DVD Patrol: Our Favorite Whoopi Movies
Published: March 4th, 2011
By: Todd Campbell

Over the years, the DVD Patrol has featured a lot of movies and one actress who has always stood out is Whoopi Goldberg. She is one terrific actress and comedian who has proven she has an amazing range from her movie debut in “The Color Purple” to her many appearances on stage right up to her role as one of the ladies who tells it like it is on “The View.” Recently, an article had featured black actors who won Oscars, but Whoopi’s name was strangely absent. I thought that was a little weird for someone that everyone knows. So in honor of giving someone credit where credit is due, I assembled the team and said let’s do our favorite Whoopi Goldberg movies. This was one we couldn’t pass up. See if any of these appeal to you.

TYLER MURPHY

“Ghost” (1990)

One thing I always liked about the movie “Ghost” was the demonic shadows that suddenly appeared to take a sinful dead man’s soul back to hell. The creepy wraiths quickly rush forth and claim their prize before scattering back to hell.

 The movie’s plot is about the kind-hearted Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) and his lover Molly Jensen (Demi Moore). Sam is killed in a mugging, but his longing for the love of his life – and justice – ties his soul to the earth. He wonders to and fro frustrated by his inability to contact Molly... that is until he meets Whoopi Goldberg’s character Oda Mae Brown, the cheap street psychic who turns out to be the real deal. 

I’ve always kind of considered Whoopi to be an actor who often plays unique (freak) roles. So maybe that’s why I found her performance of the crazed and ruffled psychic, a natural one.

The movie moves forward with Sam convincing Oda Mae to try and contact his lost love. An interesting idea, a strange black woman showing up on a doorstep to tell a woman her lover says “hello” from the great beyond. 

The movie realizes this and pokes fun at the idea before finding a dramatic way to prove she’s on the level. The movie evolves more as the man responsible for killing Sam targets Molly. Eventually though, the three overcome.

“Ghost” is a heart-breaking movie complete with high caliber actors and some iconic cinematic moments of romance. It’s definitely worth watching at least once before shuffling down the mortal coil.

BRIAN GOLDEN

“Sister Act” (1992)

As a longtime fan of actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg, I’ll admit I was a bit more excited for this latest Toddster Team-Up than some. The woman is such a talent and I’ve always been just as impressed by her dramatic acting skills as I have her comedic timing. As for my all-time favorite Goldberg film, well, that was easy.

“Sister Act,” the 1992 comedy starring Goldberg as lounge singer Deloris van Cartier/nun Sister Mary Clarence, finds the actress taking on a role that truly suits her abilities. And her performance is, to put it mildly, over the top.

When a sassy yet in-the-dark Cartier discovers the criminal nature of her mobster boyfriend Vincent LaRocca (played by the fabulous Harvey Keitel), the singer flees to the police and, reluctantly, agrees to testify against him. Convinced that LaRocca will stop at nothing to keep this from happening (including the murder of Cartier), Lieutenant Eddie Souther (Bill Nunn) places the worldly performer in a place where no one would ever suspect to find her, including Cartier herself – a Catholic convent.

What follows is a string of hilarious events as Deloris is forced into the convent’s choir – which is absolutely horrific – eventually taking over its instruction at the urging of Sister Mary Lazarus and befriending Sisters Mary Patrick and Mary Robert (portrayed brilliantly by Kathy Najimy and Wendy Makkena).

As a musician, I loved this film for its extremely accurate portrayal of a music group and its improvement through both practice and dedication. In addition, the casting for this film was extraordinary and the supporting actors and actresses really helped to make Goldberg shine all the brighter. Not to mention the fact that, when it comes to laughs, “Sister Act” is sure to please. A truly inspiring and heartfelt film. 

MELISSA STAGNARO

“Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1986)

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