Valentine’s 2014. Movie #88: Ghost (1990)

Director: Jerry Zucker

Starring: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, and Tony Goldwyn

Academy Awards (1991):

Best Actress in the Supporting Role: Whoopi Goldberg

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen: Bruce Joel Rubin

Academy Award Nominations:

Best Film Editing: Walter Murch

Best Music, Original Score: Maurice Jarre

Best Picture: Lisa Weinstein


Sam (Swayze) and Molly (Moore) are very much in love.  Sam is shot and killed by a mugger, however, his ghost is still around because he has unfinished business to take care of.  He later learns that his murder was a set up by his friend Carl (Goldwyn) because Sam was about to uncover Carl’s criminal activities.  Molly is in danger, and Sam finds help in Ola Mae (Goldberg), a pseudo-physic who he can talk to and through which he can save Molly.

Though this movie is by far more fantasy than realistic, it works.  I found the story enjoyable, though slow at times.  I suppose with as much to cover and as much story to unfold, that can be expected.  Special effects-wise, the film was a good reflections of where special effects (primarily the ghosts) were at the time.  When Carl and Willie Lopez are killed, the ghosts who come up from hell, I don’t know, it just seemed a little cheesy, but I’m not sure how they could have improved it.

Moore and Swayze have great on-screen chemistry.  Ghost is probably one of the biggest films each of them did, and it came at the strongest points of each of their careers.  Both the physical and emotional chemistry come through.  Demi does a good job of remaining both the budding skeptic and grieving girlfriend.


And of course, the clay pot scene is iconic in its own right.  Here are a couple of my favorite parodies of the scene as well:

ghostnakedgun ghostcommunity

ghostwhoopiWhoopi Goldberg is both annoying and brilliant and Old Mae.  She always seems like a toss-up for me as an actress, perhaps it’s because she’s more of an over-the-top type of actress that can be very off-putting, but here that type of character works,  She deserved the Academy Award for her performance.  This is a film where she can play to her strengths as an actress.  She does a nice job of going from the reluctant and annoyed helper to someone fully invested in helping Sam and Molly.


Ghost is a tender, loving, somewhat out there type of film.  I wasn’t entirely sure if I’d like it or not.  Though I felt at times that it could have moved faster, the acting chemistry, strong lead and supporting performances, and loving romantic finish were all reasons why I enjoyed this film.  I may or may not watch this one again, though I would recommend watching at least once.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.


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