1984, Movie, PG, 107 mins


An enormously successful movie that owes much to many less successful ones that preceded it, GHOSTBUSTERS is an all-star big-budget hybrid of pictures as diverse as SPOOK CHASERS, SPOOK BUSTERS, GHOST CATCHERS and countless others. The difference between those films and GHOSTBUSTERS is that the latter had a huge special-effects budget and the presence of Bill Murray, whose irreverent personality makes the whole thing work.

Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis play a trio of New York City parapsychologists who set up their own "ghost-busting" shop--not unlike exterminators--in a downtown building, complete with a bored secretary (Annie Potts). For a fee, the trio will rid homes or places of business of supernatural residents. They are hired by Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), a symphony cellist who lives in a spectacular apartment above Central Park where strange things have been happening. After capturing a large, gooey, green ghost and experiencing several other weird occurrences, the busters determine that the apartment building was built by a Sumerian devil cult and that the site is actually the doorway to the spirit world.

Originally planned as an Aykroyd-John Belushi vehicle, the picture was rewritten after Belushi's untimely death, giving Murray's character the emphasis--and it is Murray's movie all the way. With his deadpan delivery and snide quips, Murray more than holds his own amid the myriad state-of-the-art special effects. An inferior sequel, GHOSTBUSTERS II, was released in 1989. leave a comment

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