In New York, the money-driven dealer Dean Corso is a rare-books expert and partner of Bernie, who owns a bookstore. He is contacted by the renowned collector of books about the devil Boris Balkan, who has just acquired the rare The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows from the collector Andrew Telfer, to verify whether his book is authentic or a forgery. Balkan explains that the book was written by the writer Aristide Torchia, in 1666, with Lucifer and he was burned at the stake with his entire work. There are only three exemplars of The Nine Gates and in accordance with the legend, its nine engravings form a riddle to conjure the devil. The skeptical Corso accepts the assignment and has to fly to Sintra, Portugal, and Paris, France, to contact the owners Victor Fargas and Baroness Kessler and find the genuine exemplar for Balkan. Meanwhile, he asks Bernie to hide the rare book. Before traveling to Europe, the widow Liana Telfer wants to retrieve the book and has sex with Corso, but ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The opening credits feature the camera floating through nine sets of doors before the film begins. See more »
Any time The Girl floats down to save the day, the wires supporting her are very visible in the shots. See more »
It's an impressive collection. You have some very rare editions here. Are you sure you want to sell them all?
Old Man's Son:
They're of no use to father. Not anymore. Not since he's been this way. His library was his whole world. Now it's just a painful memory.
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Johnny Depp is perfect as an acerbic, bookish, cynical, morally corrupt book dealer. There is a great cast of occultist characters who are way over the top and enjoyable all the way. Frank Langella as a giant, power hungry cult leader and Lena Olin as an evil she-devil woman are superb. The script is perfect, and every line has meaning and resonance. The director does a good job at allowing the viewer to experience the mystery contained in those old books first-hand. I think the filmmaker had a vision, didn't compromise and made the exact film he wanted to make. It is a mature, ugly, interesting film with a lot of class but it probably won't be enjoyed by a lot of people out there.
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