Remembering film director and producer Ivan Reitman : NPR

Movie director and producer Ivan Reitman, who tickled moviegoers’ humorous bones with such ’70s and ’80s smash comedies as Ghostbusters, Meatballs, Stripes and Kindergarten Cop, has died.



ELISSA NADWORNY, HOST:

And now we mark a passing. “Ghostbusters” director Ivan Reitman, who made movies that introduced tears of laughter to film viewers for greater than 4 a long time, died in his sleep this weekend at his residence in California. Reitman’s sense of comedy tended in the direction of raucous and rambunctiousness, as critic Bob Mondello remembers.

BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: As a declaration of intent, this, from “Animal Home” in 1978, fairly properly sums up what producer Ivan Reitman was going for.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE”)

TIM MATHESON: (As Eric “Otter” Stratton) This case completely requires a very futile and silly gesture be accomplished on someone’s half.

JOHN BELUSHI: (As John “Bluto” Blutarsky) We’re simply the fellows to do it.

MONDELLO: The movie made toga events a factor…

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE”)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters) Toga, toga…

MONDELLO: …Turned meals fights cool in a means they hadn’t been since silent comics had been throwing pies, and made an enormous star of comedian John Belushi. Reitman had such enjoyable, he later stated he wished he’d directed “Animal Home,” not simply produced it. And that is what he did for his subsequent few movies – the summer time camp comedy “Meatballs” and the service comedy “Stripes,” each starring Invoice Murray. As huge as these movies had been, they paled subsequent to his particular results thrill journey a couple of workforce that provided a service most individuals hadn’t realized they wanted – ghost elimination.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “GHOSTBUSTERS”)

BILL MURRAY: (As Peter Venkman) He slimed me.

DAN AYKROYD: (As Ray Stanz) That is nice – precise, bodily contact.

MONDELLO: “Ghostbusters'” mixture of smart-aleck humor and more and more gargantuan particular results – that massive marshmallow man destroying Manhattan – wasn’t embraced by critics, however audiences went wild.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “GHOSTBUSTERS”)

RAY PARKER JR: (Singing) Who you going to name?

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Ghostbusters.

MONDELLO: And large form of grew to become Reitman’s factor. As a director, he helped powerful man motion star Arnold Schwarzenegger lighten his picture in “Kindergarten Cop” and in “Twins,” the place he paired him with Danny DeVito.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “TWINS”)

DAVID EFRON: (As Morris Klane) Who’re you?

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: (As Julius Benedict) I am Vincent’s brother.

DANNY DEVITO: (As Vincent Benedict) You inform your brother, he messes with me, he messes with my complete household.

MONDELLO: As a producer, Reitman unleashed the comedian instincts of everybody from Michael Jordan in “House Jam” to a slobbering St. Bernard within the family-friendly “Beethoven” films. And in 2009, he even acquired an Oscar nomination for producing his son Jason’s comedy, “Up In The Air.” The Reitmans labored collectively once more simply final yr on “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.” And as of final week, the 75-year-old producer had eight tasks in improvement, together with one referred to as “Triplets,” by which Schwarzenegger and DeVito uncover they’ve a 3rd sibling. He was to be performed by Eddie Murphy. Ivan Reitman, all the time improvising, shifting the jokes ahead. I am Bob Mondello.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “GHOSTBUSTERS”)

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Ghostbusters.

PARKER: (Singing) When there’s one thing unusual within the neighborhood, who you going to name?

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Ghostbusters.

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