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Their Day in Court is the tenth chapter on the DVDs of Ghostbusters II. This chapter has the three Ghostbusters in court facing charges for the blackout.

Cast

Equipment

Environmental

Locations

Plot

Vehicles drove up and down the busy street outside the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse. A bus with an advertisement for Kool passed by. The scene transitioned to a packed courtroom. Judge Stephen Wexler issued a warning before the trial started. He stated the law does not recognize the existence of ghosts and he did not believe in them either. He stressed he did not want to hear a lot of malarkey about goblins, spooks, and demons and they were going to stick to the facts in this case only. A bailiff stood at the bench. A stenographer typed away. A county clerk gathered some documents then stood up and walked over to Wexler. Winston leaned against the defendant's table. He joked Wexler sounded like a pretty open-minded guy. Ray, Peter, and Egon sat at the defendants table. The Proton Packs, Trap, P.K.E. Meter, the Giga Meter, and the Slime Scooper were on the exhibit table. The Psychomagnotheric ectoplasm Ray collected was in a clear jar. Egon revealed Wexler's nickname was "The Hammer." Ray asserted it was all in the hands of their lawyer now. Louis Tully came over with a messy stack of books. He thought they were making a big mistake using them as their lawyer because he mostly worked on tax laws and probate stuff occasionally. He added he got his law degree at night school. Ray was fine with the arrangement since they got arrested at night. He slammed his head on the books. Jack Hardemeyer conferred with the prosecutor at her table. He wanted her to put Peter, Egon, and Ray away fast and to make sure they go away for a long, long time. She was confident that would not be hard given the list of charges she had to work with. He was pleased. Jack looked over to Peter and snickered. He walked over to gloat and listed off the charges: violating a judicial restraining order, willful destruction of public property, fraud, and malicious mischief. He joked he would see Peter in a couple of years, at his first parole hearing. Peter retorted they would never take them alive. Judge Wexler banged his gavel and adjusted his glasses. He was ready to get on with it.

Louis made his opening remarks. He turned from the bench and addressed the gallery. He thought it was not fair to call his clients frauds. He conceded that the blackout was a big problem for everybody. He revealed he was stuck in an elevator for two hours and had to make the whole time but he did not blame them because he turned into a dog once and they helped him. He thanked the gallery and walked back to his seat. Judge Wexler was bewildered and speechless. Louis sat back down. The guys looked at him. Egon told Louis that was very good. Short but pointless. The Prosecutor examined the Con Edison Supervisor from First Avenue. His name was revealed to be Mr. Fianella. Winston sat in Fianella's seat in the gallery. The Prosecutor asked Mr. Fianella to look at Exhibits A through F on the table. She asked him if he recognized the equipment. The supervisor confirmed he did and recalled it was the stuff the police took from their truck. She asked him if he knew what the equipment was used for. The supervisor was not sure and presumed it was for catching ghosts. Judge Wexler looked at him. She reminded the court that the defendants were under a judicial restraining order that strictly forbade them from performing services as paranormal investigators or eliminators. The Assistant Prosecutor handed the Prosecutor several sheets from their table. She walked over to the bench. Louis got up and followed her. Judge Wexler noted it. Louis took his copy and walked back to his seat. The Prosecutor handed the Con Edison Supervisor the jar of Psychomagnotheric ectoplasm collected by Ray. She asked him if he could identify the substance in this jar marked Exhibit F. She walked to the witness stand and handed him the jar. He turned to Wexler and told him he worked underground for Con Edison for 27 years and he never saw anything like it in his life. Wexler understood. The supervisor presumed the Ghostbusters put the ectoplasm underground. Fianella pointed at the defendant's table. Ray quickly stood up and denied it. Judge Wexler banged his gavel and told him to shut up.

