The Ninth Configuration (1980)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Horror  |  29 February 1980 (USA)
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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)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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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


It will take you to the edge of your mind! 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
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Did You Know?


William Peter Blatty has said that he considers this movie to be the true sequel to The Exorcist (1973): The Exorcist novel deals with the existence of both good and evil, 9th configuration deals with the mystery of good, and the third novel, The Legion, deals with the human's punishment of evil for original sin. Capt. Cutshaw is the same astronaut whom Regan warns "You're gonna die up there" in "The Exorcist". See more »


Colonel Kane: Maybe we're just fish out of water.
Col. Richard Fell: What was that?
Colonel Kane: I just think about sickness, cancer in children, earthquakes, war, painful death. Death, just death. If these things are just part of our natural environment why do we think of them as evil? Why do they horrify us so?... unless we were meant for someplace else.
See more »


Referenced in Zombiegeddon (2003) See more »


You Are My Sunshine
Written by Jimmie Davis, Charles Mitchell
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User Reviews

THIS is how to make a movie.
8 March 1999 | by (Outside the Vortex) – See all my reviews

I rented this film one night when I was tired of seeing the same things in the "New Releases" section, so I (shudder!) headed for the catalog titles, and picked this one out because--God, am I shallow--the cover looked interesting. Turning over to the back, I skimmed the summary, saw that it starred Mike Hammer and the guy who mooned us in the last season of "St. Elsewhere", so I thought that it may be just bad enough to be amusing. So I plunked down my three bucks and went home wondering if I wouldn't have just been better off watching reruns of "Married with Children" all night.

But I watched this movie. Then I rewound it and watched it again. Over the next three days, I watched and rewatched every frame of this masterpiece more times than I should publicly admit. I was moved beyond words, beyond being an audience. I became a disciple--even a proselyte--for this film. Stacy Keach completely astounded me, someone who knew him only as Mike Hammer. People, this man can ACT. I saw every demon his Colonel Kane carried with him. The rest of the cast, with a special metion for Scott Wilson's amazing performance as a tortured astronaut and for Ed Flanders, who kept his character's true motivation well hidden until it could stand to be covered no more, was perfect.

But this movie is, above all, about the writing and the direction. William Peter Blatty cared about his project, and the lucky few (sadly, VERY few) of us who shared in it were fortunate enough to see cinematic perfection virtually attained. Watch this film, let it develop, don't question where its motives are until it decides to let you in on them. Give it your full attention, and you will be rewarded with a treat we so tragically, rarely get to have. No special effects, no huge budget. Just artistry. Pure, refined artistry.

62 of 74 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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