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The House of the Spirits (1993)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  1 April 1994 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 14,486 users  
Reviews: 76 user | 22 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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Cast

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

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

Plot Keywords:

revolutionary | farm | money | love | death | See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 April 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La casa de los espíritus  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$6,265,311 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Annette Bening and Michelle Pfeiffer were considered for the role of Clara. See more »

Goofs

Alba is eating KFC, but the KFC name/logo wasn't adopted until the 1990s (it was formerly Kentucky Fried Chicken), it's in a basket instead of a box, and the chain wasn't franchised in South America in the 1970s anyway. See more »

Quotes

Esteban Trueba: [to Ferula] Sometimes I wish Mother was here so I could send you back to her.
See more »

Connections

References The Elephant Man (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Chant Funéraire, op. 117
(uncredited)
Composed by Gabriel Fauré
Performed by Musiques des gardiens de la paix
Published by Durand S.A. Editions Musicales
Courtesy of Arpège S.a.r.l.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a great injustice to Allende's novel
17 February 2008 | by (Spain) – See all my reviews

We all know a movie never does complete justice to the book, but this is exceptional. Important characters were cut out, Blanca and Alba were essentially mushed into the same character, most of the subplots and major elements of the main plot were eliminated. Clara's clairvoyance was extremely downplayed, making her seem like a much more shallow character than the one I got to know in the book. In the book we learn more about her powers and the important effects she had on so many people, which in turn was a key element in the life of the family. In the movie she was no more than some special lady. The relationship between Esteban and Pedro Tercero (Tercero-third-, by the way, is the son and thus comes after Segundo-second-) and its connections to that between Esteban and his grandson from Pancha García (not son, who he also did recognize) is chopped in half and its importance downplayed.

One of the most fundamental things about the book that the film is all but stripped of: this is called "The House of the Spirits." Where is the house? The story of 3-4 generations of a family is supposed to revolve around the "big house on the corner," a line stated so many times in the novel. The house in fundamental to the story, but the movie unjustly relegates it to a mere backdrop.

If I hadn't read the book before, I would have never guessed that such a sappy, shallow movie could be based on such a rich and entertaining novel.


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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