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The Ninth Gate (1999)

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A rare book dealer, while seeking out the last two copies of a demon text, gets drawn into a conspiracy with supernatural overtones.

Director:

Roman Polanski

Writers:

Arturo Pérez-Reverte (novel) (as Arturo Perez-Reverte), John Brownjohn (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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2,556 ( 1,357)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 José López Rodero ... Pablo & Pedro Ceniza / 1st & 2nd Workmen (as Jose Lopez Rodero)
Tony Amoni Tony Amoni ... Liana's Bodyguard
James Russo ... Bernie
Willy Holt Willy Holt ... Andrew Telfer
Allen Garfield ... Witkin
Jacques Dacqmine ... Old Man
Joe Sheridan ... Old Man's Son
Rebecca Pauly Rebecca Pauly ... Daughter-In-Law
Catherine Benguigui Catherine Benguigui ... Concierge
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Leave the Unknown Alone. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Spain | France | USA

Language:

English | French | Latin | Portuguese | Spanish

Release Date:

10 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La última puerta See more »

Filming Locations:

Portugal See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$38,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,622,518, 12 March 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$18,661,336

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$58,401,898
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name "Dean Corso" is very subtle foreshadowing, in that it contains 9 total letters, implying his central role in the mystery. See more »

Goofs

When Dean goes to hand Liana a book he has removed from his bag, he grabs it by the corner. When the camera angle changes, he is holding it out to her gripping it by the middle of the top edge. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dean Corso: 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 »

Connections

Referenced in MovieBerto: La novena puerta (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Sete saias
Performed by Santinho
Arranged by Wolfgang Gerhard
Courtesy of LaserLight Digital by Arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The movie is a riddle too
23 August 2005 | by Tardis_phone_homeSee all my reviews

Roman Polanski's movies aren't about shooting and destruction like so many other movies these days, his movies are about people and their remarkable adventures. The Ninth Gate is supposed to be a thriller or horror movie but it is neither. The Ninth Gate is an occult movie and that is a whole different ballpark.

spoilers ahead!

'You have before you the mystery of which men have dreamed throughout the centuries. Thousands have died an agonizing death in hopes of just a glimpse of what you're about to see!' Those words are spoken by Boris Balkan, moments before he sets himself on fire in an attempt to raise the devil. The Ninth Gate is not only a movie about occultism, it is an occult movie by itself. First there is of course the obvious story that most people find quite disappointing BUT under the surface there is the real story that is only understood by those who are fairly familiar with symbolism and occultism.

Although The Ninth gate is based on just a part of the book El Club Dumas, it is nevertheless a clever story of its own.

The movie is about a riddle that is supposed to be hidden in three books, in the end that riddle is solved by Dean Corso. The movie itself contains a riddle and that riddle is to be solved by us. Besides the engravings, lots of symbolism and hints will help us understand the meaning of several strange events and eventually the meaning of what the story is all about and what happened to Balkan and Corso. The plot is created around a joke, a joke that is based on a misunderstanding. This makes a movie that one needs to see more than once, I bought the DVD and saw it over twenty times. The story gets better every time you watch it, pay attention to even the smallest details like the color of the mysterious girl's socks, there is a good reason why Corso has a shoulder bag and an overcoat he never seems to part from, until the 'notorious' very last scene; shoulder bag and overcoat are gone... Aren't you curious about the meaning of broken glasses in combination of a mark between the eyes? Search the internet for the answers to the questions you have. It's fun if you like to solve riddles, I had a great time.


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