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"Ghostbusters" Movie Script - 08/05/1983 Excerpts

This page contains excerpts from and tidbits about this draft of the "Ghostbusters" script as detailed in the book "Making Ghostbusters" by Don Shay.

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There was another effect besides the self-cooking eggs. Also on the counter was a loaf of bread in a plastic bag, We wanted to have the bag puff out and steam up to the point where it started to peel away. Then, one by one, the pieces of bread were going to heat up, turn brown and fall over as toast.


Dana's appearance at the firehall is preceded by a scene in which Winston Zeddemore -- armed with enough references to nail down a job as security chief for the White House -- presents himself in reply to a trifling "help wanted" ad for a guard.


Venkman's bruised ego, coupled with Louis' jealousy at seeing another man emerge from Dana's apartment, resulted in a small exchange between the two that took on varying forms as the project progressed. In the August draft -- when John Candy was still being sought for the role -- Louis suspiciously asks Venkman if he is a friend of Dana's, to which Venkman replies: "No, I'm her masseur, She pays me a hundred bucks and I rub the places she can't reach, Has she been after you, too?" Louis responds unconvincingly in the affirmative, and then reenters his apartment muttering: "She's paying for it? I'd do it for free." As shot, Louis runs out into the hallway -- suggesting he has heard Dana's door close and is 'coincidentally' trying to intercept her. Implying a major conquest, Venkman says, "What a woman," and then exits -- leaving Louis crestfallen and, once again, locked out of his apartment, During editing, the Venkman line was cut.


Spengler conducts an early demonstration of the experimental ghostbusting equipment for his comrades at the firehall. Since the self-contained unit is still under development, the existing prototype is plugged into an AC outlet. An audible surge of power runs from the wall socket along the extension cord to the power pack on Spengler's back. The pack heats up to 550 degrees and kicks the electrical surge back down the wire to the wall outlet which melts. At once, all the lights in the room black out. Compounding the gag, the action then cuts to an exterior of the firehouse as all the lights in and on the building go out, as does the street lamp and the stoplight at the corner. Then the action cuts once again to a long shot of downtown office buildings as they all black out in rapid succession, leaving dark silhouettes against the night sky.


In the Sedgewick Hotel, Stantz and Venkman are followed about by an obnoxious ten-year-old boy who -- to their growing annoyance -- thinks they're nothing more than janitors.


Winston had been seen in the script as a security man for the company, When it became apparent that the Ghostbusters had no real need for a security man, he became instead a full-fledged -- if not altogether convinced -- Ghostbuster.


Louis' attempted escape into Central Park is preceded by a sequence in which -- having just emerged from the apartment house -- he flags down a passing taxi and jumps inside. Seconds later, the Terror Dog bounds out of the building and launches itself onto the hood of the cab. In true New York form, the driver hurls a few expletives at the beast, guns his motor and speeds away, causing the creature to lose its balance and fall by the wayside. Undaunted, the Terror Dog takes off in hot pursuit, chasing the taxi through the streets of Manhattan.


As recounted by Spengler, Ivo Shandor was a deranged surgeon, architect and Gozer worshipper, electrocuted at Sing Sing after his attempted abduction of a teenage girl led police to his penthouse apartment, furnished impeccably -- if not tastefully -- with stacks of human bones.


It is Winston -- not Stantz -- who inadvertently conjures up the Stay-Puft marshmallow man.


As originally scripted for John Candy, the Louis Tully character was to have had decidedly earthier interests -- best evidenced in the party sequence.

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INT. LOUIS' APARTMENT - NIGHT - SAME TIME

A party for all his single swingle friends is in progress.

Louis is playing the ultimate host. The mood is sensual, the jazz casual, and Louis is very drunk. He approaches an ATTRACTIVE GIRL and puts his arm around her waist.

LOUIS
(cool)
Hey, Gloria, if I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?

He casually drops his hand onto her ass and chuckles at his own joke. The Girl grabs his arm and twists it in a painful Judo wristlock.

THE GIRL
(dead serious)
Louis, if you ever, ever touch me again I'll turn you into a eunuch. Is that clear?

LOUIS
(trying to laugh despite the pain)
That's what I like about you, Gloria. You're so ... definite.

She releases the hold on his arm and he boogies away rubbing his wrist.

THE BUFFET TABLE

Louis comes up behind two fashionably dressed models who are standing near the table with plates in their hands.

LOUIS
Bruce! How they hangin', buddy?

He slaps Bruce on the back so hard that the plate of pasta he's eating from flies from his hands and spills on Bruce and his male friend. The two models look at the red tomato sauce stains on their expensive clothes.

LOUIS
Ooops!
(brushes pasta off Bruce's shoulder)
Better put some club soda on that.
(they glower at him)
Don't worry about the rug.

Louis is saved by the doorbell. He trots off to answer it.