Study Guide

Beetlejuice Scene 1

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Scene 1

Scene 1

The Perfect Vacation

  • The movie opens with one long shot panning over an idyllic little town.
  • Seriously, this place is maybe too perfect.
  • Then the camera pauses on a big white house and a giant spider crawls up on the roof. We find out why—it's just a model town.
  • We pan out a little more and see that the model town belongs to one of our main characters—Adam Maitland—who gently tosses the spider out the window of his attic just before his wife Barbara enters the room.
  • Naturally, Barbara's got a thoughtful present for her hubby to celebrate their vacation at home—some Manchurian tung oil so he can finish sprucing up the table and the bureau. He surprises her with some wallpaper to hang in the dining room. This is gonna be the best stay-cation ever.
  • The lovebirds kiss on a sofa in the attic until they hear a car pull in the driveway. It's Jane. Whoever that is, it's clear that neither Adam nor Barbara want to talk to her.
  • Barbara draws the short straw and has to talk to Jane. Turns out, Jane's a realtor who's trying to talk Barbara and Adam into selling their house. Some guy in New York City is offering to buy it for $260,000 just based on a picture he saw.
  • But Barbara tells Jane they're not selling. They like their little house. Besides, Barbara's just got all that wallpaper to put up in the dining room.
  • Jane just won't let it go. She tells Barbara that the house is too big for just two people. Someone with a family should be living there. That bothers Barbara. We get the feeling they've been unsuccessfully trying to start a family of their own.
  • Meanwhile, Adam's in the basement listening to Harry Belafonte albums, and Jane sticks her head in the window to try to convince him to accept the offer. She's motivated.
  • After Jane leaves, Adam asks Barbara to come with him to get a new brush for the tung oil and a part for the model town. She agrees and they hop in the car.
  • Seriously, could anything go wrong on this totally perfect vacation?

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