8 user 3 critic

Starlight Hotel (1987)

PG | | Drama | August 1988 (USA)
It is Depression era New Zealand and school-kid Kate is missing her father badly. The temptation to seek him out leads her into diverse and intense encounters with fate.


Sam Pillsbury


Grant Hindin-Miller (novel), Grant Hindin-Miller (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Greer Robson-Kirk ... Kate (as Greer Robson)
Bruce Phillips ... Kate's Father
Alice Fraser Alice Fraser ... Aunt
Patrick Smyth Patrick Smyth ... Uncle
The Wizard of New Zealand The Wizard of New Zealand ... Swaggie (as The Wizard)
John Watson John Watson ... School Teacher
Robin Harris Robin Harris ... Minister
Vanessa Young Vanessa Young ... Schoolgirl #1
Teresa Bonney Teresa Bonney ... Schoolgirl #2
Duncan Anderson Duncan Anderson ... Railway Foreman
Russell Gibson Russell Gibson ... Railway Worker
Marshall Napier ... Det. Wallace
Norman Forsey Norman Forsey ... Farmer
Craig Halkett Craig Halkett ... Farmer's Son
Peter Phelps ... Patrick


It is Depression era New Zealand and school-kid Kate is missing her father badly. The temptation to seek him out leads her into diverse and intense encounters with fate. Written by <tgard@genauto.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




PG | See all certifications »



New Zealand



Release Date:

August 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Csillagfény Hotel See more »

Filming Locations:

Oamaru, New Zealand See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Patrick's nickname for Kate is Rat Bag. See more »


Kate: I want to get out of this place.
The Wizard: Well who's stopping you? You crippled or something?
Kate: I'm just a kid.
The Wizard: When Alexander the Great was just a kid he conquered half the world. But he was a boy. If you want to something, do it.
See more »


References The Journey of Natty Gann (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

Just beautiful...
29 June 2008 | by benj_spSee all my reviews

This is my all-time favourite film, and has been ever since I first saw it back in, I guess, 1990 or so.

From the first note of the music, I knew it was going to be special. I *adore* the soundtrack (music is a big part of films for me, and put me on the path to becoming a musician), the cinematography, the amazing countryside.

It's not particularly complicated in the script department, and actually is quite light on dialog, but it's charming, engaging and beautiful.

It's never going to happen, but I would really love a decent DVD release of this in stereo...

Update: Feb 2012.The New Zealand Film Commission have been buying up the rights to some NZ films for DVD release, and Starlight Hotel is one of them. It appears the DVD is now available from: http://www.screenline.co.nz/catalogue/index.php? main_page=product_info&cPath=1_20&products_id=378

Pal Region 4 release for now. Mine is ordered, and I'll update the review when it arrives.

So if you want to settle into a charming, delightful, innocent little coming of age tale, I can't recommend Starlight Hotel enough. My all-time favourite film. Ever.

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