Ghost (1990) Poster



Bruce Willis was offered the role as Sam but turned it down because he didn't think the movie would work with the main character being dead most of the movie. When Ghost went on to become a huge success he referred to himself as a "knucklehead" for saying no. Nine years later he said yes to playing another main character who is dead most of the movie - but doesn't know it - in The Sixth Sense (1999), which also went on to become a huge success.
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Patrick Swayze said that the pottery scene was the sexiest thing he had ever done on film.
The role of Oda Mae Brown was not written with Whoopi Goldberg in mind, but Patrick Swayze, an admirer of hers, convinced the producers that she would be right for the part.
The role of Molly Jensen was given to Demi Moore largely in part because Moore could cry out of either eye on cue.
The horrific sounds made by the "dark shadows" are really the sounds of baby's cries, played at extremely slow speed backwards.
Patrick Swayze and Vincent Schiavelli, who played the subway ghost in the scenes with Swayze's character, both died of cancer at the age of 57.
Patrick Swayze alleged that Sam Wheat was the hardest role he ever played in his career, mainly because he had to be an observer to the action and not a participant.
Molly tells Sam that he "leads a charmed life." This is a line from William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Macbeth also claims to lead a charmed life, meaning he cannot be killed. Immediately after making this claim, however, he is killed. Sam is killed after seeing a production of Macbeth.
Bruce Joel Rubin wanted Patrick Swayze to play Sam Wheat after he saw an interview Swayze gave. When he brought up his father, Swayze burst into tears. Rubin thought if a macho guy like Patrick Swayze could cry over a loved one, he'd be perfect for Ghost (1990).
For years, Patrick Swayze had women coming up to and asking him to recite the line "Ditto" from the movie.
Bruce Joel Rubin did not like the idea of the Dark Spirits having faces and hands. He thought they should have looked more like shadows come to life, not ghouls with human features.
It took months for Jerry Zucker and Bruce Joel Rubin to come up with Sam's last line in the film.
In the farewell scene where Sam tells Molly that he always loved her, Patrick Swayze's emotion was in fact real, for he thought about his own father who passed away in 1982.
When it came time to cast the film, writer Bruce Joel Rubin suggested Patrick Swayze for the role of Sam Wheat. Director Jerry Zucker felt that Swayze was completely wrong for the part. Many actors that included Paul Hogan (who instead made Almost an Angel (1990)), Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Mel Gibson, Dennis Quaid, Bruce Willis (Demi Moore's husband at the time, who didn't think the film would work), John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Mickey Rourke, David Duchovny, Johnny Depp, Kevin Costner and Alec Baldwin were all offered the part but all turned it down, feeling that playing a ghost would be cheesy. Zucker then decided to audition Swayze, though he thought he would blow the audition. To Zucker's surprise, Swayze gave a great audition and was cast immediately for the part.
Starting in the early 1990s (shortly after the release of Ghost), hip-hop lyrics often included Patrick Swayze's name or the phrase "I'm Swayze" as a reference to or replacement for the earlier slang, "I'm ghost", meaning "I'm leaving/out of here/gone, etc." The 'Notorious B.I.G.' was one artist who was especially fond of including this phrase in his songs. Swayze's appearance in the video for Ja Rule's "Murder Reigns" was also a reference to the movie's and his own interesting place in hip-hop culture.
Demi Moore came up with rolling the jar down the stairs, as opposed to throwing it as scripted.
The song Sam sings relentlessly to Oda Mae to get her to agree to help him is "Henry the Eighth, I Am". The lyrics, in part, are "She wouldn't have a Willie or a Sam..." Patrick Swayze's character is named Sam, and the man who murdered him is named Willie.
When passing through solid objects, ghosts appear to absorb some of the material they are going through. Jerry Zucker had some difficulty explaining what he wanted this effect to look like. Finally, he illustrated it by dipping a napkin into coffee.
The scene with Molly at the police station was the first scene to be filmed.
When the movie was first released on VHS in 1991, the tapes were light or "ghost" gray.
Jerry Zucker's favorite film of his own.
Nicole Kidman auditioned for the role of Molly.
The interior of Molly and Sam's finished loft apartment was actually the home/studio of artist-sculptor Michele Oka Doner, located in the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan.
Demi Moore's husband at the time Bruce Willis was offered the lead role of Sam Wheat but turned it down.
Of all the characters Bruce Joel Rubin has written, Oda Mae Brown remains his favorite.
Vincent Schiavelli's ghost character breaks open a cigarette machine and longs to be able to have another smoke. In real life, Schiavelli would later die of lung cancer.
Demi Moore and Vincent Schiavelli shared the same birthday, November 11th. Schiavelli and Patrick Swayze both died at the age of 57; Schiavelli from lung cancer and Swayze from pancreatic cancer.
Shortly before production began, Whoopi Goldberg was unsure if she was going to be able to put this movie into her work schedule. The part was then verbally offered to Jackée Harry, who accepted. However, at the last minute, Goldberg was able to do the film after all and Harry was dropped.
At theatrical showings in Monterrey, Mexico, women in the audience were given envelopes marked "Solo para mujeres" (for women only) containing tissues.
Rotten Tomatoes has the movie kept at an "R" rating, despite the MPAA officially approved the film to be rated "PG-13."
The film's general storyline is expanded from an old urban legend dealing with a spirit of a recently deceased trying to warn their loved one of an imminent danger.
Paul Hogan was offered but passed on the role of Sam Wheat because he felt it wasn't funny. However, Paul Hogan offered Patrick Swayze the role of Steve Garner in his supernatural comedy "Almost An Angel", but Swayze turned it down to do this film. Elias Koteas got the part instead.
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'Whoopi Goldberg''s character is named Oda Mae Brown. Later in the film, she briefly uses the name Rita Miller. Taken together, the names are a friendly shout-out to writer Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle.
The subway scenes were filmed on the abandoned lower level of the 42nd St. station of the IND 8th Ave. line. Trains appearing in the film wrong-railed through the station; that is, they ran in the opposite direction of normal operation.
When they were filming the chase scene at night in New York, it was really cold and everyone else was bundled up except for Patrick Swayze's character Sam Wheat and since he's a ghost they didn't want his breath showing so they made him chew ice. So here's Patrick wearing a flimsy shirt and chewing ice while everyone else is wearing warm clothes.
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Initially, Bruce Joel Rubin was unsure about Jerry Zucker directing his script, what with Zucker coming from a background of screwball comedy.
Patti LaBelle auditioned for the role of Oda Mae Brown.
In her first role, Sondra Rubin playing a nun was ironic because she never went out in public without makeup.
The first film where Jerry Zucker received a sole directing credit.
In this movie, Whoopi Goldberg's character meets two nuns. Goldberg played a nun in Sister Act (1992) and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993).
Oda Mae goes nuts and wants Sam to stop singing. Patrick Swayze in real life was a one hit wonder; he had a top ten hit with Shes Like the Wind from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
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Eddie Murphy was considered for a role but his agent turned it down for him.
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Kevin Kline turned down the role of Sam.
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Sondra Rubin:  Writer Bruce Joel Rubin's mother, who played the nun who faints over the size of the check that Oda Mae endorses.
Charlotte Zucker:  Director Jerry Zucker's mother (who has appeared in many of the Zucker brothers' movies) plays the bank officer.


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Luis Guzmán revealed in a documentary focused on character actors that he's frequently stopped by fans of the movie who think he's the actor who played Sam's killer. People ask him why he killed Patrick Swayze to which he always replies that Rick Aviles - the actor in question - was the one who did it.
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