"Slouch into action!"


"Slouch into action!"

GHOSTBUSTERS (1984)

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Professional PARAPSYCHOLOGISTS DAN AYKROYD and HAROLD RAMIS study the supernatural with BILL MURRAY as their ASSIS-

BILL MURRAY

Woah, woah! I’m not their assistant! I’ve got degrees in psychology and parapsychology, despite never showing interest in any of those things.

DAN AYKROYD

Say Bill, since this movie is at least partly horror, do you think we should start on a creepy note?

BILL MURRAY

No problem! I’ll start by hitting on a student decades younger than me.

DAN AYKROYD

No! That’s not what I meant, you-

HAROLD RAMIS

Guys! The university is shutting our department down!

DAN AYKROYD

Who cares? We just found empirical evidence of ghosts this afternoon. Let’s use that to win back our jobs and every Nobel Prize ever.

BILL MURRAY

Hmmm, we could do that...OR we could open up our own ghost removal business!

DAN AYKROYD

What? We’ve only found one solid example of ghosts in all our careers, and now you want to risk everything catching them for a living? That’s insa-

INT. FIREHOUSE

The TRIO have started their own GHOSTBUSTING business.

DAN AYKROYD

DAMMIT!

HAROLD RAMIS

Hmph. This building is completely inadequate for our power needs. Try to remember that when you realize that our ghost containment unit only has one power source.

The GHOSTBUSTERS get their first customer, SIGOURNEY WEAVER.

DAN AYKROYD

Okay Bill. Our business is struggling. And this is the first customer we’ve EVER had. DO NOT screw this up.

BILL MURRAY

No problem.

(turns to Sigourney)

Wanna fuck?

SIGOURNEY WEAVER

No!

BILL MURRAY

Wanna fuck?

SIGOURNEY WEAVER

No!

BILL MURRAY

How 'bout now?

SIGOURNEY WEAVER

No! I want you to investigate this ghost that’s been haunting my refrigerator. You spent all your money on a chance to bust ghosts, and here it is! Right here!

BILL MURRAY

Aw, I don’t believe that for a second. Wanna fuck?

SIGOURNEY WEAVER

(sighing)

Okay. Try looking at this from another perspective. I'm clearly distressed about this haunting. If you at least played along I'd be grateful, and maybe MAYBE you could work your way up to a date or-

BILL MURRAY

Wanna fuck?

SIGOURNEY WEAVER kicks BILL MURRAY out of her apartment.

BILL MURRAY

Hrmph. Women.

DAN AYKROYD

Why the hell did you tell her there wasn’t any ghost!?

BILL MURRAY

Because I got into this job for the money. If we started getting assignments it might lead to distractions like payche-

(realization hits)

Ooooooh.

INT. FANCY HOTEL

The GHOSTBUSTERS have finally been hired to bust something!

DAN AKYROYD

We're almost bankrupt, so let's please please please not screw this up!

(glares)

Of course, we'd have a lot more money if SOMEONE hadn't bought like half a dozen arcade machines for the firehouse.

BILL MURRAY

Sorry. I though our paranormal extermination agency could maybe double as a Chuck E Cheese's.

HAROLD RAMIS

I just remembered we’ve never done a proper safety test of this equipment.

BILL MURRAY

(beat)

Okay why? I can see me cutting a few corners, but you two live for trying out stuff like this.

HAROLD RAMIS

I also forgot to mention we should never cross the streams, we don’t know how to aim our weapons, and I can’t remember how to use my legs! HELP!

(stumbles headfirst into wedding cake)

BILL MURRAY

I'm beginning to doubt your status as "the smart one".

DAN AYKROYD

What happens if we do cross the streams?

HAROLD RAMIS

We blow up the planet and kill billions of innocent people.

BILL MURRAY

Holy shit, you couldn't have told us about this a little earlier? We're risking becoming the greatest mass murderers in history!

(beat)

I mean, uh, nonchalant quip.

The GHOSTBUSTERS wander around, break shit, wander around some more, break shit some more, and finally, BUST a GHOST.

BILL MURRAY

Ghost busted! Now, what amount do we charge?

DAN AYKROYD

Wasn’t this whole moneymaking scheme your idea? Did your endlessly greedy mind never put any thought into how much money you could charge?

HAROLD RAMIS

Oh just bully the snobby hotel manager into paying you an exorbitant amount.

HOTEL MANAGER

Oh, just you wait. One day they'll be a movie with a hotel manager or maître d who's humble and not stuck-up, THEN you loveable cutups will feel sorry for picking on him!

