Ninth Gate

The Ninth Gate

3.8 29
Director: Roman Polanski

Cast: Johnny Depp, Frank Langella, Lena Olin

     
 

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An authority on rare books is drawn into a confrontation with the forces of darkness in this thriller directed by Roman Polanski. Dean Corso (Johnny Depp) is a rare book broker who makes his living tracking down valuable items for rich bibliophiles. Corso is hired by Boris Balkan (Frank Langella), a millionaire New Yorker with a vast collection of occult literature

Overview

An authority on rare books is drawn into a confrontation with the forces of darkness in this thriller directed by Roman Polanski. Dean Corso (Johnny Depp) is a rare book broker who makes his living tracking down valuable items for rich bibliophiles. Corso is hired by Boris Balkan (Frank Langella), a millionaire New Yorker with a vast collection of occult literature and a keen interest in "The Nine Gates to the Kingdom of Shadows." Legend has it that the book was co-written by Satan in the 17th century, and only three copies are known to exist; the owner of one recently sold the book to Balkan a few days before killing himself. Balkan wants Corso to find the other two copies (one owned by a Mr. Fargas in Portugal and the other by a French collector named Kessler) and examine them to determine if they are forgeries. Corso is told to be thorough and spare no expense. He begins by visiting Liana Telfer (Lena Olin), the widow of the man who once owned Balkan's copy of the book, who has an unusually strong desire to get the book back, and confers with his friend Bernie (James Russo), who soon turns up dead, in a manner much like an illustration from the book. Corso learns that the book contains clues to a puzzle that will allow people to call up the devil, and certain people will stop at nothing to find the missing parts of the formula.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A suspenseful hybrid of supernatural thriller and literary detective story set in the cloistered world of rare book collectors, The Ninth Gate marks the return to form of internationally renowned director Roman Polanski. As he did in Rosemary's Baby some 30 years ago, Polanski takes pleasure in imagining satanic currents seething beneath an ostensibly mundane milieu. This creepy tale finds ethically challenged rare-book dealer Johnny Depp accepting an odd commission from millionaire collector Frank Langella. As the owner of a fabulously rare tome on Satanism, Langella wants Depp to find two collectors who possess the only other surviving copies, then compare discrepancies in the engravings, which hint at a terrifying secret. Polanski allows viewers to accompany Depp as he tracks down the other collectors, analyzes the clues in their books, and narrowly escapes death before uncovering Langella's hidden motive. Exquisitely photographed and less dependent on special effects than most films in this genre, The Ninth Gate relies on clever plotting and evocative atmospherics to enhance its aura of quiet menace.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
Returning to the horror genre that spawned his great artistic triumph Rosemary's Baby (1968), writer/producer/director Roman Polanski provides great visual flourish but little depth to the standard "Satan among us" plot line of this occult thriller based on the novel El Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte. Actor Johnny Depp convincingly portrays a greedy rare-book dealer and the director ably captures the film's eclectic European settings; however, The Ninth Gate fails to deliver much in the way of genuine chills, relying instead on atmosphere and implied violence to convey the sense of menace that his script doesn't deliver. The turn of the millennium inspired Hollywood financiers to produce several horror films that shared similar themes -- among them End of Days (1999), Stigmata (1999), and Lost Souls (2000) -- but the anticipated doomsday fever of the public did not materialize; neither these films nor The Ninth Gate sparked much fire at the box office.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/22/2007
UPC:
0012236212850
Original Release:
1999
Rating:
R
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:13:00
Sales rank:
645

Special Features

Commentary with director Roman Polanski; 16 x 9 widescreen version; Isolated music score; Featurette; Gallery of satanic drawings; Storyboard selections; Theatrical trailer; Tv spots; Cast and crew information; Production notes; Digitally mastered; Scene access

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Johnny Depp Dean Corso
Frank Langella Boris Balkan
Lena Olin Liana Telfer
Emmanuelle Seigner The Girl
Barbara Jefford Baroness Kessler
Tony Amoni Liana's Bodyguard
Willy Holt Actor
Jose Lopez Pablo and Pedro Ceniza
James Russo Rodero Bernie
Jack Taylor Victor Fargas

Technical Credits
Roman Polanski Director,Screenwriter,Producer
Gerard Viard Art Director
Darius Khondji Cinematographer
Anthony Powell Costumes/Costume Designer
Dean Tavoularis Production Designer
Wojciech Kilar Score Composer
John Brownjohn Screenwriter
Enrique Urbizu Screenwriter
Philippe Turlure Set Decoration/Design
Adam Kempton Associate Producer
Michel Cheyko Asst. Director,Executive Producer
Howard Feuer Casting
Mark Allan Co-producer
Antonio Cardenal Co-producer
Inaki Nunez Co-producer
Alain Vannier Co-producer
Hervé de Luze Editor
Wolfgang Glattes Executive Producer
Jean-Marie Blondel Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Ninth Gate
1. Main Titles [5:42]
2. A Rare Book [3:22]
3. Private Collection [4:27]
4. Buying Loyalty [4:23]
5. Book Detective [4:00]
6. Being Followed [3:51]
7. Worth a Million [4:54]
8. A Friend's Death [3:27]
9. Excellent Condition [7:14]
10. Train Ride [3:36]
11. "These Are the Occult" [5:24]
12. Differences [3:07]
13. Another Dead Body [6:06]
14. Book Burning [:09]
15. Permission Refused [2:50]
16. "I've Felt Better" [7:36]
17. Looking for Answers [4:36]
18. Lunch Break [5:57]
19. The Baroness Is Dead [4:23]
20. Tragic [4:39]
21. The Telfer Woman [4:43]
22. On the Outside [5:39]
23. Captured [4:06]
24. "Mumbo Jumbo" [3:13]
25. The Chase [3:19]
26. "I Saw It First" [2:49]
27. The Nine Gates [3:05]
28. Corso's Reward [6:06]
29. The Ninth Engraving [3:40]
30. End Titles [2:21]

