Ghostbusters, the classic paranormal comedy will return to theaters for its 30th anniversary this summer. 30 years ago today, Ghostbusters was released, quickly winning the hearts and money of the movie going public. The film will return to theaters on August 29, for one day only.
Ghostbusters tells the story of three paranormal investigators who, after being kicked out of their university jobs, decide to go into business for themselves. The film makers saw the story as the ultimate 1980’s tale, which, when pared down to its basics, is about people who start a business. The film starred Bill Murray played Doctor Peter Venkman, Dan Aykroyd co-starred as Doctor Ray Stantz, and the late Harold Ramis rounded out the original Ghostbusters Doctor Egon Spengler. Joining them on their mission was Ernie Hudson as fourth Ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore and Annie Potts played their secretary, Janine Melnitz. Sigourney Weaver played the Ghostbuster’s first client, cellist Dana Barrett, whose apartment was the center of a other worldly attempt to take over the world. Dana and her neighbor Louis Tully, played by comedian Rick Moranis, end up being possessed by the evil Gozer, and it becomes the Ghostbusters job to save the day. The film was directed by Ivan Reitman, and was written by Aykroyd and Ramis.
Released in 1984, the film was originally developed as a starring vehicle for John Belushi, who died of a drug overdose before filming began. The first ghost that the Ghostbusters catch, which would become known as Slimer, was referred to as the Ghost of John Belushi on set. After Belushi’s death, the role of Peter Venkman went to his fellow Saturday Night Live alumni Bill Murray. Since its release, the film has grossed more than $291 million, becoming the second highest grossing film of 1984, behind only Beverly Hills Cop. Ghostbusters was nominated for two Oscars. Ray Parker, Junior’s theme for the movie was nominated for Best Original Song, and was the number one song in the country for three weeks. Ghostbusters was also nominated for Best Visual Effects. Along with Oscar nods, Ghostbusters was also nominated for two Golden Globes, Best Comedy, and Best Actor for Bill Murray. The American Film Institue ranked Ghostbusters at number 28 in its A Hundred Years… A Hundred Laughs list.
The film launched a franchise of cartoons, toys, clothing, and a second sequel, released in 1989. The Saturday morning cartoon adaptation, The Real Ghostbusters, ran for 5 years, between 1986 and 1991. A later, sequel series, The Extreme Ghostbusters, revisited the team in the late ’90’s. To this day, Ghostbusters continues to produce licensed products and a succesful comic book series.
Recently, talk of a Ghostbusters 3 has been heard. The movie looks like it will happen. Ivan Reitman was in talks to direct this third installment like he had the other two, but after Harold Ramis’s sudden death, he dropped out, feeling that it would not be the same without Ramis.
On August 29, the film Ghostbusters will return to theaters for one day only. A whole new generation of film viewers will have the chance to fall in love with the world’s only licensed paranormal investigators and eliminators. Along with the re-release, Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 will also see a commemorative Blu-Ray release.
By Bryan Levy