From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox Movie Template:Alternateuses Ghostbusters (sometimes written Ghost Busters) is a 1984 sci-fi comedy film about three parapsychologists who are fired from a New York City University, and start up their own business investigating and eliminating ghosts.

It was followed by a sequel, Ghostbusters II, in 1989 and two cartoon series, The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters.



At first, the clients are few and far between, and the Ghostbusters must depend on their individual talents to keep the business alive: Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) is a scientific genius, Raymond "Ray" Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) is an expert on paranormal history, and Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), although in some ways a scientific charlatan, has charm and business savvy. Soon, business starts to pick up, due not only to the Ghostbusters building a reputation for themselves, but also due to increased supernatural activity, which turns out to be a direct result of the rise of Gozer, the ghost of a possibly demonic ruler from ancient times. The Ghostbusters add a fourth member to their team -- the blue-collar Winston Zeddemore (Ernie Hudson) to deal with the rapidly increasing workload, but it soon becomes apparent to the Ghostbusters that they are headed toward a climactic confrontation with Gozer. Although he initially comes off as a bit of a goof and sleaze, Venkman eventually finds a (subtly) heroic side to himself when he learns that Gozer and his minions are haunting the apartment of Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), a client who has become the object of Venkman's lustful (and possibly deeper) intentions.

Franchise history

Missing image
Ghostbusters logo ©1984 Columbia Pictures Indsutries, Inc.

The concept was inspired by Aykroyd's own fascination with the paranormal, and conceived by Aykroyd as a vehicle for himself and friend and fellow Saturday Night Live alum John Belushi. The original story as written by Aykroyd was much more ambitious -- and unfocused -- than what would be eventually filmed; in Aykroyd's original vision, a group of Ghostbusters would travel through time, space and other dimensions taking on huge ghosts.

Aykroyd pitched the story to director/producer Ivan Reitman, who liked the basic idea but immediately saw the budgetary impossibilities demanded by Aykroyd's first draft. At Reitman's suggestion, the story was given a major overhaul, eventually evolving into the final screenplay, which Aykroyd and Ramis had hammered out over the course of a few months in a Martha's Vineyard bombshelter. In addition to Aykroyd's high-concept basic premise and Ramis's skill at grounding the fantastic elements with a realistic setting, the film benefits from Murray's semi-improvisational performance as Venkman, the character initially intended for Belushi (who had died of a drug overdose while Aykroyd and Ramis were still working on the script). The extent of Murray's improvisation while delivering his lines varies wildly with every re-telling of the making of the film; some say he never even read the script, and improvised so much he deserves a writing credit, while others insist that he only improvised a few lines, and used his deadpan comic delivery to make scripted lines seem spontaneous.

Among the featured New York locations were Columbia University, the New York Public Library, still very much active Hook & Ladder 8, Central Park West, Tavern on the Green in Central Park, Lincoln Center, inside a defunct New York jail and various street locations for the montages. The interior of the firehouse was done in LA's Fire Station 23, the basement of the Library was substituted by a LA library, the Biltmore Hotel in LA served as the lobby and entrance for the Sedgewick Hotel, while the other locations were on sound stages.

Gozer's temple was the biggest and most expensive set ever to be constructed at that time. In order to properly light it and create the physical effects for the set, other stages needed to be shut down and all their power diverted over to the set. The hallway sets for the Sedgewick Hotel were originally built for the movie Rich and Famous in 1981 and patterned after the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, where Reitman originally wanted to do the hotel bust. The Biltmore was chosen because the large lobby allowed for a tracking shot of the Ghostbusters in complete gear for the first time. Dana Barrett and Louis Tully's apartments were constructed across two stages and were actually on the other side of their doors in the hallway, an unusual move in filmmaking.

A problem arose during filming when it was discovered that a show was produced in 1975 by Filmation for CBS called Ghostbusters, starring Larry Storch and Forrest Tucker (see the article The Ghost Busters). As a result, if Columbia could not secure the name alternate ones were made up and ready to be used. However, during the filming of the crowd for the final battle, the extras were all chanting "Ghostbusters" causing the producers to ensure the studio got the name. And they did. Ghostbusters was released in the United States on June 8, 1984, starring Bill Murray, Rick Moranis, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts and Ernie Hudson, and grossed over $290 million worldwide during its theatrical run. A video game based on the movie was released by Activision for the Atari gaming system.

A song composed for the movie, also called "Ghostbusters" was a hit for Ray Parker Jr., and is now a staple at "1980s retro" parties, as well as Jekyll & Hyde's Halloween-themed restaurant in Manhattan.

