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Ivan Reitman Cops to Libertarian Subtext of Ghostbusters

This may well be old news but first time I noticed Reitman discussing it: Entertainment Weekly asked Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman to react to a common (among conservatives and libertarians at least) reading of Ghostbusters as having an explicit and intentional anti-regulatory, pro-small-business message.

While I've been unable to find it online, it's on page 113 of EW's Sept. 19/26 double issue. They ask Reitman: "Did you ever imagine that National Review would name Ghostbusters one of the best conservative movies?" 

He replies: "I never knew that. I've always been something of a conservative-slash-libertarian. The first movie deals with going into business for yourself, and it's anti-EPA—too much government regulation. It does have a very interesting point of view that really resonates."

Jesse Walker wrote about this point in February. Ben Schwartz at suck.com laid out the Baby Boomer conservatism underlying Harold Ramis' comedy, and also notes the Reagan-era perfection of Ghostbusters' anti-reg message.

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  • ||

    They should make a sequel: Progbusters.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    If there's something red in your neighborhood

    Who ya gonna call? (Progbusters!)

    A government man, taxing all your goods

    Who ya gonna call? (Progbusters!)

  • toolkien||

    I want a new drug...

  • ||

    Huey Lewis?

  • Gluesponge||

    As long as you don't want a new duck...

  • ||

    This is interesting, because so often people read what they want to see into works that they like, and then the author/director/producer/singer/whoever, when asked, usually completely blows that out of the water. To see it confirmed in this case is unusual. And Ghostbusters continues to be awesome.

  • ||

    I think most people would be floored if they ever found out what their favorite author/director/producer/singer/whoever believed in terms of their political leanings.

    Some are open about it but many are not, and for good reason. They would lose work if others found out.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Thread is dead, but...

    The Wire I would say helped push me to libertarianism. What I saw was a complete fucking failure of government to do anything competently, based kinda sorta on true events.

    And then, I found out David Simon is a commie asshole.

  • GILMORE||

    "You don't know what it's like out there! I've *worked* in the private sector. They expect *results*"

  • juris imprudent||

    That is something of a tell, isn't it?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This ruins the movie for me.

  • Paul.||

    You kind of liked the public health guy, didn't you?

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    It's true. This man has no dick.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

  • ||

    William Atherton specialized in playing assholes. He was great as asshole Professor Hathaway in Real Genius, and the scumbag reporter in Die Hard.

  • Paul.||

    Der.

    "You don't know what it's like out there! I've been in the private sector... they expect results!"

  • ||

    "Ray, when someone asks you if you're a libertarian, you say 'yes'!"

  • ||

    I saw Ghostbusters in the theater a couple weeks ago. It was glorious. Those of you who missed it are idiots.

  • Winston||

    Wasn't there a re-release a few weeks ago? I recall the Rotten Tomatoes percentage was quite high. I wonder if critics back in 1984 were so laudatory.

  • Paul.||

    They were. Well, I saw it in the theater in 1984 and I don't remember anyone walking out saying, "Wow, that was a waste of six bucks!"

  • UnCivilServant||

    You could get to a movie for six dollars?

  • ||

    If you waited a bit you could see it for one dollar at the dollar theater. I saw Jurassic Park for one dollar.

  • Gluesponge||

    I remember when you could see a double feature for $5. Or watching the movie twice at the drive-in (before the sun came up.) :)

    Then again, I'm old.

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

    Dr Ray Stantz: Everything was fine with our system until the power grid was shut off by dickless here.

    Walter Peck: They caused an explosion!

    Mayor: Is this true?

    Dr. Peter Venkman: Yes it's true.
    [pause]
    Dr. Peter Venkman: This man has no dick.
  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

  • Smilin' Joe Fission||

  • UnCivilServant||

    One question - why was there no backup in case the grid failed - NYC does go dark from time to time and that was an exteremly energetic repsonse to loss of containment. If I were sleeping over a device like that, I'd want safeguards.

  • Robert||

    Heck with that...why weren't the operators electrocuted by the return current thru their boots to the van de Graaf generators they carried?

  • ||

    Shout out to Ray Parker jr.!

  • ||

    From wiki: "Parker was accused of plagiarizing the melody to the Ghostbusters theme song from the Huey Lewis and the News song "I Want a New Drug", which had been released on their Sports album the previous year. Lewis sued Parker and Columbia Pictures, and the three settled out of court in 1985."

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    When "Sports" came out in '83, I think they really came into their own. Commercially and artistically.

  • ||

    Familiar line.

    Ah, American Psycho!

  • toolkien||

    I'd say working with Elvis would have been their high point artistically. Commercially, Sports is it.

    And that's Costello... and Huey wasn't a part of it of course.

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    I hope the guy who posts here as Gozer the Gozerian sees this!

  • toolkien||

    Reitman may have had the libertarian thing down, but he certainly didn't do us accountants any favors.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....rTkhcrfsjz

    Though Mrs. Kasem looks good. Has she done anything with hubby yet? Talk about long distance dedications...

  • Mendelism||

    Janine: Do you believe in the freedom of speech, freedom of association, the right to keep and bear arms, freedom from self-incrimination, competition in currency, freedom to consume whatever intoxicants one chooses, and that the government should just generally stay out of the way?

    Winston: Ah, if there's a steady paycheck involved, I'll believe whatever you want.

  • Robert||

    Ramis was always that way, though. On the 1st season of Second City TV, as station mgr. Moe Green (a character he'd already been doing before SCTV he once did an instructional program on business accounting while increasingly slipping in Marxist propaganda until he was nearly foaming at the mouth, until CEO Mr. Caballero (who for most of the 1st season was an unseen, unheard guy on the other end of the phone) phoned him to calm him down.

  • lap83||

    "That's a different look for you, isn't it?"

    That line is hardly ever quoted from the movie, but it's one of my favorites. Maybe it's Bill Murray's delivery of it.

  • Gluesponge||

    I still like the line "You generally don't see that sort of behavior in major appliances."

    That movie was so quotable, nothing else comes close, even today.

  • cavalier973||

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