The Good

A thoughtfully crafted DVD for one the best love stories ever created.

The Bad

Why isn't there a separate commentary track featuring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore?

Sam (Patrick Swayze) and Molly (Demi Moore) are a couple in love. Things get shattered when they are robbed and Sam is killed. However, Sam hasn't gone to heaven yet. It seems he has been given some more time so he can solve his murder. Teaming up with Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg) Sam realizes that through her he can talk with Molly. They also start doing some work into finding Sam's killer, and it seems that he wasn't merely the victim of a senseless robbery. What ensues is a well put together tale of revenge, amidst the realization that no matter what happens Sam and Molly will never be together in this world.

Grossing $217 million dollars when it was released in the United States, Ghost is a truly special film. It mixes so many emotions, stories, and ideas and yet it never feels like anything but a well crafted film. This was Jerry Zucker's first real foray into non-comedy, non-satirical material. It is a touching tale of romance and how far people are willing to go when they love one another.


Ghost Stories: The Making Of A Classic

Screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin begins this commentary track by saying that the whole idea stemmed from the theme of taking "revenge" for somebody's death. Jerry Zucker then talks about how he wanted to simply do something different then the previous material he had done. We also hear from Patrick Swayze as he tells us his reaction to his first reading of the script, and the realization that his character was written as a ghost. They show a lot of on set footage, as well as still pictures, and my favorite part was hearing about how Jerry Zucker didn't want to cast Swayze based on his work in Road House.

Alchemy of A Love Scene

Inside the Paranormal

For whatever reason, I am drawn to this stuff and I just found this featurette fascinating. We hear from psychics and mediums as they discuss what is they do. They work from gut feelings and instincts in order to help other people. They allow (they say) people to communicate with the dead and loved ones that they lost. All of this is interesting, but where I think they lose people is when they say things like "animals are psychic." Aside from that just sounding funny, the fact that we probably will never be able to prove that makes it border on the absurd.

Commentary Track

Bruce Joel Rubin and Jerry Zucker begin this track by making a joke that the Paramount logo was their idea. These two discuss their relationship, how they wanted to call the film anything but Ghost, how it's a really nice mixture of humor and comedy, and the amazing effects work of ILM. It seems that these two really summed up what made this movie so special. At the end of the day, we've all lost people in our lives and this film spoke to that longing we will always feel in their absence.


Widescreen Version Enhanced for 16x9 TVs. While I didn't ever think that the VHS version of this movie that I saw looked that bad, this DVD was really sharp. Also, I think the effects people on this movie should be given a lot of credit. The images on display here have really held up. I know that people think that everything today is so much more amazing looking (and in a lot of ways it is), but I never found myself thinking that this movie looked bad or that the effects detracted from the story in any way.


Dolby Digital: English 5.1 Surround. English 2.0 Surround. French 2.0 Surround. English subtitles. How in the world can one not see the poster from this movie and think of the song "Unchained Melody"? What always struck me as really effective was the music and noises that underscored the effects in this film. I just always felt that that is what elevated this movie from being a ghost/love story to focusing on the paranormal. It seems that in every instance, every aspect of this movie was done so that it would stand out and defy convention in some way.


A slicked up version of this movie's original poster graces this front cover in which Sam and Molly are engaged in a passionate embrace. The back features some shots from this movie (especially the iconic one which features Swayze, Demi and some clay), a small description, a Special Features list, a cast list, and system specs. While there isn't anything that great about this packaging, it stands out because of the way they have altered the front cover image of our two main characters.

Final Word

Told with both a linear and nonlinear love story Ghost is one of the best films about the paranormal and the real world to ever be created. That this movie did as well as it did is a testament to how it spoke to everyone on such a personal level. This is the classical example of a four quadrant film that really had substance. I remember renting it on VHS and even though I was only 17 or 18, I really got the meaning of this movie. It didn't feel sappy or as if it was trying to manipulate me. I can even recall the sad ending of this movie because it is then that we realize the story of Sam and Molly really is over.

While it might not play as well today (the times we live in and the climate in our world is dramatically different), Ghost is the kind of story that will always have place in people's DVD collections. Styles and taste constantly change but this movie had so much substance, and it wore it's heart on it's sleeve so strongly, that it had no choice but to make the impression that it did.

Ghost was released July 12, 1990.