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High Spirits (1988)

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When a hotelier attempts to fill the chronic vacancies at his castle by launching an advertising campaign that falsely portrays the property as haunted, two actual ghosts show up and end up falling for two guests.

Director:

Neil Jordan

Writer:

Neil Jordan
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Popularity
4,941 ( 2,448)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter O'Toole ... Peter Plunkett
Donal McCann ... Eamon
Mary Coughlan Mary Coughlan ... Katie
Liz Smith ... Mrs. Plunkett
Tom Hickey Tom Hickey ... Sampson
Tony Rohr ... Christy
Hilary Reynolds Hilary Reynolds ... Patricia
Isolde Cazelet Isolde Cazelet ... Julia
Little John Nee Little John Nee ... Gateman (as Little John)
Steve Guttenberg ... Jack Crawford
Beverly D'Angelo ... Sharon Brogan Crawford
Jennifer Tilly ... Miranda
Peter Gallagher ... Brother Tony
Martin Ferrero ... Malcolm
Connie Booth ... Marge
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

He's an American and married. She's a ghost and gorgeous. Vacation romances are always a hassle. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Ireland | UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El hotel de los fantasmas See more »

Filming Locations:

County Limerick, Ireland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,308,250, 20 November 1988, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$8,578,231
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Vision PDG,Palace Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Sean Connery was offered the role of Peter Plunkett by the studio. He later dropped out of the film, and the role was re-cast with Peter O'Toole. See more »

Goofs

During the final dance sequence, Beverly D'Angelo accidentally knocks Daryl Hannah's hand making her spill her champagne on the floor. Daryl briefly makes a face before continuing the dance. See more »

Quotes

Sharon: [looks over the seat at Brother Tony after everyone's clothing has been ripped off] Oh! So all the snakes weren't driven out of Ireland.
Brother Tony: What?
[trying to cover himself]
Sharon: Snakes. ha ha ha ha
[laughing hysterically]
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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 »

Alternate Versions

There exists a print of this film that was Neil Jordan's original vision of this movie. It contains a much more serious tone than the theatrical release, and is much more of a fun mystery. There is a lot more footage of Liam Neeson's character, and the ghosts are allowed to have much more of a plot, than in the theatrical release. Rumor has it, that when the studio saw this cut, they had no idea how to market it, so they had it re-cut against Neil Jordan's wishes (he was allegedly locked out of the editing room at this point). There was a shortened version of this cut available on video in Japan. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Wrongfully Accused (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Galway Bay
Written by Arthur Colahan
Published by Box & Cox Publishers Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

The ghost-ess with the most-ess.
20 April 2004 | by vertigo_14See all my reviews

High Spirits turned out to be a pretty good comedy. Peter Plunkett (Peter O'Toole), and his gang of merry Irishmen are facing foreclosure on their grand castle resort. The old fashioned castle needs a clever advertising gimmick to entice visitors. After talking with his looney, but sincere old mother who always claims that she talks to his dead father and the rest of the poor spirits looming around the dark castle, Plunkett decides that the castle ought to be haunted. And so, the guests are invited to stay among the spirits of the Plunkett family. Of course, Plunkett doesn't believe in the existence of ghosts, especially when he hasn't seen any for himself, despite his mother's attempts to convince him that they're everywhere. No, Plunkett's plan involves a few crappy props and some cheap scare tactics to thrill their small group of American guests.

But Plunkett and the gang (nor their furious guests) would ever have imagined real ghosts showing up. And this is where the movie really starts to get funny because everyone, after their various confrontations with the undead and all the strange things that start to happen in the castle, start to become so neurotic as they try to figure out what's going on.

The movie is a romantic comedy, of course, though it could've worked simply as a story of the funny occurences in the haunted castle as Plunkett and his frantic guests scurry about trying to deal with the situation any way that they can. Guttenberg is Jack, a sorry guy who's married to a real dull lady (Beverly D'Angelo) that really can't stand to know him, especially when he drags her out to some stupid castle. Jack actually starts to fall in love with one of the ghosts, a Plunkett ancestry named Mary (Daryl Hannah), a sickley looking young girl who died by the knife of her husband (Liam Neesom). The ghosts keep playing out the murder over and over again, and Jack, accidently intervening in one of the reenactments, somehow frees Mary from the murder. And so, now she's in love with Jack. But how does a ghost and a human end up together (and they have to end up together...after all it's a Hollywood love story)? Well, that's why you have to watch the movie.

Everyone in the movie is fantastic because, though some may start out to be quite annoying (such as the self-declared "professional parasychologist" or the cynical Sharon (D'Angelo)), they eventually come to be very entertaining as the movie goes along. I especially like the goofy interaction between Meg Tilly as the nympho and Peter Gallagher as the soon-to-be Priest. Peter O'Toole is wonderful. He is also the last to realize what the heck is going on.

It's definitely a comedy worth watching.


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