Ghost (1990) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • After a young man is murdered, his spirit stays behind to warn his lover of impending danger, with the help of a reluctant psychic.

  • Sam Wheat is a banker, Molly Jensen is an artist, and the two are madly in love. However, when Sam is murdered by friend and corrupt business partner Carl Bruner over a shady business deal, he is left to roam the Earth as a powerless spirit. When he learns of Carl's betrayal, Sam must seek the help of psychic Oda Mae Brown to set things right and protect Molly from Carl and his goons.

  • Even though Sam Wheat, the successful investment counsellor, still finds it difficult to express his deeper feelings for her after all these years, his young potter girlfriend, Molly Jensen, is the love of his life. However, a curious case of a systematic discrepancy will prepare the ground for a hideous urban homicide in one of Manhattan's dark alleys, trapping, seemingly forever, the unfortunate deceased's immortal soul in the realm of the mortals. With the condemned spirit unable to interact with the physical world--and as Molly's life, too, is in grave danger--Sam will have to turn to the spiritual medium, Oda Mae Brown, to warn and protect her. Can Oda and the ghost settle the unfinished business in time?

  • Sam and Molly are a very happy couple and deeply in love. Walking back to their new apartment after a night out at the theater, they encounter a thief in a dark alley, and Sam is murdered. He finds himself trapped as a ghost and realizes that his death was no accident. He must warn Molly about the danger that she is in. But as a ghost he can not be seen or heard by the living, and so he tries to communicate with Molly through Oda Mae Brown, a psychic who didn't even realize that her powers are real.

  • Sam Wheat is a bank executive, who has moved in with his girlfriend, Molly. One night while out on a date, a man comes out of nowhere and pulls out a gun and demands Sam's wallet, Sam was about to give it to him when a scuffle broke out and Sam was killed. But Sam's spirit remains on Earth and is walking around and encounters other spirits, who tell him about his transformation. Sam hangs around Molly, despite her not knowing he is watching over her. One day the man who killed him breaks into the apartment and Sam stops him before he could do anything to Molly. Sam follows him and discovers where he lives, but unfortunately can't tell anyone. Sam then meets a supposed psychic, Oda Mae Brown, who is so obviously a huckster, but who doesn't know that she can hear the dead, so when Sam speaks, she hears him. He convinces her to tell Molly about the guy who broke into the apartment. Molly then goes to the police and they in turn tell her that Oda Mae's a con woman. She then tells her friend, Carl about what Oda Mae told her. He goes to investigate, and Sam goes with him and discovers something terrible.

  • Sam Wheat was murdered during a date with his girlfriend Molly. Sam's spirit, in a mysterious manner, remains on Earth, unseen to living people. After following his murderer, Sam realizes that his death was not an accident, and that Molly is in danger. Sam tries to warn Molly, but she does not know he is really there. Then he meets a psychic named Oda Mae Brown, who can hear the dead. Sam speaks to hear and convinces her to help him save Molly.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze), a banker, and Molly Jensen (Demi Moore), a talented potter, are a loving couple who move into a New York City apartment. At work, Sam discovers discrepancies in some bank accounts and confides in his good friend and colleague, Carl Bruner (Tony Goldwyn). Carl offers to investigate the matter, but Sam decides to investigate himself. Soon afterward, Sam and Molly are attacked by armed thug Willy Lopez (Rick Aviles), after leaving a theater and Sam is killed by a gunshot in an ensuing fight with Willy. Sam chases after his killer but Willy escapes. When Sam goes back to the scene, he sees Molly distraught and cradling his body. A white light appears that beckons Sam to the heavens but he refuses to go. However, he quickly realizes Molly can't see or hear him.

    Sam hangs around his and Molly's old apartment, upset that he can't communicate with Molly and that she's horribly depressed over his murder. Molly is visited by Carl, who talks her into going out for a short walk. While she's gone, Willy appears and searches the place. When Molly returns, Sam scares their cat into attacking Willy, who flees. Sam follows him to Brooklyn and finds out his name. When he walks out of Willy's place, he spots the storefront of Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), a con-artist posing as a paranormal medium and realizes she can hear him, although Oda Mae had been faking her abilities until then. Oda Mae is persuaded by Sam to tell Molly that she is in danger because Willy still has his wallet containing their address, but Molly is still in shock and will not believe Oda Mae. Carl convinces Molly that Oda Mae is a fraud. Sam discovers that Carl was involved in a money laundering scheme at the bank and that the attack was an attempt by Carl to acquire Sam's security codes. Molly remains unconvinced by Oda Mae's messages and even talks to the Police, but they inform her that Oda Mae is a known confidence trickster.

    Sam learns from an hostile New York City subway poltergeist (Vincent Schiavelli) how to master the skill of moving solid objects by his mental powers alone. He persuades Oda Mae to thwart Carl's money laundering scheme by impersonating the owner of Carl's fake bank account. With Sam sitting next to her unseen, she withdraws the balance and closes the account, donating the amount ($4 million) to a homeless shelter.

    Carl is desperate when he cannot access the fake bank account which is now closed. He learns that Oda Mae closed the account and declares that if the money is not returned, he will kill Molly. Sam catches Willy in Oda Mae's apartment and physically attacks him. Terror-stricken, Willy attempts to escape from Sam but is killed in a traffic accident. Willy's ghost arises, only to be grabbed by a group of howling demons and pulled into the shadows, presumably to Hell.

    Afterwards, Sam and Oda Mae return to Molly's apartment to warn her about Carl, but she refuses to let her in and breaks down in grief. Sam enters the apartment and tells Ode Mae to push a penny under the front door, which Sam lifts into the air in front of Molly. Astonished, she finally realizes the truth and lets Ode Mae inside. After calling the Police about Carl, Ode Mae allows Sam to possess her body, allowing him and Molly to share a dance one final time.

    Carl arrives, prepared to murder Molly and Oda Mae, but they flee. Sam is left momentarily weakened by the possession, leaving Molly and Oda Mae to fend for themselves against Carl. After evading him for a brief time, he seizes Ode Mae and threatens her at gunpoint for the money. Molly comes to Oda Mae's rescue and is knocked aside just as a fully recovered Sam arrives to help them. Finally, Carl attempts to flee through a nearby window, but not before flinging a scaffolding hook in Sam's direction. The hook swings back and partially shatters the glass in the upper part of the window, which plummets down on Carl as he is climbing through, impaling him through the chest. Carl becomes a ghost himself much to his astonishment and to Sam's grief. Sam then watches in silence as the shadowy demons arrive and drag a screaming Carl away into the darkness.

    As Sam goes to Oda Mae and Molly and asks if they are all right, Molly suddenly realizes that she can hear him. As a heavenly light begins to fill the room, Sam becomes fully visible to both Molly and Oda Mae. Sam looks behind him and sees hundreds of people, presumably angels. Now realizing that his task is completed, he can finally move on. After thanking Oda Mae for everything she has done to help him, Sam says an emotional farewell to Molly and departs to the after life.

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