Romantic drama Ghost was made for a relatively modest budget of $2 million, but went on to gross more than half a billion dollars worldwide, leaving it second only to Home Alone as the highest-grossing movie of 1990.
It also won Whoopi Goldberg an Oscar; won its screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin an Oscar; and made Demi Moore the highest-paid actress of the early 90s.
As for its lead star Patrick Swayze? Well, he almost didn’t appear in the film at all.
When it came to casting Ghost, director Jerry Zucker wasn’t initially quite so keen to cast Swayze as his romantic lead. In an attempt to convince him otherwise, Rubin took Zucker to the cinema to watch Road House, the poorly received 1989 action film in which Swayze starred as a cooler at a roadside bar. As they left the cinema afterward, Rubin later recalled, “Jerry said to me, ‘Over my dead body.’”
Zucker might have written him off, but Swayze himself wouldn’t take no for an answer. Having read the script, he dogged Zucker for weeks for the opportunity to at least read for the part and was finally invited to Paramount to audition. On meeting him in person, and seeing how perfectly suited to the part he was, Zucker all but cast Swayze there and then.
“We all had tears in our eyes, right there in the office,” Zucker told People magazine in 1990, recalling how brilliantly Swayze had performed. “I saw a side of Patrick that I never knew existed.”