Ghostbusters (1984 Original)

Critics Consensus

An infectiously fun blend of special effects and comedy, with Bill Murray's hilarious deadpan performance leading a cast of great comic turns.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 72

88%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,039,185
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Movie Info

Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson star as a quartet of Manhattan-based "paranormal investigators". When their government grants run out, the former three go into business as The Ghostbusters, later hiring Hudson on. Armed with electronic paraphernalia, the team is spectacularly successful, ridding The Big Apple of dozens of ghoulies, ghosties and long-legged beasties. Tight-lipped bureaucrat William Atherton regards the Ghostbusters as a bunch of charlatans, but is forced to eat his words when New York is besieged by an army of unfriendly spirits, conjured up by a long-dead Babylonian demon and "channelled" through beautiful cellist Sigourney Weaver and nerdish Rick Moranis. The climax is a glorious sendup of every Godzilla movie ever made-and we daresay it cost more than a year's worth of Japanese monster flicks combined. Who'd ever dream that the chubby, cheery Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man would turn out to be the most malevolent threat ever faced by New York City? When the script for Ghostbusters was forged by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, John Belushi was slated to play the Bill Murray role; Belushi's death in 1982 not only necessitated the hiring of Murray, but also an extensive rewrite. The most expensive comedy made up to 1984, Ghostbusters made money hand over fist, spawning not only a 1989 sequel but also two animated TV series (one of them partially based on an earlier live-action TV weekly, titled The Ghost Busters. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Bill Murray
as Dr. Peter Venkman
Dan Aykroyd
as Dr. Raymond Stantz
Harold Ramis
as Dr. Egon Spengler
Sigourney Weaver
as Dana Barrett
Ernie Hudson
as Winston Zeddmore
Rick Moranis
as Louis Tully
William Atherton
as Walter Peck
Annie Potts
as Janine Melnitz
Michael Ensign
as Hotel Manager
Steven Tash
as Student
Alice Drummond
as Librarian
Jordan Charney
as Dean Yeager
Timothy Carhart
as Violinist
John Rothman
as Library Administrator
Larry King
as Himself
Joe Franklin
as Himself
Casey Kasem
as Himself
Norman Matlock
as Fire Commissioner
Joe Cirillo
as Police Captain
Joe Schmieg
as Police Sergeant
Tom McDermott
as Archbishop
Rhoda Gemignani
as Real Estate Woman
Murray Rubin
as Man at Elevator
Larry Dilg
as Con Edison Man
Danny Stone
as Coachman
Patty Dworkin
as Woman at Party
Jean Kasem
as Tall Woman at Party
Frances E. Nealy
as Chambermaid
Sam Moses
as Hot Dog Vendor
Winston May
as Businessman in Cab
Tommy Hollis
as Mayor's Aide
Eda Reiss Merin
as Louis' Neighbor
Ric Mancini
as Cop at Apartment
Kathryn Janssen
as Mrs. Van Hoffman
Paul Trafas
as Ted Fleming
Cheryl Birchfield
as Annette Fleming
Ruth Oliver
as Library Ghost
Kym Herrin
as Dream Ghost
Kymberly Herrin
as Dream Ghost
Nancy Kelly
as Reporter
Frantz Turner
as Reporter
John Ring
as Fire Commissioner
Paddi Edwards
as Gozer (uncredited)
James Hardie
as Reporter
Carol Henry
as Reporter
Jason Reitman
as Birthday party kid
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News & Interviews for Ghostbusters (1984 Original)

Critic Reviews for Ghostbusters (1984 Original)

All Critics (72) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (70) | Rotten (2)

  • Ghostbusters is like romping through Disneyland's haunted house with Bill Murray.

    Jun 8, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    Joseph Gelmis

    Newsday
    Top Critic
  • Ghostbusters is primarily a showcase for Murray, who slinks through the movie muttering his lines in his usual cheeky fashion and getting off an occasionally hilarious crack that proves he's thoroughly enjoying himself.

    Jun 16, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The plotting may be primitive, but it's all carried off with far more style and finesse than one might expect from the creators of Animal House and Meatballs.

    Jun 16, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Part of the sheer joy of this movie -- aside from the comic timing of Bill Murray -- is the cartoonish crapness of its apparitions and their placid acceptance by the Ghostbusters team.

    Oct 31, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • On balance, Ghostbusters is a hoot. It's Murray's picture, and in a triumph of mind over matter, he blows away the film's boring special effects with his one-liners.

    Aug 19, 2014 | Full Review…
  • It provoked huge box-office success in 1984 and is still director Ivan Reitman's defining movie.

    Oct 31, 2011 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Ghostbusters (1984 Original)

  • Aug 21, 2016
    I know a lot of Gen-Xers hold a nostalgic place in their hearts for the original "Ghostbusters," but I just couldn't really get into it. Bill Murray's lazy snark is just not my cuppa, and the demon hunting plot is just kinda whatever.
    Alice S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 04, 2016
    Ghostbusters is an absolute classic! Awesome nostalgic fun as well as having likable characters with cool special effects!
    Mr N Super Reviewer
  • Nov 21, 2015
    "Ghostbusters" is an amazing Sci-FI/Action film. "Ghostbusters" has got great acting from "Bill Murray" and "Ernie Hudson". "Ghostbusters" has got an exciting plot to it, to make it even better it has funny dialogue. The special effects in this movie are good, but some scenes could be improved. The soundtrack in this movie is just incredible, with the classic "Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS" other than that the sound makes the scenes better and better. I recommend watching the movie that will always remain a classic "Ghostbusters". I give "Ghostbusters" a 9/10.
    Steve G Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2014
    A riotously funny inter-dimensional channeling of high concept sci-fi and low concept comedy, Ghostbusters scares up just as much adulation today for the same reasons it did back then: Bill Murray's deadpan delivery and Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis's hilariously fun script. Aside from the scarily poor special effects, the climax still ranks as Ghostbusters' chief sticking point. The 3rd act lead-up drags and the rooftop showdown is never as out-and-out funny as anything in the first two acts. When this is all you have to complain about, then - ahem - Boo Hoo. The arrival of the skyscraper-height Stay Puft Marshmallow Man more than fills the final act's joke quotient and, frankly, the dodgy SFX weren't paraded around as the best of the best back then either. In the 30th anniversary re-release of this PG-rated modern classic comedy, three unemployed parapsychology professors (Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis) set up shop as a unique ghost removal service. From the get-go, this is Murray's vehicle--we're just riding in it. Sure, he's often more readily identified with Groundhog Day than this ensemble piece, but the actor's perfectly played performance as a dubious scientist - one who rarely takes anything seriously - never lets up with laughs. Seriously, root through the now-iconic scenes and dialogue to re-discover the rich wealth of one-liners he delivers at an almost machine gun clip. Reveling in showing audiences both oddball actors at the top of their game and literally otherworldly situations, Ivan Reitman's direction points up the academia and modern science-skewing humor in the script while making you wonder how this often biting flick could've ever only be rated PG. Bottom line: Who Ya Still Gonna Call?
    Jeff B Super Reviewer

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