Ghost Town (2008)

Director: David Koepp
Writer: David Koepp, John Kamps

Cast: Ricky Gervais (Bertram Pincus), Greg Kinnear (Frank Herlihy), Téa Leoni (Gwen), Aasif Mandvi (Dr. Prashar), Billy Campbell (Richard), Alan Ruck (ghost), Kristen Wiig (surgeon), Brian D’Arcy James (Irish Eddie), Jeff Hiller (naked ghost), Michael-Leon Wooley (medical attorney), Aaron Tveit (anesthesiologist), Bridget Moloney (receptionist)

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Released: September 19, 2008 (USA)
Running time: 102 minutes
MPAA: PG-13 – some strong language, sexual humor, and drug references

Bertram Pincus is a man whose people skills leave much to be desired. When Pincus dies unexpectedly, but is miraculously revived after seven minutes, he wakes up to discover that he now has the annoying ability to see ghosts. Even worse, they all want something from him, particularly Frank Herlihy, who pesters him into breaking up the impending marriage of his widow Gwen.



• The Beatles’ “I’m Looking Through You” is used in the movie, one of the very few occasions where the original version of a Beatles song has been used in a film.

• The New York Times crossword puzzle seen within the first 10 minutes when Dr. Pincus (Ricky Gervais) first comes home is the puzzle from Monday, October 1, 2007 (Created by Allan E. Parrish).

• Dr. Bertram Pincus is named after the inventor of dental veneers, Dr. Charles Pincus.


Bertram Pincus: Did anything usual happen during my operation?
Surgeon: You… uh… died for seven minutes.
Bertram Pincus: I died! For seven minutes!
Surgeon: We brought you right back. People die all the time.
Bertram Pincus: Yeah, but it’s usually just once… at the end.

[After Bertram’s colonoscopy]
Hospital Nurse: Come back soon.
Bertram Pincus: What a terrible thing to say in a hospital.

[Discussing the kind of man they need to romance Gwen]
Frank Herlihy: I was thinking he should be rugged… you know?
Bertram Pincus: No, not rugged… just… approachable…
Frank Herlihy: Really?
Bertram Pincus: Round-faced, if anything… and sensitive.
Frank Herlihy: Well, he should at least be tall…
Bertram Pincus: No, no, no he’s not.
Frank Herlihy: No?
Bertram Pincus: No, just… average…
Frank Herlihy: Average.
Bertram Pincus: …Bordering on short.
Frank Herlihy: Hmm… [he pauses, then laughs] Good god, you mean you!

Bertram Pincus: Listen, our time together, as we both know, has been rather unpleasant. But I will say this: even though you’re a vulgar man – boorish, distasteful, uncouth, uneducated, stupid – at least…
[long pause]
Frank Herlihy: You gonna finish?
Bertram Pincus: Done.

Dr. Prashar: Dr. Pincus, at some point in your life, you’re gonna have to stop and ask yourself the ultimate question.
Bertram Pincus: [nods curiously]
Dr. Prashar: “This business of… being such a fucking prick, what is it really getting me?” Huh?



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