Louis examined Peter. It was extremely obvious Peter was feeding Louis his lines. Louis repeated that Peter was just trying to help out a friend, who was scared of what was happening to her. He asked Peter to say it again. Louis continued there was no evil intended. Judge Wexler stared at them. Louis continued if you live in a place you love, you do not want anything bad to happen. The Prosecutor stood up slowly. Louis called it an isolated incident that would not happen again. The Prosecutor objected. Louis wanted to know why. She stated Louis was leading the witness. Wexler approved the objection. Louis told her to give him a break because they were both lawyers. Wexler called Louis over to him. Louis approached the bench. The Prosecutor sat back down. He asked Louis if he had any questions for the witness that might have some bearing on the case. Louis asked Peter. Peter told him no, and they helped them out enough already. Louis told Wexler he had no more questions. Louis walked back to his seat but half turned to the Prosecutor and told her Peter was hers. After Louis sat down, Ray patted his shoulder. The Prosecutor stood up. She asked Peter to please tell the court why it is that he and his co-defendants took it upon themselves to dig a very big hole in the middle of First Avenue. Peter dryly joked there were so many holes in First Avenue, they really did not think anyone would have noticed. The gallery laughed. Judge Wexler banged his gavel. He warned Peter he would find him in contempt if he kept it up. The Psychomagnotheric ectoplasm bubbled. Peter apologized. The Prosecutor repeated her question and reminded him he was under oath. Peter answered there were some things in this world that go way beyond human understanding, things that cannot be explained, things that most people did not even want to know about. He pointed out that was where the Ghostbusters came in. Ray and Egon nodded in agreement. The Prosecutor interpreted his words as a claim that the world of the supernatural was his exclusive province. She leaned on the stand. Peter placed his hands on top of hers. She pulled away. He referred to her as "Kitten" and clarified that "sometimes, shit happens, someone has to deal with it, and who ya gonna call?" The gallery erupted in cheers and applauded. Egon and Ray turned and looked at the gallery. Judge Wexler banged his gavel and told everyone to shut up.

Judge Wexler ordered Peter, Ray, and Egon to stand. He had to tell Louis to stand, too. They all stood. Wexler found them guilty on all charges and ordered them to pay fines in the amount of $25,000 each. The Psychomagnotheric ectoplasm continued to bubble. Ray finally noticed it and became alarmed. The atmosphere in the courtroom began to eerily shift, too. Wexler sentenced them to 18 months in the city correctional facility at Riker's Island. Ray alerted Egon about the ectoplasm. Wexler shouted he was not finished. He stated on a more personal note and on the record, he believed there was no place for fakes and charlatans. Egon interrupted him. Wexler told him to shut up and continued tricksters like the Ghostbusters had no place in decent society. Peter stated what they had to say was important. The Psychomagnotheric ectoplasm started bubbling faster. Wexler ignored Peter and accused the Ghostbusters of preying upon the gullibility of innocent people. Ray agreed to get him to stop. Wexler told him to be quiet. Ray tried to tell him but Wexler continued that if his hands were not tied by the unalterable fetters of the law, he would indulge in the tradition of their illustrious forebears. Peter, Ray, and Egon gestured and started to lower themselves to hide under the table. Louis nervously followed suit. The people in the gallery became worried, too. Wexler stated he would reach back, to a purer, sterner justice, and have them burned at the stake. The Psychomagnotheric ectoplasm exploded violently.

