Things That Bring Back Memories – “Beetlejuice” #MondayMemories 29

Things That Bring Back Memories

For this week’s “Things That Bring Back Memories” post, I am going to pick something in the topic of “MOVIES” and go with “Beetlejuice“.  This movie was released in 1988, and was one that so many remember that were from “back in the day”.

Beetlejuice was one that some people either loved, or hated.  I figured at first, that they wanted to come out with a scary movie, but it was so funny and laughable, it ended up being a comedy.  I think I can hear all of the people still at school, who were saying the name three times! 🙂

If, for some reason, you are of an age that makes it difficult to remember the Beetlejuice movie, here’s a preview of what it was about:

Did you ever watch the Beetlejuice movie when you were younger? or have you seen it on TV or Netflix later in life?  Let me know what you thought of it, and if you have any memories of it in your life!


More Info on the Movie:

BeetlejuiceBeetlejuice is a 1988 American comedy 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 ghost named Betelgeuse (pronounced Beetlejuice, portrayed by Michael Keaton) from the Netherworld 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 critical and commercial 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 country home in the fictional town of Winter River, Connecticut. 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 planet covered in sand and populated by enormous sandworms (apparently the planet Saturn, according to a remark made later).

After fleeing back into their home, the Maitlands’ peace is soon disrupted when their house is sold and obnoxious new residents, the Deetz Family, arrive from New York City. The Deetzes consist 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 caseworker, 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. Barbara and Adam’s 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 and die, Otho having unwittingly performed an exorcism instead. Horrified, Lydia summons Beetlejuice for help but he only agrees to help her on the condition that she marry him, enabling him freely to cause chaos in the mortal world. Beetlejuice saves the Maitlands and disposes of Maxie, his wife, and Otho. Beetlejuice then prepares a wedding before a ghastly minister. The Maitlands intervene before the ceremony is completed, with Barbara riding a 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.


Some of the Characters:

Alec Baldwin (Adam Maitland) was born April 3, 1958, and is an American actor, producer, and comedian. As a member of the Baldwin family, Beetlejuicehe is the oldest of the four Baldwin brothers, all well-known actors.  Baldwin first gained recognition appearing on seasons 6 and 7 of the CBS television drama Knots Landing, in the role of Joshua Rush. He has since played both leading and supporting roles in films such as the horror comedy fantasy film Beetlejuice (1988), as Jack Ryan in the action thriller The Hunt for Red October (1990), the romantic comedy The Marrying Man (1991), the superhero film The Shadow (1994), and two films directed by Martin Scorsese: the Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator (2004) and the crime drama The Departed (2006). His performance in the 2003 romantic drama The Cooler garnered him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.  From 2006 to 2013, Baldwin starred as Jack Donaghy on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, winning two Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards for his work on the show, making him the male performer with the most SAG Awards. He is also a columnist for The Huffington Post.

Geena Davis (Barbara Maitland) was born January 21, 1956, in Wareham, Massachusetts, to Lucille (Cook), a teacher’s assistant, and William F. BeetlejuiceDavis, a church deacon and civil engineer. Her parents, originally from small towns in Vermont, were both from families with deep roots in New England.  She is an American actress, film producer, writer, former fashion model, and a women’s Olympics archery team semi-finalist.  She is known for her roles in The Fly, Beetlejuice, Thelma & Louise, A League of Their Own, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Stuart Little and The Accidental Tourist, for which she won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.  In 2005, she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for her role in Commander in Chief. In 2014, she returned to television portraying Dr. Nicole Herman in Grey’s Anatomy. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress along with her co-star Susan Sarandon for Thelma and Louise.  

Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice) was born September 5, 1951, and is better known by his stage name Michael Keaton.   Keaton, the youngest of seven Beetlejuicechildren, was born in Forest Grove, in Robinson Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. His father, George A. Douglas, worked as a civil engineer and surveyor, and his mother, Leona Elizabeth, a homemaker, came from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.  Keaton was raised in a Catholic family.  His mother was of Irish descent, and his father was of English, Scottish, Scotch-Irish, and German ancestry.  He attended Montour High School in Pennsylvania. Keaton studied speech for two years at Kent State, before dropping out and moving to Pittsburgh.  He is an American actor, producer, director and comedian. He is currently a visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University.  Keaton first rose to fame for his comedic film roles in Night Shift (1982), Mr. Mom (1983), Johnny Dangerously (1984) and Beetlejuice (1988), and he earned further acclaim for his dramatic portrayal of Bruce Wayne / Batman in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). Since then, he has appeared in a variety of films ranging from dramas and romantic comedies to thriller and action films, such as Clean and Sober (1988), The Dream Team (1989),  Need for Speed (2014) and RoboCop (2014), and also provided voices for characters in the Pixar films Cars (2006), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Minions (2015).  Keaton’s critically praised lead performance in Birdman (2014) earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, British Academy Film Award and Academy Award for Best Actor. He previously received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in Live from Baghdad (2002) and Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for The Company (2007). Keaton was awarded a Career Achievement Award from both the Hollywood Film Festival and Zurich Film Festivals.

