Directed By: Ivan Reitman
Written By: Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd
This movie came out the year that I was born and for as long as I can remember this has been an important part of our culture. I grew up as a little kid watching the cartoon series based off this movie and I have loved the Ghostbusters movie since I was even old enough to get most of the jokes. I was in the age range when toys based off this movie were really popular. I can’t express how important that makes this franchise to me and many other boys that grew up at the same time. I spent my days playing Ghostbusters with my friends and my evenings playing with the action figures. I had my own Proton Pack and my own Trap; so did most of my friends and we had a blast with them. That time in my life makes this an extra special movie to me but this movie has never failed to remind me of its worth as I grew up. During each viewing I feel like I find new things to laugh at and I have seen it countless times during the last twenty-eight years. This is a classic movie and one of the most successful comedies of all time. It has an interesting story and a legacy that will live on forever.
About two years ago I found myself sitting up in the middle of the night with my one year old daughter who wouldn’t go to sleep. When I turned on the television I found this movie and happily sat back to enjoy it again. While I sat there bouncing her on my knee I opened up the laptop and started reading the back story of this film. It only made me appreciate it more the more I read because it is a fascinating story. This movie first got started back in the early days of SNL as an idea between Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. It was a much different idea then, and in the years it took to actually get made the story was rewritten many times. After John Belushi died the movie went through really extensive changes with the Ghostbusters in multiple different situations and different groups of the team. At one time Eddie Murphy was in mind for the role and at another Richard Pryor was said to be in talks. Eventually Bill Murray was brought in as the replacement for Belushi and Harold Ramis joined the group as a writer. In the beginning Ramis didn’t intend to be in the movie at all but eventually decided to play the part of Dr. Egon Spangler that he was having trouble casting. I am a huge fan of Harold Ramis and I am really glad he decided to join the cast, he brought a lot to the film. I have barely even scratched the surface of the whole story. I don’t remember everything I read that night, and I am in no mood to do the research again now. This movie went through so many changes during production and it took so long to actually get made that what happened once it came out was really amazing.
Despite its difficult journey in getting made Ghostbusters would go onto become the highest grossing comedy of all time raking in over $280,000,000. It would remain the highest grossing comedy until Home Alone came out in 1990. There were many elements that went into why this movie was so successful, aside from what is most obvious-that Ghostbusters are freakin awesome. There was the Ray Parker Jr. theme song that even today is loved by all and it has been loved for almost three decades, it’s a damn good song. It also had a cool music video that was produced with several notable actors making appearances in it. If I remember correctly Ghostbusters was really heavily marketed at a time when it wasn’t quite as common as it is today. There is also the fact that this movie is really funny and it had a great cast. With the script and talent on hand it was destined to be successful.
Bill Murray is a strange man, there are so many stories told about him by his co-stars about how crazy and unique he is. I think that is what has made him such an exceptional entertainer. He has grown so much over his career too. I am a really big fan of his and I think this is one of his best roles. He really took over this movie with his personality. Humor is literally bursting out of him in this one and it all seems so spontaneous at times. He is just a person that is naturally funny and I don’t think he has lost that quality whatsoever after all these years. He has terrific chemistry with Harold Ramis who I have always heard was the one guy out there that could really keep up Murray and understood how to work with him. That may not have been the case all throughout their careers but they had many great collaborations together back in the day and I liked many of them. This movie was Dan Aykroyd’s idea in the beginning and it has always been his baby. I think he tends to get overshadowed in the film though, not that he isn’t good just that Murray was much funnier and the other actors brought more to the film.
Aykroyd has been the driving force behind the continuation of this franchise even up until recent years. He had a third movie in mind for years until it was ultimately made into a video game that came out a few years ago. All of the original cast members voiced their roles for that game and it was a big deal for Ghostbusters fans and I bought the game. I found the story to be interesting but eventually found the game play to be sub par and I never actually finished it. To my great surprise stories started surfacing that a third movie was in fact in the works and the original team was all getting back together for it, even at their age. The story that Aykroyd has always been interested in doing involves the aging team training new recruits made up of really popular actors and passing on the torch. There seemed to be a lot of hope for this to actually happen but it doesn’t seem likely the more time that passes. The window to do it was definitely open for a while but unfortunately it may have closed for good unless a reboot is one day done, and I sincerely hope it never is.
The rest of the cast in this movie should not go unmentioned. I have always thought Sigourney Weaver was a bit too shrewd for this role but she is great and I like her in most everything that she does. William Atherton is really funny in the role of EPA representative Walter Peck. He and Murray have so many great back-and-forths. I don’t have much to say about Rick Moranis or Ernie Hudson but they are part of this franchise and what make this such a great film. Moranis has long since retired and I for no specific reason am under the impression that he was a nice guy Hollywood chewed up and spit out. Hudson has lasted a long time and done nothing distinguishing but always had a presence with his roles. Last but not least Annie Potts did make her mark on the character and turn her into a vital part of the “Ghostbusters Universe.” Ivan Reitman directed the film and he has a good reputation for making good comedies. I have enjoyed many of his films but this one is hands down the best.
Ghostbusters doesn’t need to be validated by me because it is legendary. It is universally loved and still relevant today and it has been almost 30 years. I enjoy this movie every time I sit down to watch it. This has been high up on my list of favorite comedies for a long time and I don’t see it losing that spot ever. This movie is worth your time and if you haven’t seen it you need to so you can understand what everybody has been talking about since before you were born.
If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! If there’s something weird, and it don’t look good, Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. If you’re seeing things, running through your head, Who can ya call? GHOSTBUSTERS! An invisible man, sleeping in your bed, Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! If ya all alone, pick up the phone, and call GHOSTBUSTERS! I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. I here it likes the girls. I ain’t afraid of no ghost. Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah. Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! If you’ve had a dose of a, freaky ghost baby, Ya better call GHOSTBUSTERS! Lemme tell ya something, Bustin’ makes me feel good! I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. Don’t get caught alone no no, GHOSTBUSTERS! When it comes through your door, Unless you just want some more,I think you better call GHOSTBUSTERS! Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! I think you better call GHOSTBUSTERS! Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! I can’t hear you! Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! Louder! GHOSTBUSTERS! Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! Who can ya call? GHOSTBUSTERS! Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS!
…..and I also want to throw out there that the logo for this movie is awesome and can still be seen on clothes and accessories. Notice the simplicity of the poster. It’s all typography and one graphic on black. I love it. It also fits right into the name Ghostbusters. How clever. This logo speaks for itself and when you see it, you automatically know what it is from.
NEXT MOVIE: Gladiator (2000)