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The House of the Spirits


Chile, second half of the 20th century. The poor Esteban marries Clara and they get a daughter, Blanca…

Release Year: 1993

Rating: 6.5/10 (10,054 voted)

Bille August

Stars: Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close

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 and 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.

Writers: Bille August, Isabel Allende


Meryl Streep

Clara del Valle Trueba

Glenn Close

Férula Trueba

Jeremy Irons

Esteban Trueba

Winona Ryder

Blanca Trueba

Antonio Banderas

Pedro Tercero García

Vanessa Redgrave

Nívea del Valle

Maria Conchita Alonso

Tránsito Soto

Armin Mueller-Stahl

Severo del Valle

Jan Niklas

Count Jean de Satigny

Sarita Choudhury

Pancha García

António Assunção

Man at Cattlemarket

(as António Assumpção)

Julie Balloo

Young Lady

Frank Baker

Intelligence Officer

João Cabral


Miguel Guilherme


Release Date: 1 April 1994

Filming Locations: Alentejo, Portugal

Box Office Details

Budget: $25,000,000


Gross: $6,265,311

Technical Specs




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.


Férula Trueba:
I would like to be a man… for also to leave.

Esteban Trueba:
And I am happy for not being a woman.

User Review

The greatest representation of life in Chile at that time!


This is the story Esteban, a man who gain land and fortune through hard
work. He only wishes for a loving family that have what he did not when
he was a child. His conservative ways adds to that struggle and creates
conflict with his family. This conflict grows when one of his low-class
workers falls in love with his daughter. The military coup of 1973 to
bring communism down in Chile is shown.

This film represents what it is to live in Chile. I have never seen any
film that tells the culture and the people of the southern
South-America better. Most people makes the mistake to think that
people in Chile and Argentina are not white. The whole cast represents
EXACTLY what chileans look like and the difference between the higher
and lower class. You can learn a lot from this film.

This movie is 110% recommended. It may have some differences with the
book but it is respectful to it. Excellent camera and direction work at
a spectacular location.