The Ninth Configuration (1980)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Horror  |  29 February 1980 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,816 users  
Reviews: 92 user | 34 critic

A new commanding officer arrives at a remote castle serving as an insane asylum for crazy and AWOL U.S. Army soldiers where he attempts to rehabilitate them by allowing them to live out ... See full summary »


(novel), (screenplay)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A police lieutenant uncovers more than he bargained for as his investigation of a series of murders, which have all the hallmarks of the deceased 'Gemini' serial killer, lead him to question the patients of a psychiatric ward.

Director: William Peter Blatty
Stars: George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dourif
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Harvard scientist conducts experiments on himself with a hallucinatory drug and an isolation chamber that may be causing him to regress genetically.

Director: Ken Russell
Stars: William Hurt, Blair Brown, Bob Balaban
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Years before Father Lancaster Merrin helped save Regan MacNeil's soul, he first encounters the demon Pazuzu in East Africa. Merrin's initial battle with Pazuzu leads to the rediscovery of his faith.

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Stellan Skarsgård, Gabriel Mann, Clara Bellar
The Sender (1982)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A disturbed telepathic man is able to transmit his dreams and visions into the minds of the people around him.

Director: Roger Christian
Stars: Kathryn Harrold, Zeljko Ivanek, Shirley Knight
Cutter's Way (1981)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Richard spots a man dumping a body, and decides to expose the man he thinks is the culprit with his friend Alex Cutter.

Director: Ivan Passer
Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Heard, Lisa Eichhorn
Dead & Buried (1981)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A suspense horror film set in a small coastal town where, after a series of gory murders commited by mobs of townspeople against visiting tourists, the corpses begin to come back to life.

Director: Gary Sherman
Stars: James Farentino, Melody Anderson, Jack Albertson
Possession (1981)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman starts exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior after asking her husband for a divorce. Suspicions of infidelity soon give way to something much more sinister.

Director: Andrzej Zulawski
Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Sam Neill, Margit Carstensen
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman reports that her young daughter is missing, but there seems to be no evidence that she ever existed.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Keir Dullea, Carol Lynley, Laurence Olivier
Long Weekend (1978)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a suburban couple go camping for the weekend at a remote beach, they discover that nature isn't in an accommodating mood.

Director: Colin Eggleston
Stars: John Hargreaves, Briony Behets, Mike McEwen
Maniac (1980)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A psychopath, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in New York City, kills young women and takes their scalps as his trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in a photographer, and end his killing spree?

Director: William Lustig
Stars: Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Abigail Clayton
The Keep (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Nazis are forced to turn to a Jewish historian for help in battling the ancient demon they have inadvertently freed from its prison.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Scott Glenn, Ian McKellen, Alberta Watson
Don't Move (2013)
Short | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Set on one fateful night, six friends gather for their monthly 'games night'... and accidentally unleash a demonic force that might tear them - and their friendships - to pieces.

Director: Anthony Melton
Stars: Rachel Bright, Jake Hendriks, Beth Cooper


Cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Frankie Reno
Maj. Marvin Groper
Capt. Fairbanks
Maj. Nammack
Lt. Bennish
Lt. Spinell
Alejandro Rey ...
Lt. Gomez
Sgt. Krebs
Steve Sandor ...
1st Cyclist (Stanley)
2nd Cyclist (Richard)
Gordon Mark ...
Sgt. Gilman
Highway Patrolman


A new commanding officer arrives at a remote castle serving as an insane asylum for crazy and AWOL U.S. Army soldiers where he attempts to rehabilitate them by allowing them to live out their crazy fantasies while combating his own long-suppressed insanity. Written by Matt Patay

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


How Do You Fight A War Called Madness? See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (re-issue) | (combined extended) | (1982)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was partially financed by Pepsico, the makers of soft drinks such as Pepsi. The company had leftover funds that couldn't leave the country of Hungary and to use them, they decided to co-finance the film. Both Pepsi and the director had clauses: Pepsi's was to shoot the film in Budapest; Blatty's was to not have any product placement by the company. Both agreed to the terms, although Blatty slightly relented: a Pepsi machine does appear briefly in one scene. See more »


[Captain Cutshaw stands up, interrupting church services]
Captain Cutshaw: Infinite goodness is creating a being you know, in advance, is going to complain.
See more »


Referenced in Zombiegeddon (2003) See more »


I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)
Written by Al Neiburg, Doc Dougherty and Ellis Reynolds
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

New psychiatrist takes over an asylum for disturbed military men.
18 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A brilliant and unconventional film. As I'm sure many others have said it is very difficult to describe or sum up accurately. It has so many seemingly incongruous elements yet amazingly in the end it ties them all together and packs an emotional punch very few films manage.

Basically it's about how a new lead psychiatrist arrives at an asylum maintained by the military. It is loaded with stunning scenes, images, symbolism, scares and emotionally devastating moments and it leaves me both uplifted and sad yet so intellectually stimulated I want to discuss it because there is a LOT to talk about once it's over.

It also has some brutal violence and the nastiest bar fight ever filmed.

Stacey Keach plays the role of Kane perfectly, he shows no outward humor but is not humorless himself. He is clearly dedicated to helping the inmates in any way he can using every means at his disposal and wisely the character is not played as being detached and totally unemotional. When Kane (Keach) gets annoyed, enthusiastic or is dealing with a difficult issue he doesn't simply deadpan it he communicates what is happening within the character despite the constraints needed for the role. Brilliant work.

Where his treatments lead the inmates (and where it leads Kane himself) is the core of the film and the whole thing is actually about all of us and how we can reconcile faith, science and the horrors of existence. Faith can mean many different things...

There are multiple edits available but the major aspect that changes is related to one brief scene involving a knife and a bit a dialog. It's worth mentioning because it does change the tone for many viewers depending on the version they see.

The Ninth Configuration is a treasure, a sadly overlooked and misunderstood film.

23 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Bar Scene doubt nun_luz
Meaning of the Title dorphley
Anyone seen the full bar room scene? trashface
Best completely comical moment? Skragg
Does anyone want to discuss this remarkable movie? JimSpy
Needs to direct again mastrmeb
Discuss The Ninth Configuration (1980) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: