High Spirits (1988)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Following a number of successful films, among them Mona Lisa, produced in his native Ireland, director Neil Jordan went to Hollywood for High Spirits, an old-fashioned story about an American who inherits not only a centuries-old Irish castle but the ghost who inhabits it as well.

Rating: PG-13 (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Neil Jordan, Steven Kampmann, Michael McDowell
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 4, 2002
Media Home Entertainment



as Peter Plunkett

as Mary Plunkett Brogan

as Jack Crawford

as Sharon Brogan Crawfo...

as Martin Brogan

as Brother Tony

as Plunkett Senior

as Malcolm

as Mrs. Plunkett

as Sampson

as Christy

as Gateman

as Great Aunt Nan

as Great Uncle Peter

as Great Granny Plunket...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for High Spirits

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Critic Reviews for High Spirits

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

High Spirits is a good time but the film is far from Jordan's best, and isn't quite what one would call "memorable", even with the fun effects and witty quips from O'Toole.

Full Review… | April 13, 2015

Flat and sitcom-y; Hannah's costume looks like a plastic trash bag

December 18, 2004
Kalamazoo Gazette

I saw this movie when I was lonely and it helped somewhat.

November 25, 2003
New Times

Audience Reviews for High Spirits

Some dilapidated castle in Ireland seeks to renovate its image but selling to thrill-seeking Yankees the possibility that it may be a haunted castle. There's lots here that's good, Jordan most at home with the particularly Irish elements of the tale (O'Toole is great as the hapless castle owner) but there's one thing that's bad: Steve Guttenberg, and not because of Guttenberg himself. No. Its his part, his lines. Its as if the character was written for another movie, with no part in this one. The rest was okay stuff.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

So I'm betting this is a Neil Jordan film many haven't come across, a classically 80's production with a mix of your most well known 80's stars and some soon to be major stars. 80's golden boy Guttenberg is the lead here, alongside him are Beverly D'Angelo, Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Tilly, Peter Gallagher and Martin Ferrero, not forgetting British legends Peter O'Toole and Liz Smith with 'Fawlty Towers' star Connie Booth and Hollywood megastar Liam Neeson, hows that for a cast line up.

The film is pretty spooktacular in a quirky 'Beetljuice' type fashion, crammed packed full of fun effects that admittedly now look pretty ropey but definitely part of the charm. Glorious location with the real Irish 'Dromore Castle' as the backdrop and a plot that focuses on Ireland's ghostly folklore in a family fun 'Addams Family' way. Some sequences are actually a little eerie though, the nuns with 'Jawa' like eyes, skeletal spectres flying around, various shots of the castle from afar and some nice interior corridor/room work makes you feel in the mood :)

Lots of hokey set/model work which still just about works, some really nice corpse makeup in places, a good kooky soundtrack befitting Ireland and the supernatural element plus the odd good chuckle. Think of this as a slightly more grown up version of 'The Haunted Mansion', a nice sweet film with Daryl Hannah looking her best.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Great little comedy/scare fest with a great cast!

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

High Spirits Quotes

– Submitted by Pedro S (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Pedro S (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Pedro S (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Pedro S (2 years ago)

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