Patrick Swayze is Sam Wheat – a yuppie banker who gets murdered by a mugger in the streets of New York in the first reel and returns as a genial ghost to prove to his girl, Molly (Demi Moore) that he still loves her beyond death.
His troubled spirit, which remains earthbound with unfinished business, even solves his own murder, discovering that it wasn’t a random act of violence – it was a set-up tied to an elaborate money-laundering scheme at the bank where he worked.
He now knows that the love of his life is also in danger and he must warn Molly. She can’t see or hear him, though.
To contact Molly, Sam’s ghost enlists the aid of self-proclaimed (fake) spiritualist, Oda Mae Brown (Oscar-winner Whoopi Goldberg) who is shocked to discover she can actually hear the voice of a dead man.
So Oda Mae becomes the reluctant medium between the couple with Sam literally walking through walls while the freaked-out fortune-teller shrieks “No way!”
Some of the sequences in Ghost are very original, including a brief and entertaining encounter between Sam’s ghost and another wandering spirit, well played by the eccentric Vincent Schiavelli, who is spending eternity riding the subways of Manhattan.
Sam seeks his advice in the ways of ghosting with some spectacular special effects as the ghosts leap between moving subway cars.
The picture is actually more charming and tolerable than the plot sounds, and the actors rise above the script heroically. Ghost was the first movie in which Swayze really proved he could act, showing great emotional range and intensity, and Patrick and Demi doing naughty things with wet clay over a potter’s wheel briefly triggered a craze for pottery . . .
The ultra-romantic finale will bring a tear to the eye of even the most jaded viewer.
Oda Mae Brown
Emergency room ghost
Sharon Breslau Cornell