THE NINTH GATE (1999) Reviews and overview

 

‘The only thing more terrifying than searching for the Devil… is finding him.’

The Ninth Gate is a 1999 French-Spanish-American dark thriller film directed, produced, and co-written by Roman Polanski (Repulsion; The Fearless Vampire Killers; Rosemary’s Baby).

Plot:

Rare-book dealer Dean Corso is hired by bibliophile Boris Balkan to validate a seventeenth-century copy of The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows, by Aristide Torchia, and what he encounters en route. The Nine Gates is an imaginary book but is heavily inspired by the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili.

Reviews:

” …very mysterious, engrossing, has a few subtle optical effects (don’t blink) and grows on you like fungus. I became as obsessed about Corso’s search as he was. Even though the movie has a slow pace, it is never boring, the script is tight, the dialogue sharp, the twists interesting and the ending will have you thinking and yapping for hours on end.” Arrow in the Head

“The film creeps along, gathering information if not momentum, and never delivers. Atmosphere is well and good, but it needs a story to carry it along, and this one mires itself in one slow scene after another, all of which add information to the story, but then much of it either does not pay off or is disappointing when it does …” DVD Verdict

Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.com

Cast and characters:

Johnny Depp … Dean Corso
Frank Langella … Boris Balkan
Lena Olin … Liana Telfer
Emmanuelle Seigner … The Girl
Barbara Jefford … Baroness Kessler
Jack Taylor … Victor Fargas
José López Rodero … Pablo and Pedro Ceniza / 1st and 2nd Workmen (as Jose Lopez Rodero)
Tony Amoni … Liana’s Bodyguard
James Russo … Bernie
Willy Holt … Andrew Telfer
Allen Garfield … Witkin
Jacques Dacqmine … Old Man
Joe Sheridan … Old Man’s Son
Rebecca Pauly … Daughter-In-Law
Catherine Benguigui … Concierge
Maria Ducceschi … Secretary
Jacques Collard … Gruber
Dominique Pozzetto … Desk Clerk
Emanuel Booz … Baker (as Emmanuel Booz)
Lino Ribeiro de Sousa … Hotel Porter (as Lino Ribeiro De Sousa)
Asil Raïs … Cabby (as Asil Rais)
Bernard Richier … Cafe Owner
Marinette Richier … Cafe Owner

Technical details:

2 hours 13 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1

Related: 

The Fearless Vampire Killers | The Ninth Gate | Repulsion | Rosemary’s Baby | The Tenant

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