Bill Murray had a pretty decent 1984. Ghostbusters, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, took over the summer and changed the trajectory of many young lives—who among us didn’t plan to become a real-life paranormal investigator after witnessing the battle with Gozer—but he was also involved in a lesser known movie that same summer. Murray appeared in the science fiction comedy Nothing Lasts Forever, and despite his star power, and that of other people involved in the film, the movie never saw the light of day. That’s changed, now, however, as the entire feature-length film has leaked onto the Internet for you to check out.
Nothing Lasts Forever was originally scheduled to hit theaters in September of 1984, but Metro Goldwyn-Meyer postponed the release. In the wake of this delay, the film has never had a proper unveiling, either theatrically or on the home video market. This all seems very strange considering the people involved with the movie.
This marks the only credit for director Tom Schiller, who also wrote the screenplay. A veteran Saturday Night Live writer, he was able to fill the cast with the likes of Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Mort Sahl. Gremlins star Zach Galligan and Lauren Tom (Futurama) in only her second credited part, filled out the two lead roles.
The story revolves around a young man named Adam Beckett (Galligan). A burgeoning artist, he returns to Manhattan only to find that the Port Authority has taken over city and he is forced to take a menial, low-paying job for an asshole boss (Aykroyd). When he is nice to a hobo, he encounters an underground network of tramps that controls the fate of the city, and all of the cities in the world. Eventually he travels to the Moon, on a bus driven by Murray, in order to spread peace and find his true love (Tom).
If that doesn’t sound nuts enough, the whole thing is highly stylized, shot in a manner reminiscent of films from the 1930s. Though a DVD release has been announced a number of times, the film contains a number of clips that, while they add to the larger aesthetic strategy of the film, have proven difficult to clear legally, which is why the film has never been properly released. Murray, Schiller, and other members of the cast and crew, however, have staged sporadic public screenings of Nothing Lasts Forever, and it apparently airs regularly on TV in Germany.
I haven’t watched Nothing Lasts Forever yet, so I don’t know if it’s any good or not, but I think I just figured out my plans for the rest of the day. Mowing the lawn can definitely wait until after watching Bill Murray drive a bus to the moon.