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The Ninth Gate 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another stunning movie by Johnny Deep!! While his work may not be what we call mainstream all of his work is true and he is an honor to his craft. In an age of spirtual void we still look to a higher power in this case that power was the devil but not in the way he has always been portrayed as an evil being like Bram Stokers Dracula or in the Golden Child. But in a sense of that he had figured out what god had realy put of here for and was shown god's kingdom. So he devised a test of who could figure out the secret that he so long ago did. I highly recomend this moive to any fan who ask themselfs the question why we are here
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film is great - the ending is a little lame though. The idea of working to get to the devil - that all the things he can bring, wealth, glamour, sex, - dont come easy but need to be worked out is a refreshing one. The only downside is the woman to the rescue. You cant say that after studying the book as hard as he has Depp doesn't recognise the resemblence between the heroine and the succubus riding the dragon - we are shown often enough!! If you want blood guts and gore this is not the movie for you. If however you want something more psychological and thought provoking then give it a go!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anyone who has seen a Roman Polansky movie knows that he specializes in subtlety and sardonic wit. If you loved The Tenant then you will enjoy this film very much. People expecting The Exorcist or the usual effect laden American films should go elsewhere. This film is classic Polansky..in turn funny..spooky..outrageous and sexy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that Roman Polanski captured a world very much unlike our own in this film, not only was it spellbinding but it was an adventurous tale into a kingdom of shadows. I give it five stars because it is far from dull, it is enertainment in its finest hour, one of Depps greatest films. As well as one of Kilar's greatest composures...............
Guest More than 1 year ago
I seen this movie a couple of times. It will hold your interest. Has some nice twist and turns. If you are a Mr. Depp fan you will like it. I beleive Mr. Polanski got some of his ideas from the book entitled 'The Club Dumas' by Arturo Perez-Reverte. See the movie than read the book and compare. You will be surprized.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There has been much criticism of this film from the day it first appeared on screen, and much of that criticism has been very unfair. One review I read in a New York paper at the time of the film's release actually criticised the film because the characters' glasses were too big. Well, genius, if you're reading, it is no secret that the glasses people wear largely reflect their personalities. As all of the major characters in this book are either bibliophiles or rare book dealers, it should not be surprising that they wear conspicuous frames to reflect the bookish people they are. But I digress. I don't claim that this film is perfect. Some of the actors "i.e. Emmanuelle Seigner" could have been better chosen and the dialogue is, at times, a little cheesy, but if a little cheesy dialogue should kill a film then Titanic should have sunk like a rock instead of being a critically-acclaimed box office bonanza. Again, I digress. The Ninth Gate is such a unique film and from the first time I saw it in the theatre it has appealed to me on many different levels. Anyone who is a lover of books or classic literature will appreciate the references to age-old tomes and the way they were bound in leather, printed on paper meant to last centuries, unlike our "modern wood pulp." The film is mostly set in Europe, in the homes, hotels, and institutions of the Portuguese and French aristocracy, so anyone like me who enjoys the rich history and culture of Europe will find themselves rewarded with breathtaking photography of castles, chateaus, city streets, and countryside. A viewer who enjoys the genre of supernatural thrillers, in which the struggle of God and Satan for the souls of men and women is explored, will appreciate this film's unique take on that theme. The Satan of this film is neither interested in possessing helpless little girls nor in making pacts with obtuse devil-worshippers, but is more perplexed by those who are living life in a no-man's-land between good and evil, such as the protagonist, Dean Corso. On a final note, please don't compare the movie to the novel that inspired it: The Club Dumas. The movie only adapted a part of the novel and should be judged on its own. It does not pretend to be a faithful retelling of the novel, which I also recommend. The Ninth Gate is a one-of-a-kind film and I recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys the genres referred to above.
Rob1941 More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed horror films since I was a kid. I remember sitting in a theater watching "Frankenstein" with my hands over my eyes and peeking between my fingers. I enjoyed "Ninth Gate." I've wached it several times since I purchased it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is so indepth and creativly chilling. Its dark and mysterous making every twist and turn a surprise and and unxpected adventure. There is no way that this movie could have been better. I totally think this movie ROCKS!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw 'The Ninth Gate' almost a year ago in the cinema.It did not strike me strongly,however. Yet,after having bought the VHS version,I've watched this film over and over again in the last two weeks. Superb! Polanski is finally back, decades after another masterpiece of acting,irony,atmposphere and noiresque result,titled- 'Fearless Vampire Killers'. Polanski nurtures glamoured style which has been abundant with subtle irony, high class acting and invisible speciall effects. A great and distinctive film in every term of viewing.
AlchemystAZ More than 1 year ago
Worth watching several times to understand fully. Depp, Langella, and Seigner are, to use an over-used word, Awesome! Few horror movies have any subtlety, but rely on FX. This movie draws you in with frightening reality and finally kicks you in the pants for believing in The Devil.
jameswormold More than 1 year ago
Some people should see this, and some should stick to Spielberg, Tarantino or Disney. Not a mainstream film, but it is an action/mystery story that does indeed work. It is an interesting role for Johnny Depp and he does well with it. Definitely one for those of us who love books. And vacuum cleaners.
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