High Spirits (1988)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Horror  |  18 November 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 6,147 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 26 critic

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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Coughlan ...
Liz Smith ...
Tom Hickey ...
Hilary Reynolds ...
Isolde Cazelet ...
Little John Nee ...
Gateman (as Little John)


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


A Hauntingly Funny Comedy! See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

18 November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El hotel de los fantasmas  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$8,578,231 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Neil Jordan has always maintained that the release version of this film is very different from the one he shot. He was more or less excluded from the editing process of the final cut. He insists that his version is still locked away in a vault. See more »


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 »


Peter Plunkett: [on the phone with Jim Brogan] Sir, once again I must remind you that my first name is not "dick". Nor is my surname "face". It is simply "Peter". "Peter Plunkett"... No, I was not given a middle name but I'm sure if I had, my mother would not have chosen "shit-for-brains peckerhead"... Well then clearly you know a side to my mother that I have been happily sheltered from. Nevertheless I marvel at your colorfully creative ever so American colloquialism which flow so trippingly from your ...
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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 »


Featured in Irish Cinema: Ourselves Alone? (1995) See more »


Chantilly Lace
Words and Music by The Big Bopper (as J.P. Richardson)
Performed by The Big Bopper
Fort Knox Music Inc./Trio Music Co., Inc.
Administrated by Hudson Bay Music Inc./Glad Music Company
Courtesy of Polygram Records
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User Reviews

Not A Bad Movie
12 February 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I never got to see this in the theaters, but luckily I remembered it when it came time to rescue it from the local discount video bin. A small Irish family led by whimsically-talented Peter O'Toole conjure up some fake ghosts to lure some tourists and save their ancestral castle from Americans. The ghosts of their ancestors are offended by the fake ghosts so they lend their expertese to save the castle. The humor and the jokes are very good, but some of the hauntings, specifically the nuns, are better than others. Skinny and gawky Liam Neeson and Darryl Hannah, rather skinny and gawky herself, interestingly act out and stick to playing two ghosts stuck in a place memory as Steve Guttenberg plays a husband stuck in an unhappy marriage with sexy Beverly D'Angelo. Most of the movie circles around them and some questionable spernatural phenomenon. There's some holes in the plot as Hannah the ghost ends up in D'Angelo's body, but looks like herself ? Peter Gallagher and Jennifer Tilly share a barely seen sub-plot as Martin Ferrero plays a ghost-hunter/harried husband. All in all, this isn't a bad movie. It's rather enjoyable but the only Irish countryside we do do get to see is rather dismal and depressing.

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