Trivia

  • In the August 5, 1988 draft:
    • On page 31, Louis' 'I mostly do tax law and probate stuff' line appears.
    • On page 32, the trial takes place at the Criminal Courts Building and the Judge's opening statement appears. It is essentially preserved in the movie except the Judge has no name.
    • On page 33, The Prosecutor is a man. Peter remarks the Judge is a 'pretty open minded guy.'
    • On page 33, Walter Peck is called up to testify.
    • On page 36, a low rumbling tremor is felt under the judge's bench followed by two Full-Torso Apparitions exploding out of it.
  • In the September 29, 1988 draft:
    • On page 30, Peter calls the Judge an open minded guy. Louis informs them they're making a big mistake because he mostly does tax law and some probate.
      • In the movie, the open minded guy line is spoken by Winston. The Judge is named Stephen Wexler.
    • On page 31, Louis tells them he got his law degree at night school. The Judge asks counsel if he will make an opening statement. Peter tells Louis that's him. Louis begins but the Judge tells him he's not addressing a jury, just some people waiting for their cases. Louis thinks they are early and his case could take awhile. The Judge agrees at the rate Louis is going.
      • In the movie, only Louis's night school line is kept.
    • On page 32, Louis moves for a postponement so he has more time to prepare. He is denied. The First Cop is called up as the first witness. He states suspicious electronic equipment was found and at first he thought the Ghostbusters knocked off a Radio Shack.
      • In the movie, the First Cop does not testify. The Con Edison Supervisor is asked about the equipment.
    • On page 34, Peter testifies they were investigating a paranormal event for a friend.
      • In the movie, Peter, through Louis, testifies they were just trying to help out a friend.
    • On page 35, Peter states they didn't solicit any business or perform services nor did they perpetrate any fraud by dumping slime into the sewers.
      • In the movie, Ray vehemently objects to the Con Ed Supervisor's speculation.
    • On page 36, Louis approaches the bench and asks the Judge for some of his water. For his closing argument, Louis tells his story about being stuck in an elevator during the blackout and how he turned into a dog once and the Ghostbusters helped him.
      • In the movie, Louis's water request is omitted and the closing argument is his opening. The Prosecutor is a woman in the movie.
    • On page 37, Peter tells Louis his closing was short but sweet. The Judge tells him that was the worst presentation of a case then rules them all guilty. He thinks he ought to cite Louis for contempt and have him disbarred.
      • In the movie, Egon tells Louis his opening argument was short but pointless. The Judge doesn't evaluate Louis's performance.
  • In the November 27, 1988 and February 27, 1989 drafts:
    • On page 38, Ray calls the Judge an open minded guy. Egon notes his nickname is "The Hammer" but still has no name. Louis informs them they're making a big mistake because he got his law degree at night school. Peter talks to Dana.
      • In the movie, the open minded guy line is spoken by Winston.
    • On page 39, Peter asks Dana to visit him at Sing Sing if he's granted conjugal rights and compares himself to a cat and El Gato. Jack Hardemeyer greets The Prosecutor with "How are you doing hon'?" before asking her to put them away fast. After the Prosecutor notes it won't be hard, Jack tells her the Mayor (and future Governor) won't forget it.
    • On page 40, Louis realizes the whole city is against them and gets nauseous. Egon hands him a waste basket.
    • On page 40, Ray whispers his guess the River of Slime is 10,000 gallons. Egon speculates it is ebbing and flowing from some tidal source.
      • In the movie, Ray vehemently objects to the Con Ed Supervisor's speculation. Ray later guessed the river was 25,000 gallons when he was in the station in the previous scene.
    • On page 41, Louis rephrases himself after the Prosecutor's objection. He notes Peter coached a basketball team for underprivileged children. Peter adds they were city champs. The Prosecutor counters that is irrelevant and immaterial.
      • In the movie, Louis only asks her to take it easy because they're both lawyers. The rest is omitted.
    • On page 43, Peter apologizes about the hole in First Avenue joke and says he couldn't resist the set up. He later notes his fingers were crossed when he was sworn in, then goes into how there are things in the world beyond understanding.
      • In the movie, Peter solemnly apologizes only and does not talk about crossing his fingers.
    • On page 44, Judge Wexler asks Louis if he has any final arguments. Louis approaches the bench and asks him for some of his water.
      • In the movie, Louis's water request is omitted.
    • On page 45, for his closing argument, Louis tells his story about being stuck in an elevator during the blackout. Egon tells Louis he was concise and to the point. The Judge tells him that was the worst presentation of a case then rules them all guilty.
      • In the movie, the elevator story is Louis's opening argument and Egon tells him it was short but pointless.
  • In the February 27, 1989 Draft:
    • Louis bringing up the basketball team is not in this draft.
  • The exterior is the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse at 40 Centre Street (Foley Square) in New York City.
  • The bus passing the courthouse bears an ad for Kool cigarettes.
  • The courtroom set was modified from one used in "Legal Eagles" (1986) which Ivan Reitman directed. It was pulled out of stock and materials were added like a glass partition. The set was put atop a platform so the crew could drill holes for chairs. An expensive heavy cornice ceiling was added. There were complaints about how much was spent on the set.[1][2] It was filmed at Burbank Studios in Los Angeles.
  • In his opening remark, Louis mentions the blackout caused by Ray in the Chapter 9: Great Blackout of 1989.
  • Louis also mentions when he was possessed by and transformed into a Terror Dog during the events of the first movie.
  • The Con Edison Supervisor's surname is revealed to be Fianella.
  • At the 29:55 mark, when Mr. Fianella is testifying on the stand, Winston is seating on Fianella's seat in the spectator's gallery. At any point before and after this mark, Winston is not in the courtroom.
  • Fianella mentions he worked for Con Edison for 27 years, meaning he started out in 1962.
  • When Fianella concludes the Ghostbusters dumped the Psychomagnotheric slime into the sewers, Louis should have objected on the grounds of speculation and motioned to have it stricken from the record.
  • The Prosecutor and Peter mention First Avenue and the hole dug in Chapter 6: Late-Night Excavation.
  • Peter invokes the Ghostbusters' "Who ya gonna call?" credo.
  • Part of Peter, Egon, and Ray's sentence was going to be 18 months in the city correctional facility at Riker's Island.
  • The bottom of the slime jar was cut out and a plexiglass tube was fed into it from under the table. To push the slime up the jar, the crew filled an air piston with additional slime. An air feed created the bubbles. The jar itself sat on a piece of foam rubber that was inlaid into the top of the table. Two motors below the table shook the jar. Lights under the table were reflected upward to add to the tension of the scene. A big red flash was set off when the slime exploded.[3]
  • In Chapter 11: The Scoleri Brothers, while under the defense table, Egon quotes Judge Wexler saying he didn't believe in ghosts.
  • In Ghostbusters Volume 1 #2:
    • On Page 7, Winston mentions Louis Tully and his time in law school.
  • In Ghostbusters Volume 1 #9:
    • On Page 6, the Prosecutor appears as one of the Mayor's aides.
  • In Ghostbusters Volume 2 #15:
    • On the Regular Cover, on the planner, Louis' letterhead reiterates he is also a lawyer.
    • On Page 2, one of Louis' memories is of Peter on the stand during the trial in Ghostbusters II.
  • In Ghostbusters Annual 2017:
    • On the Story So Far Page, the court case in Ghostbusters II is mentioned.
    • On page 9 panel 1, a scene from the start of Chapter 10 is recreated from when Egon mentions the judge's nickname "The Hammer," including a cameo from Judge Wexler, the man who walks past the plaintiff's table, the officer who hands Wexler a sheet, and part of the Stenographer.

