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High Spirits (1988)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Fantasy | 18 November 1988 (USA)
When Peter Plunkett's Irish castle turned hotel is about to be repossesed, he decides to spice up the attraction a bit for the 'Yanks' by having his staff pretend to haunt the castle. The ... See full summary »

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mary Coughlan ...
Katie
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Tom Hickey ...
Sampson
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Christy
Hilary Reynolds ...
Patricia
Isolde Cazelet ...
Julia
Little John Nee ...
Gateman (as Little John)
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Marge
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Storyline

When Peter Plunkett's Irish castle turned hotel is about to be repossesed, he decides to spice up the attraction a bit for the 'Yanks' by having his staff pretend to haunt the castle. The trouble begins when a busload of American tourists arrive - along with some real ghosts. Among the tourists are married couple Jack and Sharon. Sharon's father holds the mortgage on Castle Plunkett, so she's hoping to debunk the ghosts. Jack, on the other hand, after meeting pretty ghost Mary, is very eager to believe. Can there be love between a human and ghost? Jack and Mary are going to try and find out. Written by April M. Cheek <Aravis2713@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Hauntingly Funny Comedy! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

18 November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hotel de los fantasmas  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$8,578,231 (USA)
 »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Of his co-star Daryl Hannah, Steve Guttenberg said she was "sweet and shy and very complex. She played the Irish accent well." Regarding Peter O'Toole, Guttenberg said, "He stood his ground, knew when to say 'no'. Not that he was difficult. When the camera rolled, he was perfect. Off the set, he was very private, reminding me of a bad boy who had done it all." See more »

Goofs

In three different shots wires used to "fly" people or objects are visible. First, when Jack Crawford (Steve Guttenberg) gets blown out the front door of Plunkett castle (at around 34 mins). Second, a few seconds later when the roof of the car gets blown off (at around 38 mins) wires attached to it can be seen in the upper left corner of the screen. Third, when Malcolm (Martin Ferrero) gets hit by lightning (at around 13 mins). See more »

Quotes

Martin Brogan: That was a dirty trick wasn't it, eh? Eh? Kicking me right in the bahoogies.
Sharon: You were going to stab your wife with a sword, you pig.
Martin Brogan: Ah, sure, that's no big thing. I do it every night.
Sharon: Oh, and I suppose watching other men's wives in the bathtub is no big deal either.
Martin Brogan: [backs Sharon against a wall] Sure, it's a grand thing if the wife happens to be you.
[leans in for a kiss]
Sharon: [moves away] You dirty peeping Tom.
Martin Brogan: My name's not Thomas. It's Martin.
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Crazy Credits

The end credits show the cast under three headings, first 'The Irish', then 'The Americans', and finally 'The Ghosts' See more »

Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Sinister Street Section
(uncredited)
Music by Peter Francklyn (i.e. Robert Gill)
De Wolfe Music Ltd
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User Reviews

The ghost-ess with the most-ess.
20 April 2004 | by (Orlando, Florida) – See all my reviews

High Spirits turned out to be a pretty good comedy. Peter Plunkett (Peter O'Toole), and his gang of merry Irishmen are facing foreclosure on their grand castle resort. The old fashioned castle needs a clever advertising gimmick to entice visitors. After talking with his looney, but sincere old mother who always claims that she talks to his dead father and the rest of the poor spirits looming around the dark castle, Plunkett decides that the castle ought to be haunted. And so, the guests are invited to stay among the spirits of the Plunkett family. Of course, Plunkett doesn't believe in the existence of ghosts, especially when he hasn't seen any for himself, despite his mother's attempts to convince him that they're everywhere. No, Plunkett's plan involves a few crappy props and some cheap scare tactics to thrill their small group of American guests.

But Plunkett and the gang (nor their furious guests) would ever have imagined real ghosts showing up. And this is where the movie really starts to get funny because everyone, after their various confrontations with the undead and all the strange things that start to happen in the castle, start to become so neurotic as they try to figure out what's going on.

The movie is a romantic comedy, of course, though it could've worked simply as a story of the funny occurences in the haunted castle as Plunkett and his frantic guests scurry about trying to deal with the situation any way that they can. Guttenberg is Jack, a sorry guy who's married to a real dull lady (Beverly D'Angelo) that really can't stand to know him, especially when he drags her out to some stupid castle. Jack actually starts to fall in love with one of the ghosts, a Plunkett ancestry named Mary (Daryl Hannah), a sickley looking young girl who died by the knife of her husband (Liam Neesom). The ghosts keep playing out the murder over and over again, and Jack, accidently intervening in one of the reenactments, somehow frees Mary from the murder. And so, now she's in love with Jack. But how does a ghost and a human end up together (and they have to end up together...after all it's a Hollywood love story)? Well, that's why you have to watch the movie.

Everyone in the movie is fantastic because, though some may start out to be quite annoying (such as the self-declared "professional parasychologist" or the cynical Sharon (D'Angelo)), they eventually come to be very entertaining as the movie goes along. I especially like the goofy interaction between Meg Tilly as the nympho and Peter Gallagher as the soon-to-be Priest. Peter O'Toole is wonderful. He is also the last to realize what the heck is going on.

It's definitely a comedy worth watching.


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