Ghost : Special Collector’s Edition (DVD)


I’m sure it has its flaws, but it’s just such a damn enjoyable film, that no one dares to stick it. “Ghost” is one of the highlights of the 90s.

Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Goldwyn

There once was a time, about fifteen years ago or so, that Patrick Swayze could pack a theatre. I kid you not. He was one of the coolest cats on the silver screen – and you never minded shelling out the biccies to see him do his stuff.

He made his cinematic mark with the musical mega-hit “Dirty Dancing” (1987) – and admit it fellas, you even thought he was ‘the man’ in that – followed that up with a couple of rough n’ready action numbers (like the now-cult-classic “Roadhouse” in 1989) and then stole our hearts with the highly-profitable 1990 mega-smash “Ghost”.

“Ghost”. Yeah. Oh my God. What a film. Didn’t we all just flip for it?!

Romantic. Thrilling. Scary. Funny. Dramatic. This one had it all. To boot, it was Swayze at his golden best – charismatic, likeable, romantic and yep, tough as nails. Today, you’d laugh at Blondie-boy (largely due to the incessant amount of plastic surgery he seems to have had) making love-pottery with Demi Moore… but back then, you sat pokerfaced, sombre and just sucked it all in. Swayze, for a while, was a woman’s man.. and a man’s man… a little bit like Clooney is today.

1990 was a great year for movies – we had “Pretty Woman”, “The Hunt for Red October”, “Back to the Future III”, “Home Alone”, “Total Recall”, “Edward Scissorhands”, “Dances with Wolves”, “Young Guns II” … and “Ghost”. Whilst many of the other hit films of the year attracted specific demographics, “Ghost” appealed to seemingly everyone – kids, parents, grandparents, theatre spirits. It was just that kind of film – a magical experience.

Swayze (in a role originally offered to Paul Hogan – believe it or not!) plays Sam Wheat, every girl’s perfect guy – happy, friendly, content, and happy to take his girl (Demi Moore, showing off her fresh bob do) to the theatre whenever she likes. Unfortunately, it’s after a night of on-stage theatrics that Molly will kiss Sam goodbye..forever…

Or will she?

Killed by a street thug (deep-seated conspiracy… as you’ll all recall), Sam hangs around in spirit…. Watching over his dead body, distraught as heck, and unable to touch or communicate with his loved one. He spots ‘the light’, but turns away from it, determined to tell his chick he “loves her” (as well as find his murderer, with the help of a psychic, played by Whoopi Goldberg), before he steps within the pearly gates.

Bruce Joel Ruben’s script is terrific. It has a little bit of everything – and best of all, it never comes across as hokey. Coupled with Jerry Zucker’s proficient direction, it’s a chic blockbuster indeed.

The performances are as solid as a block of cheddar; Swayze, Moore, Goldberg and Tony Goldwyn (as Sam and Molly’s best friend, Carl) are terrific. The late Vincent Shiavelli, best known for his role in “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest”, also has a memorable moment as a fellow ghost who reluctantly teaches Sam how to communicate with the living.

I’m sure it has its flaws, but it’s just such a damn enjoyable film, that no one dares to stick it. “Ghost” is one of the highlights of the 90s.

The newly released “Special Collectors Edition” DVD includes several featurettes; vintage interviews; trailer and photo gallery, and a commentary by the writer and director.

Worth double dipping if you already own the first issue DVD.

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris