Synopsis of Movie

“Who ya gonna call?”

They came, they saw, they kicked its…well, you know the story. Ghostbusters has become part of the pop culture Hall of Fame, spawning a film sequel, two cartoon series and a host of lines that are still quoted today— “Don’t cross the streams,” “Are you the keymaster?,” “Back off man, I’m a scientist,” “He slimed me!” and many more.

At the time, it was a gamble—a big-budget comedy starring a pair of Saturday Night Live alumni (Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd), a screenwriter (Harold Ramis) and Sigourney Weaver, who was still best known for her role in the original Alien. Ghostbusters would have to be a blockbuster to pay back its FX-inflated budget, at the time the highest ever for a comedy. Well, guess what…

The title stars of Ghostbusters are three paranormal scientists—sarcastic “game show host” Peter Venkman, naïve Ray Stantz and brainiac Egon Spengler—who just lost their university research grant. The timing could have been better. Paranormal activity in New York City is heating up, and the boys just had their first run-in with a real manifestation over at the public library. On Peter’s urging, Ray takes out a third mortgage and the three set up shop in a dilapidated old fire station, promising to fight all spooks, spirits and specters as the proton-powered Ghostbusters.

In a nicer part of town, concert cellist Dana Barrett has noticed some supernatural goings-on in her upscale apartment—eggs frying on the counter, an ancient pagan temple in her fridge, and so on. Against her better judgment, Dana makes the trip over to Ghostbusters HQ, where the womanizing Peter immediately tries to hit on her. Meanwhile, the lads have been up to their necks in ghosts, starting with a slime-trailing green blob in a fancy hotel.

Egon figures that something big is bubbling up, and Dana and nerdy neighbor Louis are inadvertently involved. The Ghostbusters hire Winston Zeddemore as their fourth member, but the whole operation is shut down by an uptight EPA official and the Ghostbusters themselves are thrown in jail. Even worse, the HQ’s “Ghost Trap” has been shut off, freeing the captured spirits to prepare the coming of the all-powerful Gozer. The Ghostbusters are freed just in time for a showdown in the Big Apple, taking on the Gozerian’s chosen form—the titanic, poofy, sugary-sweet Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

Co-written by Aykroyd and Ramis, Ghostbusters was originally intended to be a vehicle for Aykroyd and pal John Belushi. Belushi’s premature death in 1982 forced a change in plans, and the script was rewritten for Murray. No one knows how the original version would have turned out, but the Murray/Aykroyd/Ramis teaming, along with Weaver, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts and Ernie Hudson in key roles, was a winning combination. Ghostbusters became one of the highest-grossing films of all time, and its success was heralded with toys, video games, tee shirts and Ray Parker Jr.’s #1 hit title song.

In 1987, ABC debuted the long-running animated series The Real Ghostbusters, with new actors taking over the voice roles of Peter, Ray, Egon, Winston and the rest. The original cast was reunited in 1989 for a theatrical sequel, Ghostbusters II, another monster hit.

Movie Release History

1984 - Ghostbusters
1989 - Ghostbusters II

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Doctor Peter Venkman  Bill Murray
Doctor Raymond Stantz   Dan Aykroyd
Dana Barrett/The Gate Keeper   Sigourney Weaver
Doctor Egon Spengler   Harold Ramis
Louis Tully/The Key Master   Rick Moranis
Janine Melnitz   Annie Potts
Walter Peck   William Atherton
Winston Zeddemore   Ernie Hudson
Mayor   David Margulies
Male Student   Steven Tash
Jennifer   Jennifer Runyon
Gozer   Slavitza Jovan
Hotel Manager   Michael Ensign
Librarian  Alice Drummond
Dean Yeager   Jordan Charney
Violinist   Timothy Carhart
Library Adminstrator   John Rothman
Archbishop   Tom McDermott
Roger Grimsby   Himself
Larry King   Himself
Joe Franklin   Himself
Casey Kasem   Himself
Jail Guard   Reginald VelJohnson
Real Estate Woman  Rhoda Gemignani
Man at Elevator   Murray Rubin
Con Edison Man  Larry Dilg
Coachman   Danny Stone
Woman at Party   Patty Dworkin
Tall Woman at Party  Jean Kasem
Doorman  Lenny Del Genio
Chambermaid   Frances E. Nealy
Hot Dog Vendor  Sam Moses
TV Reporter   Christopher Wynkoop
Businessman in Cab  Winston May
Mayor's Aide   Tommy Hollis
Policeman at Apartment  Ric Mancini
Mrs. Van Hoffman   Kathryn Janssen
Reporter  Stanley Grover
Reporter   Carol Ann Henry
Reporter   Frances Turner
Reporter   James Hardie
Reporter   Nancy Kelly
Reporter   Carol Henry
Ted Fleming   Paul Trafas
Louis's Neighbor  Eda Reiss Merin
Annette Fleming   Cheryl Birchenfield
Police Captain   Joe Cirillo
Library Ghost   Ruth Oliver
Dream Ghost Kym Herrin
Police Commissioner   Norman Matlock
Fire Commissioner  John Ring
Police Sergeant  Joe Schmieg

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