Ghost Dad (1990)

ghost dad poster 1990 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 3/10


Wasn't good in 1990...even worse now due to Cosby's reputation

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Ghost Dad

Studio:  Universal Pictures/SAH Productions

Genre(s):  Comedy/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family

Release Date(s):  June 29, 1990

MPAA Rating:  PG

ghost dad bill cosby car accident

Bill Cosby trying to hold on the little bit of respect he has left in 2020

Elliot Hopper (Bill Cosby) is a widowed father who is on the verge of a big deal that could set him up for life…but life is fleeting.  When Hopper is involved in a car accident, he finds he’s a ghost.  His children Diane (Kimberly Russell), Danny (Salim Grant), and Amanda (Brooke Fontaine) still can see him, but Hopper learns from Sir Edith Moser (Ian Bannen) that his time is short.  Hopper must land the deal quickly to save his family.

Directed by Sidney Poitier, Ghost Dad is a supernatural comedy.  The movie was a box office failure and critically panned.

Bill Cosby made bad movie choices.  In the 1980s and 1990s, you had to question some of Bill Cosby’s career choices for the big screen…but as aspects of the Bill Cosby’s personal life were revealed, Bill Cosby’s movie choices weren’t the worst mistakes he made.  Ghost Dad is bad, but Bill Cosby made worst decision in the 1980s.

ghost dad ian bannen bill cosby

Nope…this says you are a jerk

The movie is bad.  It isn’t funny and it isn’t fun.  Cosby doesn’t even bring the fun that he brought to The Cosby Show, but the movie has a weak plot as Cosby tries to keep his bosses satisfied as he maintains ghost status. It comes off as “kooky”…and instead of clever, it is unfunny and lazy.  Of course through the course of the film (in classic family film status), he learns family is more important than work.

Cosby is Bill Cosby, and he tries to apply The Cosby Show Bill Cosby to Ghost Dad.  He’s got a similar set-up, but of course, he has to die to recognize the “super-dad” he can become.  It is a bit uglier and grimmer than Cliff Huxtable, but largely still wholesome…you just have to look at in a different light now (originally Steve Martin was intended for the role which you can kind of see at points).  Cosby is supported by Denise Nicholas, Kimberly Russell, Barry Corbin, Christine Ebersole, and Ian Bannen.  Raven-Symoné auditioned for the movie which led her to get the role on The Cosby Show.

ghost dad kimberly russell bill cosby

Wacky dead family fun!

The visuals for the movie are very much of the time period.  I have seen worse chroma key shots, but they are very typical.  It wouldn’t be as bad if the effects weren’t being used for the basest of laughs and humor, but falling through a floor and passing through the genitals of a woman on a bus seem like a pretty poor waste of special effects good or not.

Ghost Dad was a bore in 1990, and now with Cosby completely disgraced, it even worse.  I do have to feel bad with some of people who worked with Cosby who probably never legitimately saw the dark side of the comedian and now have to answer questions.  Kimberly Russell reported that he always acted professional during the movie and that probably was the case for a lot of the people (especially the younger ones) who worked with Cosby.  Bottom line is that Ghost Dad wasn’t good when it was released and don’t revisit the body of this one now.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response