With the new "Ghostbusters" movie set to hit theaters, it's worth paying tribute to the original 1984 film, and recalling why it is the most pro-limited government film Hollywood ever made.
In "Ghostbusters," paranormal activity is becoming a growing problem in New York City. Government doesn't do anything to stop the problem, so private entrepreneurs set up a small business that successfully captures and stores ghosts — for a fee.
But then, the villain — a regulator from the Environmental Protection Agency — decides to interfere with the private business by cutting off their power, thereby releasing all of the captured ghosts. Here is the clip. The EPA agent orders the shut down of the ghost containment unit over the protests of Ramis' character, Dr. Egon Spengler, who says: "Excuse me, this is private property!"
The movie's heroes are taken into police custody after the release of the ghosts. Once the assault by the ghosts causes apocalyptic chaos in New York City and the government is completely helpless in solving the problem, the mayor releases the small-business owners who once again save the day.
How many Hollywood blockbusters involve private businesses as the heroes and government regulators as the villains?
Not to mention the fact that the film is also peppered with lines like this: "I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities. We didn't have to produce anything! You've never been out of college. You don't know what it's like out there. I've worked in the private sector. They expect results."
The director of the original movie, Ivan Reitman, once told Entertainment Weekly, "I've always been something of a conservative-slash-libertarian. The first movie deals with going into business for yourself, and it's anti-EPA—too much government regulation. It does have a very interesting point of view that really resonates."
Editor's note: The original version of this item was posted in February of 2014 following the death of actor and writer Harold Ramis and has been reprinted.