8 user 3 critic

Starlight Hotel (1987)

PG | | Drama | August 1988 (USA)
It is Depression era New Zealand and school-kid Kate is missing her father badly. The temptation to seek him out leads her into diverse and intense encounters with fate.


Sam Pillsbury


Grant Hindin-Miller (novel), Grant Hindin-Miller (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Greer Robson-Kirk ... Kate (as Greer Robson)
Bruce Phillips ... Kate's Father
Alice Fraser Alice Fraser ... Aunt
Patrick Smyth Patrick Smyth ... Uncle
The Wizard of New Zealand The Wizard of New Zealand ... Swaggie (as The Wizard)
John Watson John Watson ... School Teacher
Robin Harris Robin Harris ... Minister
Vanessa Young Vanessa Young ... Schoolgirl #1
Teresa Bonney Teresa Bonney ... Schoolgirl #2
Duncan Anderson Duncan Anderson ... Railway Foreman
Russell Gibson Russell Gibson ... Railway Worker
Marshall Napier ... Det. Wallace
Norman Forsey Norman Forsey ... Farmer
Craig Halkett Craig Halkett ... Farmer's Son
Peter Phelps ... Patrick


It is Depression era New Zealand and school-kid Kate is missing her father badly. The temptation to seek him out leads her into diverse and intense encounters with fate. Written by <tgard@genauto.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




PG | See all certifications »



New Zealand



Release Date:

August 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Csillagfény Hotel See more »

Filming Locations:

Oamaru, New Zealand See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Patrick's nickname for Kate is Rat Bag. See more »


Kate: I want to get out of this place.
The Wizard: Well who's stopping you? You crippled or something?
Kate: I'm just a kid.
The Wizard: When Alexander the Great was just a kid he conquered half the world. But he was a boy. If you want to something, do it.
See more »


References The Journey of Natty Gann (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

An absolute delight.
21 March 2013 | by rogerjdkempSee all my reviews

I have watched this film many, many times. Kate, a young girl watches as her father leaves to find work. She has no mother, she is sad. She is late for school and made to stand in class, then picked on by others during the break. Whereupon he decides to runaway.

Earlier she had met a swagman who tells her if you want to do something, do it. This man later crops up as various times during the film. He exudes benevolence. Then Kate meets Patrick, who is clearly on the run. At first he does not even realise she is a girl. Rather reluctantly, certainly on his part, they link up. She is a nuisance he could do without. There are times they are going to go their separate ways, but cannot. On one occasion, Patrick rushes after her when he fears she is being picked up by a stranger ; another time she saves him being beaten up. They relationship becomes close.

Clearly their relationship is going to be very important to both of them for the rest of their lives. They will never forget. This film is real, not sentimental. The two central actors work wonderfully well together, and are very sympathetic characters. They both deliver the goods magnificently . The director is clearly on the side of the under-dog. Those in authority do not come out of it very well. And that includes a man who is trying to start a riot.

The scenery, the light, is amazing. I cannot fault this fault. This is one of my favourite films. If you have not seen it, give it a try. It is moving, but also have much humour. At one point they are rowing, then Patrick literally falls in the mire, then gets covered in feathers. They then both laugh. Such is their relationship.

A real delight.

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