Harold Ramis was very talented he is most remembered as Dr. Egon Spengler of the Ghostbusters movies. He was also a co-writer of those movies as well. He has also wrote, directed and produced many other films. On February 24, 2014 he has passed away. In this article I will show the highlights of his career.
Second City TV (SCTV)(1976-1981)
This was a sketch comedy show starring many young talent of the time such as, Rick Moranis, Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, John Candy, and Dave Thomas among others. Harold was an actor/ writer on the show. The show was putting TV and movie parodies of the time under the fictional station SCTV. Even though I have not seen the show because it came out before my time I did see some clips from you tube that were mildly funny.
Animal House (1978)
The first feature film particularly written by Harold Ramis. This movie was also written by Douglas Kenney and Chris Miller. This movie was a course a very big hit and a comedy classic. It is about the Delta Tau Chi Fraternity and all the trouble they cause in and around the college. Also is about "Toga...Toga...Toga..." this is a great movie and it's always funny.
Harold wrote this along with Lee Blum, Daniel Goldberg, and Janis Allen. This was the first of six collaborations with actor Bill Murray. Also the first in which Ivan Rietman directed with Ramis as a screenwriter. This movie had made 3 sequels. Those 3 do not star Bill Murray nor were written by Ramis. I'm not sure if any of same characters return since I never seen the sequels. Also I am not sure why it is called "Meatballs," only the one line where someone gets called a Meatball. It is Bill Murray's first big film. It is about camping hijinks. In my opinion I think it is just OK.
This was the first film directed by Harold Ramis. He also co-wrote it with Brian-Doyle Murray (Bill Murray's brother) and Douglas Kenney. It was pretty good, but with no solid story, more like multiple stories of different characters. You had Carl Spackler (Bill Murray) trying to catch that damn gopher. There was Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) a romantic womanizer that could be the ball. Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) being crass insulting people and trying to join the country club. Judge Smails who disapproves of Al's rude behavior. And the Caddies in the middle of everything. This movie ends with a huge golf bet with the slobs vs the snobs. This movie is great although it is not enjoyed by all.
This was also co-written by Len Blum, Daniel Goldberg. This was also his first acting job in a movie. Reitman's second film with Ramis. I only seen this movie once a long while back so I don't remember much about it. I do know that Bill Murray's character John Winger and Harold Ramis' character Russel Ziskey join the army due to their go no where jobs and they cause so much trouble that Winger is forced to train the misfit platoon himself. It is a pretty well liked film with a 6.9 rating on imdb.com.
This movie was directed by Ramis and written by John Hughes. This is great. this is the first of fourVacation movies with the characters the Griswolds; starring Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold. This is funny and a classic. Most people who like this movie like "Christmas Vacation," but not the other sequels "European Vacation" and "Vegas Vacation"
This is the film that Harold Ramis is most known for. He Co-wrote this with Dan Ackroyd and Rick Moranis (un-credited.) He also stars as Dr. Egon Spengler the great mind of the Ghostbusters. This is a great film, funny and very interesting. There is so many quotable lines. Such as, "He slimed me," Dr. Peter Venkman. Also "We'd like to get a sample of your brain tissue," Dr. Egon Spengler. Also this movie has a good theme song. So if there's something strange in your neighborhood, Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS.
Caddyshack 2 (1988)
This is an example of how not to do sequel. Harold Ramis for whatever reason did not direct this movie, but he did co-write it. However not with the same writers. This time it was co-written by PJ Torokvei. First lesson in making a sequel if you can't get the same people from the original then don't make a sequel. The only actor to reprise his role is Chevy Chase as Ty Webb. Also the gopher is back. Dan Ackroyd is also in this movie and is terrible. I hate that irritating voice he does. This movie fails to capture the fun of the original due to lack of the original cast and crummy writing. Well Harold can make all his films gems.
Ghostbusters II (1989)
Again this movie is written by Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis. (this time without the help of Rick Moranis) Harold again plays Egon. This is also not the best sequel but, it is definitely better than "Caddyshack 2." Although it didn't do as well as the original there was still a big desire for a third one. However, there has been talk for part 3 for a long time, but with Harold Ramis now passing on I think it won't happen.
Groundhog Day (1993)
An unusual movie written by Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin. Also this movie is directed by Harold Ramis. This is also the last collaboration between Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. It is about a weatherman whom relives the same day over and over and over... Groundhog Day. It sounds stupid, but it is written so well. I like it because it is funny and smart. Phil Conner's the weatherman played by Bill Murray starts out as a jerk, but the curse of living the same day over and over, turns into a blessing for him and it makes Phil a better person. There is also great supporting characters played by Andie Macdowell, Chris Elliott and Stephen Tobolowsky. This movie is great is you haven't seen it then check it out. I think it is one the best films directed by Harold Ramis.
Analyse This (1999)
Harold Ramis co-wrote this movie with Peter Tolan and Kenneth Lonergan. Harold Ramis is also the director of this film. It is kinda funny it is about a Mob Boss that sees a psychiatrist. Robert De Niro is the Mob Boss and Billy Crystal is the psychiatrist. This movie is funny, but not that funny, to be honest I think Harold hit his peek when he made "Groundhog Day," and his films went down hill ever since. Afterward he did a sequel "Analyze That" Written by: Peter Tolan, Harold Ramis, and Peter Steinfeld instead of Kenneth Lonergan. The sequel was not nearly as good.
Well there was other films he did later and some cameos he made here and there for the most part the films mentioned is what I know him for. If you haven't seen you're favorite Harold Ramis film on this it is probably because I haven't seen it or I just thought it wasn't worth mentioning. For a complete filmography you can go to imdb.com So this is Retrodave saying so long.