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Film / Ghost Dad

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Ghost Dad is a 1990 fantasy-comedy movie directed by Sidney Poitier and starring Bill Cosby.

Elliot Hopper (Cosby) is a middle-aged widower with three children. After an incident with an insane taxicab driver, it is apparent that he is dead and now a ghost who can only be seen in darkness. Realizing that he has not arranged for life insurance for his three children, he attempts to return to work to close a merger with his company so that the money could provide for them. Hilarity Ensues.


The movie contains examples of:

  • Berserk Button: Edith really doesn't respond well when someone points out that his name is a girl's name.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The Satanist cab driver takes him on a wild ride, often not even looking at the road.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Edith is not a boy's name. It is the name of an elderly Englishman who was named after his grandmother.
  • Hollywood Satanism: The taxi driver demands that Bill Cosby "accept the Lord Satan as the Supreme Being," something that a real-life Satanist would probably never do. Then again, he's batshit insane, which is a weak justification.
  • Insistent Terminology: Edith insists that the male version of his Gender-Blender Name is pronounced "Ed-Ith".
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The ability to become a ghost after death is genetic. Like haemophilia or sickle-cell anaemia. And you don't have to be dead.
    • Apparently, spirits dissipate from view under strong light, but the film's very dodgy continuity issues make it unclear as to how this works or just how much light is needed; how vulnerable Cosby is depends entirely on the scene in question.
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  • Papa Wolf: After hearing his daughter's boyfriend tell him rudely to put his daughter on the phone, Cosby goes through the phone to choke him and say never to talk to, look at, or think of her ever again.
  • Skewed Priorities: Apparently, death is like hiccups, since Elliot decides getting a business deal done is more important than, you know, reconciling he's dead.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Cosby and the scientist do this when arguing over if Edith, the name of the scientist, is a girl's name.
  • Unexplained Recovery: The insane Taxi cab driver, despite being in the same taxi that fell off a bridge, turns up alive and driving another taxi at the end of the film.


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