Ghost (1990): A Classic and More!

It’s been 32 long years since Ghost was released. It was a movie that had global reception and success. With a $22–23 million budget, the movie went on to gross $505 million at the box office. This made it the highest-grossing film in 1990.

Even for critics, the movie’s storyline and acting performance by the cast was top-notch. The movie cast included Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, and Tony Goldwyn. The movie takes viewers through a rollercoaster of emotions—love, sorrow, and joy.

In honor of one of the greatest American romantic fantasy films, let’s take a recap on the movie’s powerful storyline.

Sam and Molly Get a New Apartment

Sam and Molly

Credit: Ghost

The movie begins with Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) and Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) moving into a new apartment in Manhattan, New York. Sam is a successful banker, and Molly, his girlfriend, is an artist.

Both are madly in love with one another and decide it’s best to move in together. They solicit the help of Sam’s friend and co-worker, Carl Brunner (Tony Goldwyn), to help them move in and renovate.

Sam and Molly Are Attacked

Sam and Molly

Credit: Ghost

As Sam goes through records at the bank, he discovers large volumes of deposits in hidden accounts. He decides to confide in his friend, Carl. Although Carl offers to assist with the findings, Sam objects and chooses to work alone.

Later at night, Sam and Molly decide to take a walk and get attacked by a mugger. Sam tries to fight the mugger off to protect Molly from harm.

Sam Is Killed


Credit: Ghost

As Sam continues to fight off the mugger to avoid getting overpowered, the mugger shoots at Sam. The mugger grabs Sam’s wallet before running away. Sam tries to pursue him but sees Molly crying over what looks like his body.

Patrick Swayze delivers an amazing performance as Sam quickly discovers he’s now a ghost. Sam’s ghost lurks around and stays close to a devastated Molly for the next few days.

Sam Meets His Mugger

Willie and Sam

Credit: Ghost

Carl visits Molly at home to comfort her. He convinces Molly to go for a walk with him to help take her mind off things. As they walk out to the apartment, Sam discovers he’s unable to go with them. He decides to stay behind in the apartment and wait for Molly.

A few minutes after Carl and Molly leave the apartment, a man enters the apartment. Sam recognizes him as the mugger who shot him. Sam follows him around the apartment and watches as the mugger continues to search for something.

When Molly returns to the apartment with the mugger still inside, Sam looks for ways to warn Molly and scare the mugger off. Sam chooses to scare his cat, who jumps and attacks the mugger. As the mugger escapes, Sam follows him to know who he is and what he wants. Sam soon discovers his death wasn’t a random accident and confirms the mugger’s name as Willie Lopez.

Sam Meets Oda Mae Brown

Oda Mae Brown

Credit: Ghost

While still trying to understand who Willie Lopez is, Sam stumbles upon the parlor of psychic Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg). She’s a charlatan and con artist that pretends to communicate with spirits and ghosts. She is shocked she can hear Sam, who’s more than happy to have found someone to communicate with.

Sam pleads with Oda Mae Brown to help warn Molly of impending danger. Oda Mae Brown would eventually help Sam get across to Molly and try to expose his killer.

Sam Realizes Carl’s Connection with the Killer

Carl and Willie

Credit: Ghost

When Molly gives Carl the address of Willie, Sam tags along to watch his friend confront Willie. He’s shocked to discover Carl hired Willie to get the account book from Sam.

Determined to protect Molly at all costs, Sam finally learns from an angry poltergeist how to move objects. He uses this ability to scare Willie later to run into oncoming traffic, leading to his death. Willie’s ghost gets dragged to Hell by some shadow demons.

Sam Donates the Money to Nuns

Oda Mae Brown

Credit: Ghost

After identifying the name on the account Carl uses to launder money, he convinces Oda Mae Brown to impersonate the person. Oda Mae Brown goes to the bank and helps Sam transfer it to nuns to do some good with it.

Sam Confronts Carl

Carl and Molly

Credit: Ghost

Sam possessed the body of Oda Mae Brown to communicate with Molly. Carl breaks into the apartment, causing Oda Mae Brown and Molly to run out for safety. Sam pushes off Carl from holding the women at gunpoint.

Carl is eventually killed when a suspended hook he throws at Sam’s ghost boomerangs on him. Then, the shadow demons return to drag Carl’s spirit to Hell.

Molly Finally Hears and Sees Sam

Molly and Sam

Credit: Ghost

With Carl dead, and his mission complete, Sam discovers Molly hears his question to Sam. As he’s about to be taken up into heaven, Sam kisses Molly one last time as they say their goodbyes. Sam thanks Oda Mae Brown for her help and finally walks into the light.

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