High Spirits (film)

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High Spirits
High spirits.jpg
Original theatrical poster
Directed byNeil Jordan
Written byNeil Jordan
Produced by
CinematographyAlex Thomson
Edited byMichael Bradsell
Music byGeorge Fenton
Vision PDG
Distributed by
Release date
  • 18 November 1988 (1988-11-18)
Running time
99 minutes
  • Ireland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Budget$17 million
Box office$8,578,231 (US)

High Spirits is a 1988 fantasy comedy film written and directed by Neil Jordan and starring Steve Guttenberg, Daryl Hannah, Beverly D'Angelo, Liam Neeson and Peter O'Toole. It is an Irish, British and American co-production.

Set in a remote Irish castle called Dromore Castle, Co. Limerick, High Spirits is a topsy-turvy comedy with thematic leanings towards Ireland's rich folklore regarding ghosts and spirits, where the castle starts to come to life with the help of such denizens.


Cash-strapped Peter Plunkett owns a dilapidated Irish castle that he has converted to a bed and breakfast. Owing money to an Irish-American businessman named Brogan, Plunkett attempts to turn the castle into "the most haunted castle in Europe" for the tourist trade. Inspired by his mother's stories about the castle being haunted, he and his wacky Irish staff set about creating ghostly costumes and effects for their first group of American guests.

Initially annoyed by the inept "hauntings", the American guests (including Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D'Angelo, Connie Booth, Peter Gallagher and Jennifer Tilly) soon discover that Castle Plunkett's real ghosts have taken umbrage at being cheaply exploited and have staged a full-scale paranormal event.

Two ghosts, Mary Plunkett and Martin Brogan (played by Daryl Hannah and Liam Neeson), become romantically entangled with Guttenberg's and D'Angelo's characters. This romantic twist becomes the main focus of the plot.



The film received negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 27% rating based on 15 reviews.[1]

Daryl Hannah was nominated for a Razzie Award as Worst Supporting Actress, but lost to Kristy McNichol for Two Moon Junction.[citation needed]

Director Neil Jordan has always maintained that the release version of this film is very different from the one he shot. He was more or less excluded from the editing process of the final cut. He insists that his version is still locked away in a vault.[citation needed]

Home media[edit]

Scream Factory released the film on Blu-ray Disc in 2015.[2] It was packaged as a double feature with Vampire's Kiss on February 13, 2015.[3] The film was released on Blu Ray from Final Cut on August 24, 2020 in the UK.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "High Spirits (1988)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
  2. ^ “VAMPIRE’S KISS” / “HIGH SPIRITS” Double Feature
  3. ^ Vampire’s Kiss / High Spirits (Blu-ray Double Feature)

External links[edit]