One of the best movies of all time, comedy or otherwise (though it also qualifies as quite the scary horror film in the third act), Ghostbusters follows the unforgettable and endlessly quotable exploits of three parapsychologists and former college professors who set up shop as artisans of “paranormal investigation and elimination,” dedicated to ridding New York City of its many ghouls, goblins and demons (especially the big fat green one wrecking havoc at a five star hotel). Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis are fantastic in the title roles, with Murray’s particular brand of deadpan comedy balancing nicely with the boisterous special effects; they’re brilliantly supported by Sigourney Weaver as a hottie cellist with a haunted refrigerator, Rick Moranis as her nebbishy lovestruck neighbor and William Atherton as the villainous agent of the Environmental Protection Agency looking to shut down the heroes’ surprisingly lucrative business. Energetically and creatively directed by Ivan Reitman (working with a top-notch screenplay by Aykroyd and Ramis), Ghost Busters was the highest-grossing comedy of all time until a little movie called Home Alone came ’round. This classic is also chock full of fun trivia, including the fact that Moranis was a last-minute replacement for John Candy (who wanted the character of Louis to have a German accent and a pair of schnauzer dogs) and many people confronted and berated Atherton as if he were actually the despicable Walter Peck. The fourth Ghostbuster, played by Ernie Hudson, was a role meant for Eddie Murphy, who went for Beverly Hills Cop instead — while it’s fun to imagine the could’ve-been movie featuring both him and John Belushi (for whom the role of Peter Venkman was written), everything ended up working out just fine.
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