MovieChat Forums > Ghostbusters (1984) Discussion > Explain to me why this is a classic?

Explain to me why this is a classic?

Seriously - not here to "troll" or anything.

I never got round to watching this until just now - and it was just okay in my opinion. There were some funny linesand I generally found the ghostbusters themselves to be pretty likable. But the film seemed surprisingly plot-driven considering it was just a bunch of guys pointing lazer things at ghosts. Unless they were just flying way over my head, I often couldn't tell which parts were meant to be jokes, and which parts were meant to be just 'interesting'.

Maybe it is an age thing (was born in 90), but I just didn't understand what people were getting from the film that made it such a classic.



Aside from the fact that for 1984, nothing quite like this had ever been done before, it's the genre blending that always kept me and many others interested. It's all at once a comedy, horror, and sci-fi FX movie, with all kinds of A-list production value to boot. The 2016 remake revealed it to be much more of a formula and branding effort, so it's obvious that there's tons of lightening in a bottle that made the original work so well, but you really need to have a pre-internet origin for your childhood to fully appreciate its cultural impact. I had the toys, watched the cartoon, and loved the sequel.

I was really excited about the video game, but somewhat disappointed with the writing. Like the Evil Dead TV show, the third act was all fan service, relishing or recycling its former glory as opposed to being present and clever while still cutting edge, and moving the story forward.


There's something very iconic about the film visually and from a storytelling perspective. You can see this when you look at GB pieces as they're referenced in other film and TV - for example, when you see the kids in Stranger Things all wearing the GB outfits.

Also, I think it has a lot to do with the time. GB was both something very innovative, but it also appealed widely to a range of fans who were finding themselves going through a kind of sci-fi revolution and looking for their next thing. You have to remember that the early 1980s was the era of ET, The Terminator, Blade Runner, Gremlins and, duh, Star Wars. This was a different, but welcome addition to that set list.

However, nostalgia goggles play a huge part of it, imo. This movie is very of it's time and is not a great film anymore, in the same way that Indiana Jones is not a great film anymore. If anything, Gremlins should have a way bigger following than this. But it's not as iconic.


it's an epic rise to power-take a fall-and then rise once again and save the day as heroes feel good movie that is surrounded by a great likable cast/music/logo/setting/interesting supernatural themes and incredible special fx.


Generally, most comedic style is generational...(except slapstick, which spans generations). Bill Murray's comedic style and timing really made this film, and he is a comic god for my generation. I have watched supposed comedic classics that were made before I was born (Seven Year Itch comes to mind) and I had the same reaction as you...Ok but why a classic?


The Ghostbusters were huge in the 1980s, there was a cartoon series off the back of it and a ton of merchandise. I had a load of Ghostbusters toys. And there was just something cool about a lot of it. So maybe there is something generational about it. I remember even thinking The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was awesome. And Slimer.

Saying that, I still feel it holds up as a good movie now. (Which the sequel doesn't, really.)

The characters a likeable, even Venkman who is supposed to be the selfish egotistical one. It was played with charisma by Bill Murray, so the character worked. Most of the jokes were funny, and they even had big names like Sigourney Weaver and Rik Mayall playing side characters. It just feels like an enjoyable movie, even without the nostalgia. Even the theme tune is fun.

Possibly just not to your humour or taste. No movie is going to be liked by everyone.


I have always liked this but not everyone who is watching it now for the first time can appreciate it. I have a cousin who just 2 years ago saw it for the first time and says he doesn't like it because he finds Peter Venkman to be a completely unprofessional creep and also hates that the EPA was the bad guy in it. But then this is also a guy who hates action movies and thinks the action genre shouldn't be given any respect. But then again this cousin is very far left politically. So he's not gonna like anything that has anything conservative in it. And this cousin is the same age as me (we were both born in 1986) but he just wasn't ever into Ghostbusters like me.


IT's a very good question. I think age does have something to do with it. I was just the right age when it came out, but some of my friends who were in their late teens when it was new are completely mystified with its classic stature. And I get that. It's not the best/funniest Murray or Murray and Ramis vehicle of that era. Maybe not even the best Aykroyd vehicle of the era. It's certainly not a prime example of the kind of comedies that those guys were making at the time. The movie doesn't have much of a plot and, in fact, it could be argued that movie is not about anything (like that guy did in that YT video).

Nevertheless. Bustin' makes me feel good.