The director and producer, who has died aged 75, brought his golden touch to family mega-hits from Ghostbusters to Kindergarten Cop
Ivan Reitman was a director and producer with a golden touch for Hollywood comedy and feelgood entertainment – the heir, perhaps, of Ernst Lubitsch or Gregory La Cava from the golden age, but with a multiplex talent for the 80s and 90s – able to detonate serious box-office explosions. His great heyday, importantly, coincided with the great heyday of video rental and home entertainment – an era of couples and families browsing the VHS racks at video rental stores on a Friday and Saturday night and deciding that comedies were the best bet: Reitman’s comedies.
And this, most famously, was for the glorious high-concept fantasy comedy Ghostbusters in 1984, which brilliantly absorbed SNL-type comedy into the movie mainstream and made stars and serious players of its leads: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. I have a happy memory of Ivan Reitman appearing on stage in London just last year, to deafening applause, joining his son Jason before the premiere of the newest film in what became the Ghostbusters franchise: Ghostbusters Afterlife.