The Set of 400: #398 – My Favorite Peter Noone Torture Device

Today! Because Molly, you in danger, girl –

Ghost (1990)

Directed by Jerry Zucker

Starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Goldwyn, Vincent Schiavelli, Stephen Root

After two blood-and-guts knuckle fests, we’re going with Ghost?? Okay, come with me on this for a minute – I think a definite case can be made that Ghost is the most deceptively marketed film in history. Yes, it’s a romance, kind of, but that pottery scene is all anyone seems to remember about this movie, along with that floating penny, and those account for nearly all the lovey-dovey moments of the film. The backbone of the movie is this drug dealer reimbursing murder, masterminded by a wily Tony Goldwyn, countered by the ethereal Swayze, who has all these fish-out-of-water ghost mishaps, ghost skills training, and body possession sequences that vary from hilarious to just plain cool. The Sam/Molly relationship barely takes up any time, and yet Ghost became a sappy romance in the collective memory as time wore on. How funny is Whoopi in this movie? What about those evil spirits that snatch bad guys off to Hell? Come on! This is an action/horror comedy, soundtracked by the Righteous Brothers!

I guarantee you Willie Lopez didn’t think this was a love story

The only reason I ever saw this movie was because my younger sister had a serious case of Swayze fever in ’90 (I mean, come on, who didn’t?) and so it was playing pretty much all the time in the household. Eleven year old Joe wasn’t seeking out that gooey pottery flick! But the more I saw it, the greater my appreciation of the inventiveness and excitement in the storytelling. Directed by ZAZ comedy legend Jerry Zucker, the light moments well counter the derring-do and near-constant peril Demi’s Molly is unwittingly in the entire film.

In addition to Whoopi’s Oscar, Ghost deserves a slew of awards, including Best Supernatural Train Ride, Best Herman’s Hermits Cover, and yes, Best Loose Change. Okay, maybe it is a love story. Shut up!

Tomorrow! It’s been a long time since someone wrote a really good book in jail –

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