Ghost is a 1990 romantic comedy-drama-fantasy-thriller film certificate 15 starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Goldwyn and Rick Aviles, written by Bruce Joel Rubin and directed by Jerry Zucker. The film is regarded as one of the best romantic movies of the 1990s. Ghost won Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Whoopi Goldberg) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. It was nominated for Best Film Editing, Best Music, Original Score and Best Picture.
Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) and Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) are a very happy and loving couple.
Molly works as a sculptor while Sam works at a very well recognized bank with his colleague and ‘best friend’, Carl Bruner (Tony Goldwyn). As Sam and Molly were walking back to their new apartment after a night out at the theatre, they encounter a thief named Willy Lopez (Rick Aviles) in a dark alley, Willy tries to rob them and as doing this he hits Molly, this provokes Sam and leads to Sam attempting to fight Willy off, in the process Willy pulls the trigger of his gun and ultimately kills Sam.
Sam finds himself to be a ghost, and comes to learn that his death was no accident and Molly is also in danger – his ‘so called’ best friend Carl was the one who told Willy to murder him in order to get a large sum of money. He must warn Molly about the danger that she is in and the truth behind his death.
Since he is not able to communicate with her directly, he uses Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), an originally fraud psychic who suddenly discovers she really has the power to communicate with ghosts, albeit not seeing them.
With the help of Oda Mae, Sam thwarts Carl and Willy’s plans to get huge amounts of money and Carl soon discovers the presence of Sam’s ghost. Carl sends Willy to kill Oda Mae and her sisters, but with the interference of Sam, Willy fails and is hit by a truck and dies. Shadow-like devils then appear and take Willy to hell. Later on, Molly finally believes in the existence of Sam’s ghost, but an outraged Carl storms into her house and threatens Sam to kill Molly and Oda Mae if he doesn’t give him the money.
He fails of course, and by accident he gets killed by a half-broken window crashing down on him. After Carl is taken to hell like Willy, Sam has fulfilled his mission to save Molly and is transported to heaven after saying goodbye to Molly and Oda Mae. The character of Sam Wheat is the predominant role out of the entire film. He is a loving and caring lover and best friend. He works for a financial company where Sam’s position lies as a respectable chief of department, where he works with Carl Bruner, his colleague and also his ‘best friend’.
Carl Bruner works at a slightly lower position within the department but often helps out with Sam’s account data that needs handling; this showed Carl’s good character and bond between friends. But soon after the murder Carl’s true personality and evil motive became evident. This is when Carl meets with Willy and the audience finds out that Willy had been sent by Carl to rob some vital information from Sam that would help him gain a large sum of money that he has been storing under a false account, the account had been made up in order to get grand amounts of money to the unruly mob that he is a member of.
Once Willy had put the plan in to action Carl became determined to woo Molly in order to make the whole process much easier. As Molly was feeling very vulnerable at this moment due to the loss of her lover, he thought that this was the perfect opportunity for this idea. After seeing Sam’s photo drop onto the floor Molly was instantly reminded of the relationship they both shared, significantly she resisted Carl’s fondling and asked him to leave. This shows that the character of molly is innocent and trustworthy.
Sam’s ghost eventually found Oda Mae, a fake fortune-teller who discovers that she can actually communicate with ghosts but not see them; she is gradually convinced into helping Sam after several attempts of begging and annoying routines. Oda Mae is brought to Molly’s apartment and repeatedly requests Molly to speak to her. After several tries of getting Molly to speak to Oda Mae, Molly eventually decides to talk to her. At first when Oda Mae demonstrates that she can communicate with Sam’s ghost Molly is quite sceptical but as the conversation progresses Oda Mae begins to remind her of memories that only Sam and Molly knew about.
After hours of convincing Oda Mae finally explains that Molly is in danger and that Willy Lopez was Sam’s murderer. Molly decides to visit the police department in order for them to reconcile Sam’s murder. She tells the policeman that Willy Lopez is responsible for the killing and that she has obtained the information from a psychic, Oda Mae, and truly believes her. The police man searches for criminal records on Willy but instead returns and states that there is no record on Willy but with giant criminal file of Oda Mae Brown, containing records of forgery and fraud.
Great irony lies where Willy is seen as normal person in public while in reality he has committed colossal crimes – murder. Whereas on the other hand, Oda Mae is seen as a criminal and fraud within society but has a heart of gold and decides to help Sam with great determination and support. The religious theme of ghost is mostly based on the events of life after death and Heaven and Hell. These factors come into prospect once story falls into more depth as Sam Wheat is murdered and his soul or ghost decides to stay on Earth to solve the mystery of why his was murdered.
Ghost also contains similar aspects in which are found in the Bible, for example, the character of Carl Bruner shares distinctive similarities with Judas and also Satan; In the Bible it refers that Judas betrays Jesus in exchange for money and in Ghost Carl betrays Sam in order to gain a large sum of money, the Bible also contains references of Satan tempting Eve to eat the forbidden fruit (apple), from the “Garden of Eden” story, in Ghost Carl gives Molly Japanese apples. The apples symbolize evil temptation.
These connections tell us that Carl’s character is evil and mischievous. The role of Sam Wheat also shares some similarities within the Bible, particularly Jesus. The Bible suggests that Jesus was resurrected in order to save mankind, everyone he loves. In a similar manner Sam’s soul rejects heaven and decides to stay on Earth to save and protect Molly, his lover. Sam’s comparison with Jesus shows that he is the ‘good guy’ in the film; this also indicates that he is a saviour and hero.