EXT. ALL OVER NEW YORK

The GHOSTBUSTERS become a runaway success and NATIONAL CELEBRTIES! CIVILIZATION collaspes as concrete proof of the paranormal appears! Every MAJOR RELIGION is thrown into CHOAS and BLOODY SCHISMS from solid evidence of GHOSTS! ANGRY RELIGIOUS ZEALOTS asassinate the GHOSTBUSTERS! CONGRESS, NATO and the UNITED NATIONS send troops into NEW YORK to deal with the UNDEAD INVASION! DAN dreams of SPECTRAL BLOWJOBS!

INT. SIGOURNEY WEAVER’S APARTMENT BUILDING

RICK MORANIS

Hey there! Did someone order an obligatory ’80s comedy nerd?

SIGOURNEY WEAVER

Oh God. Go away Rick.

RICK MORANIS

I just remembered that this ’80s comedy almost DIDN’T have a socially inept white male in thick glasses desperately reaching for female contact! Lucky I came in just in time, eh?

SIGOURNEY WEAVER

(mentally revising her shopping list.)

Yeah. Uh huh. Okay.

RICK MORANIS

You’re bored now. But when I turn into a dog and remain petrified for the entire climax you’ll be glad you got this insight into my character.

INT. FIREHOUSE

The GHOSTBUSTERS are drowning in work.

DAN AYKROYD

Business is boomin’ now that hauntings are up 4000%!

(beat)

Huh. Should we, maybe, be worried about that?

HAROLD RAMIS

Who cares? Press coverage!

(slides down mountain of magazine covers)

BILL MURRAY

Lucky for us we’ve got this receptionist, Annie Potts.

ANNIE POTTS

Yeah, it have made sense to hire me NOW and not when you were broke and sliding towards bankruptcy.

BILL MURRAY

Shut up you disgusting cow! Let me make fun of your poverty, your overlong hours and your inability to find any satisfying work.

ANNIE POTTS

WOW, you really are a smug bully. I can’t believe people see you as an underdog and not a-

BILL MURRAY

(deadpan one-liner)

ANNIE POTTS

You are the greatest person of all time. Of all time!

DAN AYKROYD

But seriously guys, with all this extra work, we should hire a fourth Ghostbuster.

HAROLD RAMIS

Excellent, then we could have FOUR people aiming proton streams instead of three! Then we’ll have more chance of crossing the streams and blowing everything up!

ANNIE POTTS

But wait, hiring an extra Ghostbuster is not going to reduce your workload if you all go on the same missions! Wouldn’t it better if you just used two or three Ghostbusters per case-

BILL MURRAY

(deadpan one-liner)

ANNIE POTTS

Yes master.

ANNIE interviews EDDIE MURPHY. WAIT, WE CAN'T GET EDDIE MURPHY? UH, WHO CAN WE PENCIL IN AT THE LAST MINUTE? ERNIE HUDSON for the vacant position.

ANNIE POTTS

Do you believe in UFOs, astral projection, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trans-mediums, the Loch Ness monster and the theory of Atlantis?

ERNIE HUDSON

If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.

(beat)

Wait. This is the Fox News anchorman position, isn’t it?

ANNIE POTTS

No this is a paranormal extermination agency.

ERNIE HUDSON

Okay. Slightly more fact-based, count me in.

BILL MURRAY

He's hired! Dan and Harold nearly killed me on our first outing, so I have no problem giving a proton pack to someone I've known for less than five seconds!

ERNIE HUDSON

Thanks guys. I can't wait to see all the funny lines I get.

EVERYONE

(awkward silence)

BILL MURRAY

Um...yeah...we've got a whole character arc worked out for you.

HAROLD RAMIS

Guys this is all well and good but we're more than halfway through the movie. It's time we become familiar with our main antagonist.

DAN AYKROYD

(scratching chin)

Hmmm...we're professional ghost hunters...so we see a lot of horrifying shit every day...so our main bad guy should be this terrifying, badass, demonic ghost from the pits of...

BILL MURRAY

Well fuck you because it's this pencil-pushing government employee.

WILLIAM ATHERTON DICKLESS

Bwahaha! I'm bureaucrat who's also a huge asshole! Just like EVERY BUREAUCRAT IN EVERY MOVIE EVER! Just like how every maître d is stuck up!

BILL MURRAY

I mean there's a demon god at the end, but for all intents and purposes this guy is our main opponent.

DICKLESS

(foaming at the mouth)

Regulations! Protocols!

BILL MURRAY

What do you want?

