Top Fifteen Ghost Movies of the Last 100 Years Part I
Top Five Movies of The Last 100 Years
Favourite Ghost Movie
What is your favourite ghost movie
My Top Five Ghost Movies
Ghosts, apparitions, spooks, spirits or duppy have been the focus of many folklores, stories, books and films. As early as 5 BC the play Oresteia contained the first ghost reference as a work of fiction. (Wikipedia).
Ghosts in Modern Thinking: During the modern era, ghosts mysteries and spiritualists groups became a part of popular culture. Writers such as Charles Dickens, in 1843 wrote the novel of A Christmas Carol. This novel has been adapted at least ten times for films, movies, musical, animation or television series, starting in 1908 to 2009.
1. A Christmas Carol (film adaptations) 1908, 1910 1938, 1951,1971, 1984, 1997, 2004, 2006, 2009
The story is a Victorian morality tale (Wikipedia), where a miserly moneylender who devotes his life to wealth accumulation, experiences a profound life changing and redemption over Christmas Eve night. He was visited by three ghosts; of Christmas past, present and the future.
A Christmas Carol was first adapted as a silent film in 1908. It produced by Essanay Studios in Chicago. It was one of the earliest adaptations of Charles Dickens novel the Christmas Carol, (1943). It starred Tom Ricketts as Ebenezer Scrooge.
The film was again adapted in 1910 for silent film and starred Marc McDermott as Ebenezer Scrooge. The film ran for 15 minutes and was directed by J Searly Dawley.
A Christmas Carol was again adapted in 1938 as a movie, produced by MGM and starred Reginald Owen. It was 69 minutes long and was made to be family oriented. Many of the scenes that were considered too scary at the time were removed. This movie version remained popular until in 1951 when the new version was released.
The 1951 film adaptation starred Alastair Sims as Ebenezer Scrooge and directed by Desmond Hurst with screenplay by Noel Langley. The characters were developed and made relevant to some of the social issues of the time, such as homelessness.
The 1971 adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel, A Christmas Carol was an animated cartoon version of the 1951 film. It was released as a television special. It was later released as a film and received the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1972.
The 1984 A Christmas Carol was a television movie, filmed in Shrewsbury, England. It starred George C. Scott as Ebenezer and was directed by to Clive Donner, who was editor on the 1971 film version. Scott was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special.
The 1997 version of A Christmas Carol was an animated film, starring Tim Curry and many prominent actors, such as Whoopi Goldberg. The 1999 version was a television movie, starring Patrick Stewart and directed by David Hugh Jones.
In 2004, A Christmas Carol: The Musical, was a television movie based on the 1994 Stage Musical of the same name. It starred Kelsey Grammer as Ebenezer and was directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman. This is my favourite version of the Christmas Carol. I usually pull out my DVD to watch it as soon as December comes around.
The 2006 version of A Christmas Carol was a computer-animation, produced by BKN Entertainment. It was released to selected theatres in November and went to DVD that same month. The characters were skunks, rabbits, stork, cricket, kangaroo and walrus. I have not seen this version of the movie.
In November of this year, we will see yet another adaptation of A Christmas Carol. The film is written and directed by Richard Zemeckis and will star Jim Carey as Ebenezer and several other roles. The film will be produced in 3D through the process of performance capture as used in The Polar Express (2004).
2. Ghost Busters I & II 1984, 1989
Can you hear the tagline: "Who you gonna call? Gost Busters!" This film was first released in 1984. The original story was written by Dan Aykroyd. The film starred Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis and directed by Ivan Reitman. The comedy film was based on three eccentric New York ghost exterminators. The ghost busters were hired to exterminate a demonic spirit called Zuul, who was a demigod of 600 BC. The film was comedic and treated the subject matter in a comedic manner; poking fun at the ghost exterminators, who were clumsy and apparently ignorant in the ways of ghost busting. The film grossed over 291 million dollars.
Ghostbusters II was the sequel, released in 1989 with the same director as the first film. It had the biggest three-day opening for that time, grossing over 29 million dollars in one weekend. Even though the movie was met with mixed reviews, it grossed over 215 million dollars. Many movie goers had high expectations after Ghostbusters.
3. The Poltergeist I, II, II
In 1982 the first and most successful Poltergeist film in the sequel was released. It is an American horror film a, which was produced by Steven Speilberg and Frank Marshall. It was nominated for three Academy Awards. It is said that the director of the film, Tobe Hooper experienced poltergeist activities when he was a child. For weeks after his father died he witnessed doors breaking in, dishes flying around his house and other bizarre occurrences.
The film is about ghosts that did not passed over into the light, terrorizing a family whose house was built on a burial ground. The portal into the house was from the television screen, which a five year old child communicated with the ghost.
The poltergeist II was released in 1986 and was not as successful as the first. It was however nominated for an Academy Award for Visual Effects. The film was directed by Brian Gibson and starred Craig T Nelson et al. The story line continues with the ghost trying to hurt the Freelings and their five year old daughter. They were successful defeats the demons, forcing them to cross over to the afterlife.
Poltergeist III was the third and final in the series. It was released in 1988 and was directed by Gary Sherman. Only two of the original cast members returned to thie second sequel and one of them, Heather O'Rouke, (the five year old child in the first film,) died of natural causes before post-production was finished. Even though this film was considered a box office hit, it was the least grossing film of the three.
Ghost is a romantic drama film, released in 1990 and starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberge. It was directed by Jerry Zucker. It was nominated for multiple Academy awards including Best Supporting Actress (Whoopi Goldberg) and Best Picture and Best Screenplay. The movie grossed over 505 million dollars.
The premise of the movie is about a lover who died tragically and is trapped between the world of the living and the dead. The ghost tried to learn the ways of poltergeist to get his girlfriend's attention. He is assisted by a con artist posing as a medium, who found out that she could hear ghosts. In the end, the lovers learned how to communicate with each other and the disembodied went into the light.
Anyone who saw this movie is mesmerized by the romantic scene with Patrick Swayze and Demo Moore making the pottery. Now that was hot! Oh, and the soundtrack, was not too shabby as well. Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers have not sounded more righteous!
5. Casper The Friendly Ghost
The story of Casper, The Friendly Ghost was created in 1930 by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo as a children's book. It is about an amiable ghost boy. In the 1945 Cartoon release of the Friendly Ghost, Casper was portrayed as a cute pudgy ghost-child with a New York accent. (Wikipedia) Casper likes to make friends with people rather than scare them.
In the 1950s Paramount ran a series of theatrical releases of Casper until the summer of 1959. New cartoons versions were released in 1963 by ABC. In 1979, NBC released Casper and the Angels. FOX released a Casper series in 1995, based on the live-action feature film of the same year.
Casper the Movie 1995, was directed by Brad Silberling and Steven Speilberg was among the producers. The voice of Casper was Malachi Pearson and Christina Ricci was his love interest. This film was a box office hit and grossed over 287 million dollars.
Stay tuned for Part II and Part III of Top Fifteen Ghost Movies of the Last 100 Years...