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The House of the Spirits (1993)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  1 April 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 15,967 users  
Reviews: 83 user | 26 critic

A rancher, his clairvoyant wife and their family face turbulent years in South America in this adaptation of Isabel Allende's best-seller.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
António Assunção ...
Man at Cattlemarket (as António Assumpção)
Julie Balloo ...
Young Lady
Frank Baker ...
Intelligence Officer
João Cabral ...
Carlos César ...
Ambassador's Driver
Rogério Claro ...
Man in Club
Edith Clement ...
Oscar A. Colon ...
Franco Diogent ...
Man at the Party (as Franco Diogene)
Pedro Efe ...
Interrogation Officer


Chile, second half of the 20th century. The poor Esteban marries Clara and they get a daughter, Blanca. Esteban works hard and eventually gets money to buy a hacienda, eventually to become a local patriarch. He becomes very conservative and is feared by his workers. When Blanca grows up, she falls in love with a young revolutionary, Pedro, who urges the workers to fight for socialism. It is unavoidable that Pedro and Esteban are pitted against each other. Esteban tries to stop the love affair between Pedro and his daughter by all means possible but soon Blanca becomes pregnant and has a daughter. The void between father and daughter seems unbridgeable when Blanca moves in with Pedro. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, and for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | | |



Release Date:

1 April 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La casa de los espíritus  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


$6,265,311 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Grace Gummer (who plays her mother Meryl Streep's character Clara as a young girl). See more »


The Chilean army of the 1973 is depicted using the wrong equipment such as G3 rifles, M48 tanks, and Fiat G91 aircrafts. The correct weapons would be FAL rifles, M4 Sherman medium tanks, and either Hawker Hunter or F-80 Shooting Star aircrafts. See more »


[first lines]
Esteban Trueba: It's good to be back.
See more »


Referenced in Mavra mesanyhta: Episode #1.19 (2008) See more »


La Paloma
Written by Sebastián Yradier (as Sebastian De Yradier)/Michael Jary
Performed by Rosita Serrano
Published by Edition Cinema
Courtesy of Eastwest Records GmbH
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User Reviews

Pretty good movie with Streep, Irons, Banderas, Close, Ryder.
12 July 2000 | by (Houston, Tx, USA, Earth) – See all my reviews

I only began to watch this movie because it was on Encore network, and I usually like movies with Streep and/or Irons. It kept me interested the whole 2 hours.

The movie covers 3 generations and about 60 years. It is set in South America. The father (Irons) achieves his wealth, social, and political status through hard work. He is a difficult man, and when his young daughter (Winona Ryder) befriends a young peasant boy, she is sent to school away. The mother (Streep) seems to have some connection with the supernatural.

Eventually a progressive party wins the election, and the old conservative party gets the military to oust the new government. Civil war almost breaks out, people are mistreated, and old relationships must be re-examined.

A good study in character and family relationships, moves a bit slow at times, but represents leisure story-telling. A good movie, I give it "7" of "10". I believe it was loosely based on some historical events.

14 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Some people made some B A D comments!! dreamsound2
Poor Choice of Actors krystalle_123
creepy? Mamma-Meryl
Depressed and angry the entire time... whitehorse88
when will this be released on dvd? a-busdriver
Great book, weak adaptation t00b_as_gu
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