With all of the films released within that year, we're lucky(?) enough to get two "ghost"-heavy movies exactly two weeks apart. One of those movies was tragically bad and should be scrubbed from theatrical history. The other is a somewhat tragic love story, and garnered an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Whoopi Goldberg. On Today, we're taking a look back at the movie Ghost.
*There is actually an episode of Scandal entitled "Molly, You In Danger, Girl," a quote from Goldberg's Oda Mae. I found that out throughout the course of writing this, and the quote was my original title for this post.
As Sam is coming to terms with his recent demise, he comes across Oda Mae Brown(Whoopi Goldberg). Oda Mae is a con[fidence]-artist posing as a psychic medium, and she is frightened when she can somehow hear Sam's voice. Sam is worried the mugger will come after Molly, so Sam annoyingly persuades Oda Mae to help him warn her. Molly, when approached, is incredulous and Carl tells her that it is not true.
Sam tracks the mugger and finds out that he is working with Carl, as Carl was involved in the money laundering that Sam wanted to investigate. In probably the funniest scene of the movie, Sam has Oda Mae impersonate the owner of Carl's fake bank in order to withdraw (then donate) the money - about $4 million - and close the account. Later, Sam finds the mugger in Oda Mae's apartment. He uses his ghostly abilities to terrorize him, scaring him into the path of an oncoming car. The mugger's soul, finished with its business, is instead dragged to Hell (probably) by demons(also, probably).
Sam and Oda Mae are able to convince Molly of the truth when Sam levitates a penny in front of her. In its most memorable scene, a dance is shared between the two lovers - backed by "Unchained Melody" - when Oda Mae allows herself to be possessed by Sam. Carl shows up to confront (read: murder) the two women. Sam is able to help them after recovering from the possession, and Carl is killed when he accidentally impales himself with a very large shard of glass. His spirit is also dragged to Hell.
With his work on Earth done, the heavens open up to receive Sam. No, his spirit had not gotten frightened out of his body. He was shot, and this isn't The Leftovers, so his death is going to stick. As the light grows, Molly and Oda Mae are both able to fully see and hear Sam. Sam thanks Oda Mae for all she has done, and says one last, emotional farewell to Molly before joining the angels behind him. *wipes tear*
The scenes between Goldberg and Swayze are excellent; sometimes funny, sometimes serious, but always good. Whoopi credits her Oscar to Swayze, who fought for her to have the role even though they hadn't met. Demi Moore was still a very fresh face at the time. Her role in Ghost catapulted her to stardom by being the highest-grossing movie of that year.
As far as effects and story go, Ghost never completely zaps you out of reality. There's much less randomness to what Swayze's character is capable of, and he even has to learn to focus (from another trapped soul) in order to interact with the living. It makes sense. He's not just floating around all willy-nilly, making up rules as the movie progresses. Also, he stays dead.
Ghost, unlike that other ghost movie, was well-received, and Goldberg's performance was highly praised. Some pointed out the fact that she played a stereotype as the "magical negro" of the film, but most (myself, included) saw her as the reluctant-but-reliant heroine. Without Oda Mae Brown, Sam never saves Molly. That's just facts.
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%