Beetlejuice is a 1988 American fantasy film directed by Tim Burton, produced by The Geffen Film Company and distributed by Warner Bros. The plot revolves around a recently deceased young couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) who become ghosts haunting their former home and an obnoxious, devious "bio-exorcist" named Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) from the underworld who tries to scare away the new inhabitants (Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones, and Winona Ryder) permanently.
After the success of Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Burton was sent several scripts and became disheartened by their lack of imagination and originality. When he was sent Michael McDowell's original script for Beetlejuice, Burton agreed to direct, although Larry Wilson and later Warren Skaaren were hired to rewrite it. Beetlejuice was a financial and critical success, grossing $73.7 million from a budget of $15 million. It won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and three Saturn Awards: Best Horror Film, Best Makeup and Best Supporting Actress for Sylvia Sidney, her final award before her death in 1999.
The film spawned an animated television series that Burton produced and a planned unproduced sequel, Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian. In 2012, new development on a sequel was announced.
Barbara and Adam Maitland decide to spend their vacation decorating their idyllic New England country home. While the young couple are driving back from town, Barbara swerves to avoid a dog wandering the roadway and crashes through a covered bridge, plunging into the river below. They return home and, based on such subtle clues as their lack of reflection in the mirror and their discovery of a Handbook for the Recently Deceased, begin to suspect they might be dead. Adam attempts to leave the house to retrace his steps but finds himself in a strange, otherworldly plane covered in sand and populated by enormous sandworms.
After fleeing back into their home, the Maitlands' peace is soon disrupted when their house is sold and obnoxious new residents, the Deetzes, arrive from New York City. The new family consists of Charles, a former real estate developer; his second wife Delia, an aspiring sculptor; and his goth daughter Lydia from his first marriage. Under the guidance of interior designer Otho, the Deetzes transform the house into a gaudy piece of pastel-toned modern art. The Maitlands seek help from their afterlife case worker, Juno, who informs them that they must remain in the house for 125 years. If they want the Deetzes out of the house, it is up to them to scare them away. The Maitlands' attempts at scaring the family away prove utterly ineffective.
Although the Maitlands remain invisible to Charles and Delia, their daughter Lydia can see the ghost couple and befriends them. Against Juno's advice, the Maitlands contact the miscreant Beetlejuice, a freelance "bio-exorcist" ghost, to scare away the Deetzes. However, Beetlejuice quickly offends the Maitlands with his crude and morbid demeanor, and they reconsider hiring him, though too late to stop him from wreaking havoc on the Deetzes. The small town's charm and the supernatural events inspire Charles to pitch his boss Maxie Dean on transforming the town into a tourist hot spot, but Maxie wants proof of the ghosts. Using the Handbook for the Recently Deceased, Otho conducts a séance and summons Adam and Barbara, but they begin to decay, Otho having unwittingly performed an exorcism. Horrified, Lydia summons Beetlejuice and agrees to marry him if he saves them. Beetlejuice disposes of Maxie, his wife, and Otho, then prepares a wedding before a ghastly minister. The Maitlands intervene before the ceremony is completed, with Barbara riding the sandworm through the house to devour Beetlejuice.
Finally, the Deetzes and Maitlands agree to live in harmony in the house. Beetlejuice, meanwhile, is seen waiting in the afterlife reception area, where he angers a witch doctor, who shrinks his head.
- Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice
- Alec Baldwin as Adam Maitland
- Geena Davis as Barbara Maitland
- Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz
- Catherine O'Hara as Delia Deetz
- Jeffrey Jones as Charles Deetz
- Glenn Shadix as Otho
- Sylvia Sidney as Juno
- Robert Goulet as Maxie Dean
- Dick Cavett as Bernard
- Annie McEnroe as Jane
- Tony Cox as Preacher
- Jack Angel as the voice of Preacher
- Beetlejuice at the Internet Movie Database
|Michael Keaton films|
Batman Returns (1992) ·
|Alec Baldwin films|
Beetlejuice (1988) · Fun with Dick and Jane (2005) (2005) ·