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Ghost is a 1990 film starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwyn and Whoopi Goldberg, written by Bruce Joel Rubin and directed by Jerry Zucker. It was nominated for multiple Academy Awards, including Best Picture, winning for Best Original Screenplay, as well as Best Supporting Actress for Whoopi Goldberg.

It has also inspired a musical stage version which will open in the West Endmarker in 2010.


Stephen Root and the director's mother Charlotte Zucker have cameo roles, as does Phil Leeds as the hospital ghost.


Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) and Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) are a happy and loving couple living in New York Citymarker. The only problem in their relationship is Sam's apparent discomfort with saying "I love you" to his girlfriend, only responding to her saying it with "ditto." This bothers Molly, who feels she needs to hear him say "I love you" in return.

Sam, as it turns out, is a banker who has discovered something very strange going on with several bank accounts. He informs his friend, Carl, about them, telling Carl that there is too much money within them. Carl tries to take over researching the accounts, but Sam won't hear of it.

One night, while walking back to their new apartment after going to the theatre, they encounter a thief named Willie Lopez (Rick Aviles). He pulls a gun and Sam is shot. Sam chases Willie, but loses him; when he returns to Molly, he sees her cradling his own corpse, and realizes that he is now a ghost, trapped between worlds. Lights descend to take him away, but he flees.

Sam realizes that the robbery was planned when Willie sneaks into the house and rifles through his belongings. Sam follows Willie home and overhears him on the telephone, from which he learns that Willie is working for someone else. Sam knows that Molly is in danger but he is unable to communicate with her in his spiritual form. However, he encounters Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), a con artist posing as a medium who ironically discovers (through hearing Sam say that her business is a "crock of shit") that she really does have her family's power to hear ghosts, though she cannot see them. Realizing she is his only hope of communicating with Molly, Sam endlessly pesters Oda Mae until she eventually gives in and agrees to help him.

Oda Mae reluctantly calls Molly and tells her she is communicating with Sam, but Molly is understandably skeptical. Molly is convinced only when Oda Mae tells her several private things that only Sam could know, most importantly Sam's use of the word "ditto." Oda Mae then relays to Molly the message that she is in danger and should go to the police, as Sam was murdered and the killer, Willy Lopez, has been in their apartment. After Oda Mae leaves, Molly calls Sam's close friend and co-worker, Carl Bruner (Tony Goldwyn) and tells him what Oda Mae said. Carl tells her that Oda Mae is a fraud but promises that he will check the story out. When he leaves, Sam follows him to Willy Lopez's apartment and learns that Carl hired Willy to rob Sam in order to obtain his office computer password. Carl had been using Sam's computer to facilitate a money laundering scheme and needs the new password to regain access after the password was changed. Sam lashes out in frustration at his supposed best friend, but realizes that, as a ghost, he can do little.

Sam then sets off in search of a disturbed poltergeist (Vincent Schiavelli) whom he encountered during his first night as a ghost in the subway, who is able to move and touch objects by focusing and summoning all his emotions on his intended target. Sam seeks to learn and the ghost is willing to teach, but before he can learn anymore the ghost snaps and disappears into the subway.

During his journeys Sam also learns that, thanks to him, Oda Mae is now being plagued by ghosts coming from as far away as New Jerseymarker to speak to their living relatives. One briefly possesses her, but it is seen that this greatly saps a ghost's energy. He promises that she will no longer be bothered if she helps him.

Meanwhile, Molly visits the police, having become quite skeptical of Oda Mae's claims. The desk sergeant assures her that she's right to be suspicious, as there's no file on any 'Willie Lopez'—but there is an amazingly large file on Oda Mae Brown, who is well-known to local police as a huckster and small-time fraud.

Sam and Oda Mae move to thwart Carl's plan. Sam has finally discovered the extent of Carl's fraud and finds that $4 million has been placed in fraudulent accounts under the name of "Rita Miller." Sam sends Oda Mae to the bank to withdraw the money from the accounts, and convinces her (grudgingly) to give the large cheque to two nuns collecting for charity. Carl panics when he realizes the account has been closed, and is tormented by Sam, who, invisible, behaves like a poltergeist and types the word "MURDERER" on his computer. He then reveals himself to Carl, who ransacks the office in his terror and runs to Molly with Sam in hot pursuit.

When Carl gets to Molly's apartment he asks her about Oda Mae, unaware that Molly has already gone to the police with her concerns and that she had seen Oda Mae at the bank earlier that day. Molly tells Carl that Oda Mae's claims about Sam are a scam and that Oda Mae's name was really Rita Miller. Carl suddenly realizes what's happened and panics. At the same time, he realizes Sam's ghost is present and tells him he will be back to kill Molly if he doesn't get the money back.

Armed with this information, Sam runs to warn Oda Mae, but Carl and Willie arrive shortly thereafter. Oda Mae and her sisters escape as Sam terrorizes Willie, prompting Willie to run out into the street screaming and then get hit by a truck, killing him. However, much like what happened earlier when he shot and killed Sam, Willy doesn't realize he's dead until he sees his own corpse lying in the street. Shortly after his realization, the shadows surrounding his body take the form of screeching demons who come to life and drag Willie into the darkness, where he vanishes.

Sam and Oda Mae head back to Molly, who refuses to believe Oda Mae and threatens to call the police. Sam is only able to convince Molly after using the knowledge the subway ghost gave to him to push a penny up the wall. Oda Mae offers that Sam then use her body to share a passionate moment with Molly, which they accept and enjoy, but an outraged Carl storms in and threatens to kill Molly and Oda Mae if he does not get his money. Sam is forcefully ejected from Oda Mae's body and tries to stop Carl, but, as seen before, possessing her has left him drained, unable to help.

Molly and Oda Mae escape to a loft above the apartment, with Carl in pursuit. He tries desperately to catch up with the women and finally gets to Oda Mae, pulling out a gun, which looks like the gun used by Willy. Molly comes to Oda Mae's defense, but Carl overpowers her and he takes her hostage instead, calling out Sam to challenge him. Sam's energy is restored and he forces Carl to throw the gun away, enabling Molly to escape unharmed. Fighting in vain to stop Sam's attacks, Carl foolishly swings a hanging hook at him and scampers toward an open window to escape. The hook completely misses Sam and swings back, shattering the window into a jagged mass of glass shards which then come crashing down and impale Carl in the stomach, instantly killing him. Sam expresses regret as the demons take Carl's terrified spirit away.

Sam returns to Oda Mae and Molly, checking to see if they are alright. Slowly, something begins to happen as Molly can now hear Sam to his surprise. Immediately after, Sam begins to be enveloped in bright light, for he has now finished his unfinished business on Earth and is given a second chance to enter Heaven. The light makes him visible to both Oda Mae and Molly. After sharing a kiss with Molly and saying a final goodbye to Oda Mae, he tells Molly he loves her, to which she responds "Ditto." Sam slowly walks off into the bright light, saying "It's amazing Molly. The love inside, you take it with you. See ya." Molly watches after him, a tear sliding over her cheek, and whispers, "Bye", as Sam's now faint figure is approached and greeted by other faint bodies in the now disappearing light.....


  • The scene where the "Subway Ghost" (Vincent Schiavelli) teaches Sam to move objects with his "ghost powers" was filmed in an abandoned lower platform at the 42nd Street A stationmarker in New York. The train running in that scene was the J , which is the same train that ran in Dirty Dancer Village and the hit man's neighborhood.
  • The pottery wheel scene is extremely well-known and often parodied (e.g. by Saturday Night Live, Family Guy, etc.). In the Densha Otoko drama Yamada imagined a similar scene.

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