Film: Ghost

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Film:

Ghost

Director: Jerry Zucker
Honors:
Genres:
Distributor: Paramount

Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze are the passionate lovers whose romance is undone when the latter is murdered during a bungled hit arranged by a rival. The clever concept by screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin (director of My Life) extends outward into comedy (Swayze’s character communicates through a sassy medium played by Whoopi Goldberg, who won an Oscar for this role), horror (the afterlife is populated by hell-bound demons and the like), and romantic complications (a handsome suitor, played by Tony Goldwyn, comes on to Moore while Swayze’s spirit is still…

Reviews

Amazon.com

Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze are the passionate lovers whose romance is undone when the latter is murdered during a bungled hit arranged by a rival. The clever concept by screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin (director of My Life) extends outward into comedy (Swayze’s character communicates through a sassy medium played by Whoopi Goldberg, who won an Oscar for this role), horror (the afterlife is populated by hell-bound demons and the like), and romantic complications (a handsome suitor, played by Tony Goldwyn, comes on to Moore while Swayze’s spirit is still hanging around). Directed by Jerry Zucker, previously best known for codirecting Airplane! and similar broad comedies, Ghost is a careful balancing act of strong commercial elements, but at heart it is a timeless Hollywood tearjerker that easily gets under one’s skin. —Tom Keogh

The biggest hit of 1990, Ghost is part comedy, part romance, part supernatural thriller. Patrick Swayze, previously best known for Dirty Dancing, stars as Sam, the banker who is killed following a mugging. Caught in a limbo between here and the afterlife, he uses Whoopi Goldberg’s fake psychic as an intermediary to warn wife Molly (Demi Moore) that his death was no accident but a murder and that she is in danger too.

Ghost’s original popularity and notoriety originally arose not from its dealings with the supernatural but the scene involving Moore fondly astride her potter’s wheel fashioning a somewhat phallic-shaped vase, with Swayze fondly astride her. So infamous did this scene become that it’s now more likely to raise a chuckle than a sultry sigh. As for the rest of the movie, it still somehow manages to engage despite the awkward juxtaposition of lachrymose melodrama and zaniness. Demi Moore, whose massive Hollywood success was always a mystery to some, is a little flat as the tomboy-coiffed Molly, her tears occasionally seeming onion-induced. Swayze, however, delivers as Sam while Whoopi Goldberg turns in the best performance of her career, delivering the requisite zip and sass to what otherwise might have been a morose movie. —David Stubbs

Barnes and Noble

A highly improbable but richly emotional love story that charmed moviegoers in 1990 and became—to the surprise of its numerous detractors—a blockbuster hit, Ghost still retains the romantic aura that first endeared it to audiences. The film certainly boosted the careers of its stars, Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, who portray Sam and Molly, well-to-do Manhattanites so passionately devoted to one another that not even death can rattle their bond. After a street thug shoots and kills Sam, his ghost communicates with the heartbroken Molly through medium Whoopi Goldberg, an amiable charlatan genuinely stunned by her newfound ability to converse with spirits. Director Jerry Zucker, previously known for his comedies (Airplane, Kentucky Fried Movie), made an effective transition to dreamier, dramatic fare with this multiple Oscar nominee, which briefly falters when a melodramatic subplot is dragged in but recovers handily just in time for a touching denouement. At times a bit somber but generally upbeat, Ghost shows its three principal players at their most appealing, and it can still be depended upon to induce a few sighs and tears in romantically inclined viewers. The DVD includes commentaries by Zucker and screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin, and also features a newly made documentary looking back at the film’s production. Ed Hulse

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