And the answer: Ghost.
Whoopi Goldberg plays spiritual medium Oda Mae Brown in Ghost, where she warns Demi Moore’s character: “Molly, you in danger, girl.” Interestingly, she ad-libbed to create the iconic line, as the script originally read: “He’s sayin’ you’re in danger.” Goldberg won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1991 for her role in the film.
Before 1990, no one could have predicted that a supernatural love story would dominate in the box office (clearly, the world wasn't yet ready for 2008's Twilight). Yet, much like Patrick Swayze's earlier blockbuster, Dirty Dancing, 1990's Ghost became an instant classic and fan favorite. The impossible love story between Swayze and Demi Moore captivated audiences, and Ghost became the world's highest-grossing movie of 1990 as well as a two-time Oscar winner.
Interestingly, though, the iconic cast of Ghost almost looked quite a bit different. For one, Goldberg revealed that the only reason she was able to take home the Oscar for her character Oda Mae is thanks to Swayze, who refused to do the film unless Goldberg was cast. In her 1991 Oscar speech, she thanked Swayze, calling him “a stand-up guy.”
Yet, director Jerry Zucker might have something to say about that, as he almost excluded Swayze from the cast in the first place. Regardless of his work in Dirty Dancing, Swayze's reputation was that of an action actor, and Zucker could hardly see the actor as romance material. On the original film DVD, screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin recalls that Zucker once claimed he'd only cast Swayze "over [his] dead body." Luckily, Swayze got the role and Zucker lived to tell the tale.
Perhaps most significant, though, is the legacy that Ghost left behind. Following its massive box office success, romantic comedies reclaimed respect and attention from filmmakers who had otherwise been focused on action blockbusters. Today, Ghost remains a well-loved, familiar favorite.
Learn more about the making and impact of the movie here.