High Spirits [1988]

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Peter O'Toole, Daryl Hannah, Steve Guttenberg, Donal McCann, Mary Coughlan
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 99 minutes

Peter O'Toole (Lawrence of Arabia, My Favorite Year) gives an exuberant performance in High Spirits. Peter Plunkett (O'Toole) hopes to save his mortgaged castle by turning it into a tourist attraction--the most haunted castle in Ireland. When American tourists arrive--among them Jack (Steve Guttenberg) and Sharon (Beverly D'Angelo), a couple whose marriage is rapidly disintegrating--Plunkett's tomfoolery arouses the real ghosts, who decide to give these interlopers everything they're asking for. But when Jack accidentally helps a beautiful ghost named Mary (Daryl Hannah), she decides he's the man to help her break the curse she's been suffering for 200 years. High Spirits is an odd foray into comedy by director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire). The special effects are clumsy, but the strong supporting cast includes Jennifer Tilly, Peter Gallagher, and Liam Neeson as Mary's murderous 200-year-old husband. --Bret Fetzer

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