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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 15,963 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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Title: The House of the Spirits (1993)

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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?


William Hurt was the first choice to play Esteban. See more »


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 »


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


References The Elephant Man (1980) See more »


La Cumparsita
Written by Gerardo Matos Rodríguez (as Matos Rodriguez)
Performed by Adalbert Lutter and His Orchestra
Published by G. Ricordi & C.S.P.A., Milano
See more »

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User Reviews

great book, pretty good movie
26 April 2001 | by (memphis, tn) – See all my reviews

The book was fabulous and remains one of my favorites. The movie, for some reason reminded me of "The Thorn Birds"--I guess because I felt so much was left out, and it would have been better as a mini-series.

The book evokes a much more magical, mythical, and "Spirit"-ual feeling that reflects the special flavor of life in South America, especially with Clara having green hair, and more powers in the book. A lot of that feeling is left out of the movie.

However, the movie mostly makes up for this lack in the extremely vivid presentation of the characters' emotions.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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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