«Ghost» was released in 1990 and was ahead of the coolest movies of that year, even «Home Alone» and «Pretty Woman» at the box office. In Mexico, viewers were even given tissues to wipe their tears. Its success came as a great surprise even to its creators.
According to screenwriter Bruce Rubin, he got the idea for the plot from Shakespeare. In Hamlet, the prince’s father also returns from the afterlife in the form of a shadow to avenge his killers. And the Buddhist Rubin developed the idea thanks to the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Bruce’s agent refused to even try to sell the script — he believed that «ghost stories are not interesting to anyone.»
Rubin wrote the first version of the script back in 1984.
Bruce Rubin dreamed of having a venerable director direct the film. But Paramount gave it to comediographer Jerry Zucker. In his track record was already two successful pictures — «Airplane!» and «Ruthless People.
Zucker was very demanding and threw the script away. Fortunately, his wife Jerry read it and got her husband to take the job. Rubin was seriously offended by the choice of the film studio. He thought Jerry would turn his deep story into a cheap farce.
«When they told me that the guy who made ‘Airplane!’ was going to shoot it, I cried,» poor Rubin recalled.
The screenwriter got it wrong: The director shifted the story lines from crime to love affairs and made the events more intriguing. As a result, the original script underwent 20 revisions.
Patrick Swayze admitted that the role of Sam was one of the most difficult in his entire acting career because he did not have to be an active participant in the action, but only an observer.
The fate of Whoopi Goldberg’s character, Oda Mae Brown, was very interesting. To begin with, Goldberg only got the role thanks to the insistence of Patrick Swayze. When his candidacy for participation in the film was approved, he said that without Whoopi, he refuses to act.
The final scene in which Molly finally sees Sam and they get to say goodbye has become iconic. Director Jerry Zucker and screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin thought for months about what words Sam should say at the very end.
«It’s an amazing feeling. The love inside. You take it with you. See you later,» he says.
By the way, Patrick Swayze’s emotions in this scene look so natural for a reason. He said that while filming these shots he was mentally saying goodbye to his father, who left this world in 1982.