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 flight 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, ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The New York sequences were shot in Paris as Roman Polanski could not set foot into America because he was still wanted for his 1977 sex crime charges. The exterior locations were redressed with American-related details and the skyscraper seen in the opening and in Balkan's office were Translite material taken from Manhattan. See more »
In the first quarter of the movie, when Corso is in the library, he turns to his left and you can see the mic cord beneath his shirt. 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.
See more »
As with many of Polanski's films, "The Ninth Gate" includes beautiful settings, great orchestration, and intriguing characters. He was able to put together a talented cast, including several from the largely untapped European community. These include Jose Lopez Rodero, giving a short but humorous and witty performance, and the striking Emmanuelle Seigner, who plays her part with the perfect subtlety (no doubt due in part to Polanski's influence). Johnny Depp (playing the bibliophile anti-hero) gives another adept performance and the musical score is expertly composed. The only negatives I noticed were that the movie was at times too slow paced and that the ending left something to the imagination. But all-in-all Polanski has left us with an enduring thriller propelled by a (refreshingly) character-driven tale.
68 of 106 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?