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The Romance of 'Ghost'

When You Just Have to Believe in the World Beyond

I remember the first time I saw the movie Ghost. Right away, it reminded me that I have very close ties with the world beyond, as all members of our family had. I have seen, heard and felt spirits. It has been a really good feeling knowing that there is so much more to life than what we know and see. You cannot imagine how wonderful it is to hear a voice that is dear and familiar to you whispering your name—and knowing that even though they have crossed over they are still nearby. I have read, and also believe, that there is that threshold somewhere just beyond our reach that separates our world from the next.

I also know that, supposedly, a living person can step over that threshold, but just for a moment in time. It is not for us to see at this time. Watching Patrick Swayze portray the main character, who dies suddenly and realizes he is now a ghost, I knew he had studied the role very well. When a person dies a tragic and unexpected death very often the spirit doesn’t cross over right away, because so much was left undone and unsaid. Now, of course, Swayze has found out the truth for himself and perhaps is even doing some "dirty dancing" across the skies.

There have been many other movies that have made me sentimentally romantic and have made me cry, but this is one of my favorites. There hasn’t been a time when I’ve watched Ghost that I haven’t cried. Once the movie came out in theaters, all across the US on July 13, 1990, people everywhere were talking about the three top stars. 

Patrick Swayze portrayed Sam Wheat and later on his ghost. Demi Moore played Sam’s love interest. Molly Jensen and Whoopi Goldberg portrayed Oda Mae Brown. Most everyone knows the story of how Sam’s colleague and best friend Carl Bruner, played by Tony Goldwyn, betrays him in his greed as a result of which Sam gets shot. Once Sam realizes that he’s now dead, he longs to be with Molly again. By following her home, he also discovers that she is in danger due to the information that Carl so desperately wants to get his hands on.

When Sam decides to help Molly we get to meet Oda Mae Brown who is fooling people into thinking she can really contact the dead. Then she meets Sam and suddenly realizes she really does have the talent to hear and contact with the dead. In between, the scenes that had us blowing into Kleenex Oda’s antics were most welcome.

I think the most touching scenes in this movie are the ones when Molly realizes that Sam is really with her and when she can feel him close to her at least one more time. The movie had some other fantastic moments and it made you believe in the world beyond and that love is never-ending.

Ghost was an instant success and it was nominated for various Oscars among them Best Picture and Best Screenplay. For her role as psychic Oda Mae Brown, Whoopi Goldberg won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Ghost is well-known for its iconic love scene with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore as she sits at her potter’s wheel where Molly's husband, portrayed by Swayze, sit lovingly behind her as the song "Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers plays. It is one of those most romantic movie scenes that make you just sigh and cry. 

All three of the stars of Ghost rose to stardom in the 1980s. Patrick Swayze was a professional dancer before he got into acting. He appeared in such movies as The Outsiders and Red Dawn before he became popular and well-known after his super performance in Dirty Dancing. After Ghost, he went on to perform in Point Break, City of JoyTo Wong Foo, and Thanks for Everything! Julie Newman. It was tragic news in 2008 when Patrick Swayze announced that he had pancreatic cancer. He left his fans crying when he died in September of 2009 at 57 years of age.

Demi Moore became famous in the 1980s portraying a member of the Brat Pack cast in the movie St. Elmo’s Fire. After her great success in Ghost, she went on to star in movies such as A Few Good Men, Indecent Proposal, Striptease and G.I. Jane. She took a pause from Hollywood for a while and then appeared in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle in 2003. She was wed to actor Bruce Willis for a number of years and has three daughters with him. Today she continues to light up the movie screens.

The third star of the movie Whoopi Goldberg had previously received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her role in the movie The Color Purple. Other movies in which she has played are Sister Act and two sequels and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Goldberg replaced Rosie O’Donnell as co-host of the daytime talk show The View. 

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