See Also

Quotes

Peter: Sometimes shit happens, someone has to deal with it, and who ya gonna call?

References

  1. Wallace, Daniel (2015). Ghostbusters The Ultimate Visual History, p. 146. Insight Editions, San Rafael CA USA, ISBN 9781608875108. Line reads: "Tom Duffield snapped up the courtroom set from 1986's Legal Eagles, a Universal comedy starring Robert Redford, which Ivan Reitman had directed in between the two Ghostbusters films."
  2. Wallace, Daniel (2015). Ghostbusters The Ultimate Visual History, p. 146. Insight Editions, San Rafael CA USA, ISBN 9781608875108. Tom Duffield says: "We pulled it out of stock and added stuff like the glass partition, because the director wanted glass to blow up. We put the stage on a platform because he had to get under the floor to drill holes for the chairs, which were in air mortars. If you look at the chairs as they're blown up off the ground, you'll notice there's a six-inch extension on one side of each chair leg. That's the part that was loaded into the air mortar tube. We also spent a fortune on the ceiling. We wanted a grand feeling, and we thought we'd see it when we were looking up at all the damage. We put in a really heavy cornice ceiling, and I got notices complaining how much we spent."
  3. Eisenberg, Adam (November 1989). Ghostbusters Revisited, Cinefex magazine #40, page 11. Cinefex, USA. Chuck Gaspar says: "The bottom of the jar was cut out, and we had a plexiglass tube that fed into the glass from below the table. To drive the slime upward, we filled an air piston with additional slime. We also had an air feed to create the bubbles. The jar was sitting on a piece of foam rubber that was inlaid into the top of the table and we had two little motors below to make it shake. Then to create a sense that the slime was coming alive, we had lights under the table that reflected upward. As the slime slowly rose up, we increased the light. For the shot when the Scoleri brothers actually emerge from the slime, we put a big red flash behind the jar and set it off at the correct moment."

Gallery

Primary Canon

Behind the Scenes

Secondary Canon

 
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Chapter 09: Great Blackout of 1989 Chapter 11: The Scoleri Brothers
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