6.9/10
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89 user 27 critic

The House of the Spirits (1993)

R | | Drama, Romance | 1 April 1994 (USA)
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1:38 | Trailer

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

Director:

Bille August

Writers:

Isabel Allende (novel), Bille August
Reviews
12 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maria Conchita Alonso ... Tránsito
António Assunção António Assunção ... Man at Cattlemarket (as António Assumpção)
Julie Balloo Julie Balloo ... Young Lady
Frank Baker Frank Baker ... Intelligence Officer
Antonio Banderas ... Pedro
João Cabral João Cabral ... Soldier
Carlos César Carlos César ... Ambassador's Driver
Sarita Choudhury ... Pancha
Rogério Claro Rogério Claro ... Man in Club
Edith Clement Edith Clement ... Midwife
Glenn Close ... Ferula
Miriam Colon ... Nana
Oscar A. Colon Oscar A. Colon ... Sheriff
Franco Diogent Franco Diogent ... Man at the Party (as Franco Diogene)
Pedro Efe 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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Portugal | Germany | Denmark | USA | France

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

1 April 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La casa de los espíritus See more »

Filming Locations:

Cabo Espichel, Portugal See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,719,085, 3 April 1994

Gross USA:

$6,265,311

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,265,311
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of two 1993's releases starring Winona Ryder, the other being The Age of Innocence (1993). See more »

Goofs

The fascist coup in Chile took place on September 11, 1973 which might have been a little early to do Christmas shopping and put up decorations. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

In France, the opening sequence of the movie is really different than in other countries. The movie is approx. 10 minutes shorter that the other versions See more »


Soundtracks

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
See more »

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User Reviews

Bad directing, good theme and characters
28 March 1999 | by ABCgirlSee all my reviews

I've never been a fan of Bille August, and this film has only furthered my opinion of his work. I found the directing, as well as the editing, choppy and incoherent. Mr. August tried too hard to be mystical and discreet in his telling of the tale--to the point of being annoyingly aloof and superficial.

The take-home message is, however, refreshing in its complexity and layers. The events all seem to come full circle and continue through the generations of the family, as Clara verbalized in her diaries, "the relationships between events." Lende's message was that evil begets evil, and nothing good came from malice. Such is sadly noted upon reflection that many misfortunes stemmed from poor judgment, and unacknowledged or unrectified wrongdoings in the past.

I thought the characters Farula and Esteban were the best-written and the best-acted, by far. Glenn Close exuded every bit of the torn and love-deprived spinster sister, her very gaze a window to her harsh and barren life. Jeremy Irons' portrayal of the dark and contradictory Esteban was brazen yet vulnerable, between his political persona and love for his wife.


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