The Movie Review Guy Best Movies for 2013
Dec 31, 2013
The Top 80 movies from the 1980's in 80 Days (DAY 51):
30. “Beetlejuice” (1988)
A couple of recently deceased ghosts contract the services of a "bio-exorcist" in order to remove the obnoxious new owners of their house.
Alec Baldwin—Adam Maitland
Greena Davis—Barbara Maitland
Annie McEnroe—Jane Butterfield
Hugo Stanger-Old Bill
Rachel Mittelman-Little Jane Butterfield
Catherine O’Hare—Delia Deetz
Jeffrey Jones—Charles Deetz
Winona Ryder—Lydia Deetz
Facts about the this movie:
*Opening Weekend: $8,000,000
* The receptionist in the waiting room is Miss Argentina.
* In the wedding scene, Lydia's dress is a bright red. According to the old rhyme about wedding dress colors, it's "Married in red, better off dead."
* During the sequence where Adam and Barbara enter Juno's office and see her speaking to a recently deceased football team, a movie theater full of ghosts can be seen through Juno's office window. When the film was first released in theaters, the scene created the illusion that the audience were themselves being watched by the ghosts. Among the ghosts in the audience are a red skeleton and a green skeleton (identical to the ones seen in Tim Burton's later movie, Mars Attacks!), a woman with red hair, and two men in suits and Ray-Ban style sunglasses.
* Michael Keaton spent only two weeks filming his part in the film, which lasts 17.5 minutes out of the 92-minute running time. It is Keaton's favorite film of his own.
* The original script was a horror film, and featured Beetlejuice as a winged, reptilian demon who transformed into a small Middle Eastern man to interact with the Maitlands and the Deetzes. Lydia was a minor character, with her six year old sister Cathy being the Deetz child able to see the Maitlands. Beetlejuice's goal was to kill the Deetzs, rather than frighten them away, and included sequences where he mauled Cathy in the form of a rabid squirrel and tried to rape Lydia. Subsequent script rewrites turned the film into a comedy and toned down Beetlejuice's character into the ghost of an wise cracking con-artist rather than a demon.
* The title character of Beetlejuice is named for a bright red star in the constellation of Orion, Betelgeuse. The studio disliked the title and wanted to call the film "House Ghosts". As a joke, Tim Burton suggested the name "Scared Sheetless" and was horrified when the studio actually considered using it.
* The only cast member who would initially commit to the project was Geena Davis. Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, and Sylvia Sidney all said no at least once. Producer David Geffen convinced Michael Keaton's manager to convince Michael to meet with director Tim Burton. Once Michael said yes, Tim Burton personally called Sylvia Sidney and begged her to do the movie, and he flew out to meet with Catherine O'Hara to convince her as well.
* When Adam and Barbara are in the office, a voice on the PA systems announces the arrival of Flight 409 ("Flight 409 is arriving at Gate 3"). On October 6, 1955 United Airlines Flight 409 crashed into a mountain over Wyoming killing all passengers and crew aboard. It was the worst crash in history to that point. To this day, no one knows why it crashed.
* Juliette Lewis auditioned for the role of Lydia. Lori Loughlin, Diane Lane, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Justine Bateman, Molly Ringwald and Jennifer Connelly all turned down the same role.
* The snake scene had been filmed before Michael Keaton was cast as Betelgeuse, and the animatronic snake used bore no resemblance to the actor. After Keaton had been cast, some additional film was shot for the scene, using a stop-motion snake that looked more like Betelgeuse. This was suggested by the studio to make sure the audience knows the the snake is actually Betelgeuse and not some random monster from the afterlife.
* The number 3 is used '3' times: The number of times to say commands ("Betelgeuse", "home"), the number of times to knock on the door to get to the other side, and the number of first class intersessions allotted.
* Not surprisingly, the movie's impressive box-office success created plans for a sequel: Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian. A script was commissioned and Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder both signed on to reprise their respective roles, but Tim Burton lost interest in the project and went on to direct Batman and Batman Returns instead. As late as 1996, Warner Bros. was still trying to get the original sequel concept into production but a finished film has yet to materialize.
* At the dinner party, Otho states that people who commit suicide end up as "civil servants" in the afterlife. Miss Argentina, who apparently slit her wrists, confirms this, as she is spending her death as the receptionist.
Why I Picked this movie #30:
1. One of the most imaginative movies made in the 1980.
2. Michael Keaton is simply awesome.
3. It is funny has hell.
4. Has some of the most memorable quotes / dialog in film history.
5. Awesome Script.
6. Has some of the most memorable scenes in film history.
7. Awesome cast.
8. Awesome chemistry with the cast.
9. It still holds up.
10. It had some great spook moments.
11. Michael Keaton steals the movie.
First time seeing it: