Ghosts Can't Do It

Ghosts Can't Do It is a 1989 American romantic crime fantasy comedy film, the last film written and directed by John Derek, and starring Bo Derek with Anthony Quinn.[1]

Ghosts Can't Do It
Ghosts Can't Do It.jpg
Release poster
Directed byJohn Derek
Written byJohn Derek
Produced byBo Derek
Chandran Rutnam
CinematographyJohn Derek
Edited byJohn Derek
Music by
  • Junior Homrich
  • Randall Tico
Distributed byTriumph Releasing
Release dates
  • October 17, 1989 (1989-10-17) (foreign video premiere)
  • June 1, 1990 (1990-06-01) (United States)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States

Real estate magnate Donald Trump appears as himself[2] and received a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor. Trump, along with Leo Damian, was also nominated for the Worst New Star category, but both lost to Sofia Coppola in The Godfather Part III. The film also won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture, Worst Actress (Bo Derek) and Worst Director (John Derek).[3] The film was a box office disappointment and received negative reviews.[4]


Katie is married to elderly billionaire Scott. In spite of their 30-year age difference, the two are deeply in love and live an active, fun-filled life, including passionate and frequent sex. While the two are horseback riding, Scott suffers a heart attack. He survives, but the couple is devastated to learn that he will no longer be able to have sex. Scott is denied a heart transplant due to his advanced age. Choosing to die on his own terms rather than live on borrowed time, Scott commits suicide.

Ascending to the afterlife, Scott is met by a fledging guardian angel (Julie Newmar). As Scott is the first soul in her care, the angel is uncertain of her role and Scott manages to persuade her to let him return to Earth as a ghost in order to be near the grieving Katie. Katie is the only one who can see or hear Scott's ghost. The two are frustrated by their inability to make physical contact (specifically, they can't have sex). Scott comes up with a plan for Katie to commit murder so that Scott can possess her victim's body.

On the pretense of handling her late husband's business affairs around the world, Katie uses her inheritance to travel in search of the perfect victim. Scott encourages her to have sex with each potential victim so that both of them will know if the body is compatible sexually. Eventually the two settle on a young, handsome man named Fausto. Katie has sex multiple times with Fausto while steeling herself to murder him, but the more intimate they become, the more difficult Katie finds the idea of killing him. Scott grows impatient that she keeps putting off the murder and questions if she has fallen in love with Fausto.

However, while on a snorkeling trip with Katie, Fausto is caught in a fishing net underwater and accidentally drowns. In an apparent contradiction, Scott is unable to possess Fausto's dead body. Katie revives Fausto with CPR, and Scott is able to possess the now-living body. Katie marries "Fausto," now permanently possessed by Scott.



Critical responseEdit

A TV Guide review of the film described it as "the worst-ever movie from John and Bo Derek, which makes it one of the low points of what passes for civilization in the 20th century."[5] Asawin Suebsaeng of The Daily Beast wrote that the film "features one of the dumbest, least funny rape jokes in modern movie history."[6]

Donald Trump's performance in the film was criticized. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle compared his mannerisms in the film to those of Benito Mussolini,[6][7] and Michael Kennedy of Screen Rant wrote: "Whether one loves Trump or hates him, he's certainly a charismatic presence, but an actor he isn't."[8]


Award Category Subject Result
Stinkers Bad Movie Award Worst Picture[9] Bo Derek Nominated
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Picture Won[10]
Worst Actress Won
Worst Director John Derek Won
Worst Screenplay Nominated
Worst Supporting Actress Julie Newmar Nominated
Worst Supporting Actor Donald Trump Won
Worst New Star Nominated
Leo Damian Nominated

Home mediaEdit

It was released on Blu-ray by Shout Factory alongside the 1984 Razzie-winning Bolero as a double feature.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Ghosts Can't Do It (1990)" Archived November 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. The New York Times. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  2. ^ Bo Derek remembers her near-miss with Marvel and acting opposite Donald Trump
  3. ^ "Razzie Awards (1991)". IMDb. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  4. ^ Blevins, Joe (May 9, 2016). "Never forget Donald Trump's Razzie-winning role in Ghosts Can't Do It". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  5. ^ "Ghosts Can't Do It". TV Guide. Retrieved January 15, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ a b Suebsaeng, Asawin (May 9, 2016). "Inside Donald Trump's 'Atrocious,' Razzie-Winning Ghost-Sex Rom-Com". The Daily Beast. Retrieved January 15, 2022.
  7. ^ Blevins, Joe (May 9, 2016). "Read This: Never forget Donald Trump's Razzie-winning role in Ghosts Can't Do It". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 15, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Kennedy, Michael (April 23, 2020). "Ghosts Can't Do It: Donald Trump Once Starred in a Supernatural Sex Comedy". ScreenRant. Retrieved January 15, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "1990 13th Hastings Bad Cinema Society Stinkers Awards". Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
  10. ^ Following Home Alone 2 Controversy, Star Wars' Mark Hamill Remembers Donald Trump's Razzie-Winning Role in Ghosts Can't Do It – Comic Book
  11. ^ Bolero/Ghosts Can't Do It Blu-ray: DVD Talk Review of the Blu-ray

External linksEdit