Perhaps the most iconic of Burton's many iconic characters; Beetlejuice (Keaton) is a vivid personification of Burton's wild and fantastical imagination. The film follows the ghosts of the Maitlands (Baldwin and Davis) as they struggle to rid their old-fashioned country home of the Deetzes (O'Hara and Jones) yuppie invaders from New York City. Venturing into the candy-colored nightmares of the deathly underworld, the ghosts find what they are looking for in the figure of Beetlejuice, an obscene and childishly crude specter who specializes in ridding homes of unwanted living occupants. Beetlejuice soon becomes a problem in his own right, and the couple finds an unexpected ally in the figure of Lydia (Ryder) the morbid, gothic daughter of the invading couple. Keaton's Beetlejuice is surprisingly complex, given the vulgarity of the character, and he lends the role an element of soulfulness. Impeccably and imaginatively costumed, decorated and art-designed, the film is Burton at his most visually creative, offering a succession of arresting tableaux that show his delights in creating idiosyncratic worlds—from the Deetzes' garish post-modern remodel to the afterlife's succession of ratty waiting rooms. "Beetlejuice is a dazzling display of Burton's unique pop culture sensibility. There hasn't been anything remotely like it since Ghostbusters or, closer still, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. By the time this irresistible treat is over, it has created some of the funniest moments and most inspired visual humor and design we may expect to experience at the movies all year."—Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times.
Bing Theater | $10 general admission. $7 museum members, seniors (62+), students with valid ID. | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.
In person: Catherine O'Hara and production designer Bo Welch.