6.9/10
18,859
86 user 26 critic

The House of the Spirits (1993)

R | | Drama, Romance | 1 April 1994 (USA)
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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
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12 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Clara
Jeremy Irons ... Esteban Trueba
Winona Ryder ... Blanca
Antonio Banderas ... Pedro
Maria Conchita Alonso ... Tránsito
Vincent Gallo ... Esteban Garcia
Joaquín Martínez ... Segundo (as Joaquin Martinez)
Sarita Choudhury ... Pancha
Glenn Close ... Ferula
Miriam Colon ... Nana
António Assunção António Assunção ... Man at Cattlemarket (as António Assumpção)
Julie Balloo Julie Balloo ... Young Lady
Frank Baker Frank Baker ... Intelligence Officer
João Cabral João Cabral ... Soldier
Carlos César Carlos César ... Ambassador's Driver
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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:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,265,311
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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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

[first lines]
Esteban Trueba: It's good to be back.
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Soundtracks

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
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User Reviews

 
Excellent cast, photography, music, but........
1 May 2004 | by Keith F. HatcherSee all my reviews

I just do not get very inspired in this treatment of Isabel Allende's novel. The worst thing is that I cannot even identify exactly what it is that does not succeed in really drawing me into the story. Evidently the film is well made, beautiful filming, and the cast is really extraordinary, with some magnificent interpretations. The make-up department did excellent work on the aging process of the players. This is the second time I have seen this film, but the story's continuity did not get me really sympathising with and feeling for the characters. There is something missing: however, no way can either Meryl Streep or Jeremy Irons, among the other leading actors, be blamed for this. There is something abstract here which I cannot explain. It may be arguable that this film is better than `Missing' (1982) (qv), however `Missing' pulled me much more into the story.

Certainly, in no way should you pass up this film if you get a chance to see it: there are very good interpretations, at times even wondrous, combining with very intelligent photography and Hans Zimmer doing some of his best work.


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