DICKLESS

I'm representing the Environmental Protection Agency and-

BILL MURRAY

Wait, the first government agency to investigate us is the fucking EPA? I thought we'd get our first visit from the police or the Department of Homeland Security or someone whose fucking job is to first protect us from unknown threats.

DICKLESS

AS I WAS SAYING, we're here to make sure you're not a danger to the public.

HAROLD RAMIS

That's an outrage! We're a bunch of loveable cutups!

DICKLESS

Didn't you nearly blow up the planet in the first act?

HAROLD RAMIS

Withdrawn.

DICKLESS

Anyway, we're here to make sure you don't harm anyone by...

(flips through lists of excuses)

Owning toxic chemicals! I don't know why we'd think you'd have large quantities of lethal chemicals. Presumably if you bought them we could find the receipts. But it doesn't matter! I don't need an excuse to be evil!

BILL MURRAY

Aw shove your credentials up your ass! Get out of here!

DICKLESS

I'll be back with a court order!

(leaves)

DAN AYKROYD

Guys, should we...I don't know. Hire a lawyer of something? Prepare for when he inevitably comes back?

BILL MURRAY

(beat)

Nah.

INT. SIGOURNEY WEAVER’S APARTMENT BUILDING

RICK MORANIS is hosting a party.

RICK MORANIS

Hey, everyone! I know you're all just super invested in what I doing! So I'm just going to have this scene where I ramble on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on but don't worry! I make sure that this party doesn't contribute to the plot or the character development in any way! I mean, I know we just introduced a fourth Ghostbuster but who wants to spend time with him! Why show his personality or character journey or even him actually getting to bust a motherfucking ghost. I know you'd rather hear me talk about my medication and my romantic problems with Sigourney Weaver! Do you think I might have a shot with her? I know I'm up against Bill Murray's charismatic main protagonist self but I think I might have a chance! It's gonna be tense guys!

(beat)

Am I talking too much?

RICK is chased out of his APARTMENT and savagely mauled by a DEMONIC DOG. Somehow this also feels too long. BILL MURRAY arrives at SIGOURNEY'S APARTMENT.

BILL MURRAY

Sigourney! I've somehow convinced you to date me! Let's go!

POSSESSED SIGOURNEY WEAVER

Too bad! I'm possessed by ultimate evil! Let's fuck!

BILL MURRAY

Hmm. While it's standard procedure for comedies like this to use these scenarios to get their loveable schlub laid, we're going to break tradition a bit and have me realise this counts as rape.

POSSESSED SIGOURNEY WEAVER

CURSE YOU! RAAARGH!!!

BILL MURRAY

Woah. I'd better inject you with 300 cc's of thorozine.

(beat)

Wait, why'd I bring heavy anti-schizophrenia meds on a date?

POSSESSED SIGOURNEY WEAVER

Puts all the ghosts and stuff under a new light, huh?

INT. FIREHOUSE

The POLICE arrive escorting...

RICK MORANIS (POSSESSED)

HEY GUYS IT'S ME AGAIN AND I'M STILL TALKING ONLY NOW I'M POSSESED!

HAROLD RAMIS

OH GODDAMITT YOU'RE STILL YAPPING.

ANNIE POTTS

Wait, why'd you bring him here?

POLICE OFFICIER

We found him wandering around. Since the NYPD has never ever dealt with someone rambling incoherently before, we're all scared out of our wits.

ANNIE POTTS

And you brought him here, instead of, say, a hospital. Great job guys. Is every meth addict in the city going to end up on our doorstep?

HAROLD RAMIS

Annie, I've just got off the phone with Bill. He's heading here instead of watching his clearly dangerous and out-of-her mind demonic girlfriend.

ANNIE POTTS

Great! Let's call up Dan and Ernie and have them come here as well! Why start delegating tasks now that we have the extra staff!

But WILLIAM ATHERTON DICKLESS shows up to FUCK UP EVERYTHING!

DICKLESS

BWAHAHAHA! YOU'RE ALL FUCKED! You're facing half a dozen charges-

HAROLD RAMIS

Wait, when did that happen? What are these charges? Shouldn't you telling us what these are, when are our court dates-

DICKLESS

And now I have authority to break into your home-

HAROLD RAMIS

Seriously, why is the EPA of all people on our case for firing deadly energy beams across New York? Aren't there a dozen other agencies that might raise an eyebrow at that?

DICKLESS

-so I can start pulling levers at random!

HAROLD RAMIS

What? You think our equipment is dangerous so you're just going mess around with it and see what happens?

