remake Ghost in Japan". Slashfilm. Retrieved 2011-03-19.
  40. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2013-11-12). "Akiva Goldsman & Jeff Pinkner To Adapt Movie 'Ghost' As Series For Paramount TV". Deadline. Retrieved 2014-08-17.
  41. ^ Über die Todeshürde, Kino und Metaphysik s.S. 20, swr.de

External links[edit]