Still a good film even after 21 years
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.
On the DVD: Though well restored, DVD enhancement has only served to emphasise the slightly quaint feel of the special effects here--Ghost was made just prior to the digital era. Otherwise, this is a good package and an essential purchase for fans. There's a 22-minute featurette, "Remembering the Magic", in which scriptwriter Bruce Joel Rubin explains that the film was inspired by the scene in Hamlet in which the Prince meets his Father, and how initially appalled he was that his masterpiece of the supernatural was to be directed by Jerry Zucker, previously responsible for Airplane!. They also reveal that Tina Turner was originally cast for the Goldberg role. Zucker and Rubin team up for a funny commentary track. --David Stubbs
DVD Special Features:
"Remembering The Magic" featurette.
Commentary by Jerry Zucker and writer Bruce Joel Rubin.