Because of the popularity, an animated television series called The Real Ghostbusters was made by Columbia Pictures Television and DIC Entertainment and ran from 1986-1991. At the same time, Filmation was making a cartoon called Ghostbusters, known as The Original Ghostbusters, which was a revamp of their old show starring the characters' children. Despite rumors to the contrary, Columbia was allowed to use the name Ghostbusters for their cartoon, but they added "The Real" to it to stick it to Filmation. A popular toy line followed the success of the cartoon and was manufactured by Kenner.

In 1985, game publisher West End Games produced a Ghostbusters roleplaying game which later spawned a second edition called Ghostbusters, International. The Ghostbusters game was a revolutionary design, influencing countless other designs including Risus and Over the Edge, and winning the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Rules of 1986.

By 1988, the popularity had grown and Ghostbusters entered the medium of comic books, published monthly by NOW Comics. To appeal to the growing child fanbase, the cartoon was stretched to an hour-long format which not only included the regular cartoon, but a spin-off of sorts with more cartoonish animation and where child favorite Slimer, the Ghostbusters' pet ghost, was the central focus. This was called Slimer! and the Real Ghostbusters. In 1989, Ghostbusters II was released on June 16, featuring the return of the main cast and a new villain. The second film's storyline was nearly identical to the first, with Venkman again acting flippant until he gradually re-charms Dana, and the Ghostbusters again struggling to keep their business afloat until business picks up again thanks to the rise of another demonic/ghostly ruler from ancient times. Aykroyd and Ramis struggled for years to get started on a third Ghostbusters film, but were unable to come up with a script that could meet their own satisfaction. The possibility of a third film grew even more complicated as Murray's interest in reprising his role waned over the years, and Aykroyd finally admitted that a third film would probably never happen.

Ghostbusters slowly phased out of the public eye after 1991 with the cancellation of the cartoon, the toys and the comics, but a revival of sorts was attempted in 1997 with the release of The Extreme Ghostbusters cartoon and related toy-line. Because Sony Pictures Television owned all the rights to The Real Ghostbusters, new character designs were needed and a new group of younger Ghostbusters were tapped. The series flopped and was cancelled after its original 40 episodes.

With the current 80s nostalgia craze, Ghostbusters made a quiet return. In 2004, 88MPH Studios began releasing their "Legion" limited series, which retconned the Ghostbusters' world to 6 months after the first movie and pushed the timeline up 20 years to present time. The limited series might lead into an on-going series by the company. Neca released a series of action figures based off the first movie. Their first and so far only series included Gozer, Slimer (or Onionhead), the Terror Dogs Vinz Clortho and Zuul, and a massive Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, contrasting the diminutive figure that was in the original figure line. Ertl released a die-cast 1/25 scale Ectomobile, also known as Ecto-1, the Ghostbusters' main transportation. iBooks published the novel Ghostbusters: The Return by Sholly Fisch.

The main weapon of the Ghostbusters for the purposes of "busting" ghosts is the Proton Pack, which fires a positron ion stream that negates the negatively charged energy of a ghost, allowing it to be held. This is used in conjunction with a trap designed to hold ghosts and they also have a device called a PKE (Psycho Kinetic Energy) Meter that detects their presence. The final stop for all spooks is the Containment Unit located in the firehouse basement.


Missing image
Ghostbusters Cast ©1984 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. From left to right: Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz, Peter Venkman and Winston Zeddemore.

Memorable lines

  • Dana to Peter: "Are you really a scientist? You seem more like a game-show host."
  • Egon (referencing the Proton Pack): "Don't cross the streams!"
  • Winston (who is black) to the mayor (who is white): "Your honor, I've seen shit that would turn you white!"
  • Dana: "I am the gatekeeper!" Louis: "I am the keymaster!"
  • Winston to Raymond, after the group is zapped by the evil goddess: "If someone asks you if you're a god, you say 'YES'!"
  • Peter: "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!" (Said about a captured ghost)
  • Raymond: "(sigh of resignation) It's the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man!"
  • Peter (when under threat from the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man): "Hey, this Mr. Stay-Puft is okay! He's a sailor, he's in New York... we get this guy laid, we won't have any trouble!"
  • Raymond: "Aim for the flat top!"
  • Ray Parker: "I ain't afraid of no ghosts!" (a catch phrase used beyond the film)
  • Winston, to Janine during his interview: "If there's a steady paycheck in it, I'll believe anything you say."

References to other movies

External links


es:Los cazafantasmas fr:S.O.S. Fantômes nl:Ghostbusters sv:Ghostbusters


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools