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If there’s an upside to the ridiculous arguments over the upcoming new Ghostbusters film it’s that people are giving the original film another look. Turns out there are a few interesting things from that film that you may not know about. Like the fact that Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray each had another role in the film at one point, playing homeless people who were seen throughout the film.
Yahoo Movies has some detail on how the scenes came about. The idea was that the two who play parts similar to that of a greek chorus or Shakespearean Fools, providing commentary on the film throughout. Eventually, the idea was scrapped because it was really obvious that it was Murray and Aykroyd in the roles, and the director was afraid the audience would get confused seeing them in both places.
While having actors play multiple roles in the same film was hardly a new idea at the time it’s hard to look back and see Ghostbusters as one of the films using the technique. In movies like the Austin Powers franchise, it’s done to double down on the comic effect, but Mike Myers still puts on enough makeup that you know the characters are different people. In a Monty Python film, the team intentionally makes it obvious that they are playing multiple roles, as that’s part of the joke. In this case, it likely would have confused some moviegoers although that’s too bad as they may have added some fun, absurd comedy to the mix.
Here’s one of the scenes that has survived and made it onto some DVDs:
This scene is interesting as it really has nothing to do with the rest of the film. It just shows our two drifters being in the same place at the same time as our major plot points. Their conversation has nothing to do with anything, other than it being the last thing you might expect these two to be talking about. The scene even ends with the two jumping to avoid a demon dog who was never added to the frame because the idea had been scrapped. If this was meant to be a regular occurrence it would have made for an interesting running gag, but it also might have taken viewers out of the film every few minutes. Some people might have been confused, but my only question would have been, why? If anything fans may have been waiting to see where these scenes led. The fact that they didn’t lead anywhere would have had many scratching their heads.
Still, it is interesting to see something that came close to being part of the finished film. Would you have liked to have seen more of Murray and Aykroyd in these roles, or is this a deleted scene that was deleted for a good reason?