DICKLESS

Yeah! Just imagine if Chernobyl had some guy haphazardly mashing his hand across a keyboard!

DICKLESS deactivates the CONTAINMENT UNIT unleashing dozens of GHOSTS across MANHATTAN.

DICKLESS

Yay! Completely motiveless evil!

HAROLD RAMIS

What have you done you idiot?

DICKLESS

What have I done? You built the device with an "Unleash all ghosts across New York" switch.

BILL MURRAY

Well, I guess there's nothing for it. We're gonna have to fight off an army of ghosts in a city under siege-

DICKLESS

Or you could just spend the next few scenes under custody.

(arrests Ghostbusters)

BILL MURRAY

Dick.

INT. CITY JAIL

DAN AYKROYD

Guys, it looks like these are the end times! Those ghosts Dickless unleashed are causing havoc and destruction everywhere!

ERNIE HUDSON

Really? It looks like they're mostly stealing hot dogs.

DAN AYKROYD

You try staging an apocalypse on this budget!

HAROLD RAMIS

It gets worse. Sigourney's apartment building was designed to summon a world-ending demigod named Gozer. Apparently the architect saw the internet's reaction to an all-female Ghostbusters and thought society was too sick to survive.

The GHOSTBUSTERS are hauled in front of the CITY MAYOR.

DICKLESS

Mr Mayor, these people are nothing but con artists! They use hallucinogenic gases to make you see whatever they want you to see!

MAYOR

(beat)

You know, that actually makes a lot of sense. There was no concrete evidence of ghosts until their highly lucrative ghostbusting business turned up...

BILL MURRAY

No! Don't listen to him! We have cocky charm! COCKY CHARM!

MAYOR

Oh gosh darn it, you really do! Get outta here, you loveable cutups!

BILL MURRAY

Woohoo! We beat you Dickless! We never have to worry about you again!

DICKLESS

Uh, no you haven't. All the mayor did was release you from jail. You're still facing six federal charges.

BILL MURRAY

That's an interesting argument but I have a better one.

(beat)

Fuck you I'm Bill Murray.

INT. SIGOURNEY WEAVER’S APARTMENT BUILDING

THE GHOSTBUSTERS arrive with a full POLICE ESCORT!

BILL MURRAY

Awesome!

...who remain outside while the GHOSTBUSTERS march in to fight GOZER.

BILL MURRAY

Dammit, you'd think the city would be just a LITTLE invested in its own SURVIVAL.

GOZER

Behold! My overwhelming power!

The GHOSTBUSTERS shoot GOZER.

GOZER

OW! FUCK! I'm nowhere near as overwhelming as I thought. Okay, bring in the fifty-foot marshmallow man!

BILL MURRAY

The what?

DAN AYKYROYD

Gozer pulled an image of a corporate mascot from my head to create a giant monster.

BILL MURRAY

Well thank God this film wasn't made by Michael Bay. I shudder to think of the horrifying product placement this might have spawned.

DAN AYKROYD

I don't know, I kind of like the idea of us murdering a fifty-foot Burger King.

HAROLD RAMIS

Wait, guys there's a huge portal to Gozer's dimension right there. What if we cross the streams inside and blow it up?

BILL MURRAY

Wouldn't that cause a planet-killing explosion? If that's a two-way portal how would the Earth remain unaffected if it was just ten feet away?

HAROLD RAMIS

...think of something.

BILL MURRAY

We'll at least step inside the portal to make absolutely sure we don't blow up our world, won't we? Guys?

HAROLD RAMIS

Get ready! Everyone call out your trademark one-liner!

BILL MURRAY

(deadpan one-liner)

HAROLD RAMIS

(even more deadpan one-liner)

DAN AYKROYD

(emotional one-liner)

ERNIE HUDSON

(unwritten one-liner)

Goddammit.

They blow up GOZER, THE STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN, THE PORTAL, and also the BAD WEATHER!

SIGOURNEY WEAVER

I'm free again!

BILL MURRAY

Yay!

ANNIE POTTS

I'm Harold's love interest suddenly!

HAROLD RAMIS

Double yay!

RICK MORANIS

I'm free too!

DAN AYKROYD

Boo!

BILL MURRAY

Well, it looks like everything's been neatly wrapped up.

ERNIE HUDSON

What about the hundreds of ghosts Dickless unleashed?

BILL MURRAY

(gritted teeth)

EVERYTHING IS FINE. SHUT UP.

HAROLD RAMIS

And the best part is that no one will ever doubt the existence of ghosts again!

GHOSTBUSTERS II

Yeah...

END.

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