Winona Ryder (Lydia Deetz) was born Winona Laura Horowitz in Olmsted County, Minnesota, and was named after a nearby town, Winona, BeetlejuiceMinnesota. She is the daughter of Cynthia (Istas), an author and video producer, and Michael Horowitz, a publisher and bookseller. Her father’s family is Russian Jewish and Romanian Jewish. She grew up in a ranch commune in Northern California which had no electricity. She is the goddaughter of Timothy Leary. Her parents were friends of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg and once edited a book called “Shaman Woman Mainline Lady”, an anthology of writings on the drug experience in literature, which included one piece by Louisa May Alcott. Winona Ryder was later to star as Jo March in this author’s Little Women (1994).  Ryder moved with her parents to Petaluma, California when she was ten and enrolled in acting classes at the American Conservatory Theater. At age 13, she had a video audition to the film Desert Bloom (1986), but did not get the part. However, director David Seltzer spotted her and cast her in Lucas (1986). When telephoned to ask how she would like to have her name appear on the credits, she suggested Ryder as her father’s Mitch Ryder album was playing the background. Ryder was selected for the part of Mary Corleone in The Godfather: Part III (1990), but had to drop out of the role after catching the flu from the strain of doing the films Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (1990) and Mermaids (1990) back to back. She said she did not want to let everyone down by doing a substandard performance. She later made The Age of Innocence (1993), which was directed by Martin Scorsese, whom she believes to be “the best director in the world”.


Did You Know?

Michael Keaton spent only two weeks filming his part in the film, which lasts 17.5 minutes out of the 92-minute running time. It is Keaton’s favorite film of his own.

The title character of Beetlejuice is named for a bright red star in the constellation of Orion, Betelgeuse. The studio disliked the title and wanted to call the film “House Ghosts”. As a joke, Tim Burton suggested the name “Scared Sheetless” and was horrified when the studio actually considered using it.

In the wedding scene, Lydia’s dress is a bright red. According to the old rhyme about wedding dress colors, it’s “Married in red, better off dead.”

Beetlejuice reveals a hideous (albeit unseen) face to Adam and Barbara. Originally, Betelgeuse’s “scary face” was going to be seen, and an elaborate makeup effect was created to that end, but ultimately went unused.

Just before the dinner party scene, Delia mentions to Lydia that one of their guests is a writer for ‘Art in America ‘magazine. In the very last scene, when Delia shows Charles her latest sculpture, there is a copy of ‘Art in America’ behind him, with a picture of Delia and several of her sculptures on the cover.

Producer Jon Peters thought of casting controversial comedian Sam Kinison as Beetlegeuse, but Kinison’s agent never told him about it.

Although the character’s true name is Betelgeuse, it was spelled Beetle Juice in the title because it’s funnier and markets better.

When the Maitlands are in model of the cemetery, there is fake green grass. When they return to full size and look down at the model, the cemetery is covered with sand, not fake grass.



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Lois Jones
8 years ago

Wow, it’s hard to think that movie was out so long ago! I feel old! LOL!! It was a fun movie though!!

8 years ago

Love Beetlejuice! It’s one of my favorite movies! Excited to hear about a possible sequel!

Heidi Bee
Heidi Bee
8 years ago

This was a fun one! I have heard there is going to be a new sequel!

8 years ago

It’s ridiculous that I’ve never seen this yet, isn’t it? Never mind, I do already know the answer to my own question. 🙂

8 years ago

I loved this movie! IT would be fun to watch it again with my kids.

Elizabeth O.
Elizabeth O.
8 years ago

Haha! What an awesome choice for a throwback. I love this movie, so chaotic and funny. Lol.

Ellen Christian
8 years ago

I love Beetlejuice! This was one of my all time favorite movies.

Mhar Sefcik
8 years ago

Love the actors’ profile. Anyway, I only seen the movie once because it’s kind of creepy. 🙂

Jessica Harlow
8 years ago

I loved Beetlejuice! The actors were great and Michael Keaton was perfect for the lead role! I’m proud to say even my preteen has seen it and loved it just as much as me! lol

Carlee C
8 years ago

This is an absolute classic and I love the music and a hilarity of this production. I think it time for me to watch this again!

8 years ago

I love this movie! I heard rumors they were making a sequel with the original cast returning! It literally made my day!

Liz Mays
8 years ago

I really loved that movie and I’ve seen it many, many times! I even liked the corny stage show at Universal too.

Bernadette N
8 years ago

Beetlejuice is one of my favorite movies! I should get the DVD and let my kids watch it! I remember my sisters and I know would always say lines from the movie when we were growing up.

8 years ago

I loved that movie. Some great quotable lines from the movie.

8 years ago

So many cool facts about the movie here, love it. This is a movie I watched so many times, makes me want to see it again! It was more of a comedy but makes a good one to watch during Halloween.

tara pittman
8 years ago

This is an awesome movie. I have seen this one many times and do not tire of it.