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The Ninth Gate (1999)

I was watching Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate last night and had a few thoughts. Do these people really want to spend eternity in Hell with the Devil? Why?

I understand why people worship God, but why do they want the Prince of Darkness and the occult?

What do you guys think of Boris Balkan being tricked at the end by his "master?"

Also, Frank Langella is such a good actor.

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by Anonymousreply 37Last Friday at 8:21 AM

The alternative is floating around in Heaven forever and ever. No food; no entertainment; no sex; no fun.


by Anonymousreply 1Last Wednesday at 5:55 AM

The only film presentation of Satan I've seen was Al Pacino's in "The Devil's Advocate". Unlike you, I don't understand why people worship God since He doesn't exist so I don't see much difference between worshiping God or worshiping Satan. Either way, they are worshiping a man-made creation. I didn't care much for "The Ninth Gate". I found it to be rather lackluster and ho-hum.

by Anonymousreply 2Last Wednesday at 5:57 AM

This is one of the few films I can stand to watch Johnny Depp in. Great cast and film.

by Anonymousreply 3Last Wednesday at 5:58 AM

My apologies. My post above should have read "The only film presentation of Satan I've seen that made Satan seem appealing was Al Pacino's in "The Devil's Advocate".

by Anonymousreply 4Last Wednesday at 6:01 AM

R2 Believe what you want, but I understand the Christian church and why people believe in God and want to go to Heaven- redemption.

Al Pacino was good in The Devil's Advocate. You also seem like a really negative person. Are you toxic???

by Anonymousreply 5Last Wednesday at 6:06 AM

The book is so much better.

by Anonymousreply 6Last Wednesday at 6:28 AM

My favorite scene is watching the baroness, dead in her wheelchair, a tie around her neck, tongue hanging out, while her electric wheelchair goes round and round in circles. It’s so sick. And hysterically funny.

by Anonymousreply 7Last Wednesday at 6:35 AM

I loved the soundtrack to this film.

by Anonymousreply 8Last Wednesday at 6:40 AM

The point was that they would gain power - invincibility and immortality - by summoning the devil.

Also, people are looking for proof of the divine.

by Anonymousreply 9Last Wednesday at 6:48 AM

R7 Yes, she was a real bitch. I am still confused if her and Boris were friends or enemies? The postcard seemed to indicate that they were friends once, but she didn't like he found the castle before her.

R8 the composer is Wojcieh Kilar. He has composed films for Polanksi, Coppola, Zanussi, and Hitchcock.

R9 Yes, but they had to know the devil would trick them. Especially after studying his work for so many years.

by Anonymousreply 10Last Wednesday at 6:50 AM

I think Balkan just wanted power. He was never meant to open the ninth gate - Corso was meant to. The whore of Babylon was leading him to it.

I think the other members just wanted to party. I don’t think they thought the devil would actually show up. The Baroness was probably just jealous that Balkan was going after what she wanted or maybe he had stabbed her in the back.

by Anonymousreply 11Last Wednesday at 6:58 AM

It was also one of the last times Depp looked handsome.

by Anonymousreply 12Last Wednesday at 7:00 AM

Some people believe in the Devil as a life-force similar to Pan (from whence his modern interpretation and appearance was chiefly derived) and discount Hell itself as an invention (which is somewhat true - the concept of Hell did not figure largely into the bible itself). They think it makes more sense to worship vitality and pleasure than the (to them) sterile intellectual comforts of the angels. But this is arguing for a pre-Biblical interpretation of the concept of Satan that sees him as a wrongly accused elder god.

The people who worship him in the full belief that he is the Prince of Hell are probably thrill-seeking contrarian nihilists, of whom there have always been a portion throughout time. Add to that atheists exploiting the Devil for his symbolism and power to inspire fear.

"The Master and Margarita" explores both concepts and puts forth the only actually convincing half-argument for the Devil as a moral character I have ever read. It's also screamingly funny.

by Anonymousreply 13Last Wednesday at 7:03 AM

R11 Why was he not worthy of entering the Ninth Gate? Because he paid Corso to do all the work? It seemed like he devoted his entire life to finding that book and to being a part of the dark cause.

R13 Interesting. I will have to add it to my list.

by Anonymousreply 14Last Wednesday at 7:14 AM

I remember my old friend laughing her ass off in the theater during the scene where the old lady was dead and her wheelchair kept bumping into the walls with her neck all askew

I enjoyed the movie upon a rewatch a couple of years ago

by Anonymousreply 15Last Wednesday at 7:31 AM

lol seems R7 has the same comment I did. Should have seen it first!

by Anonymousreply 16Last Wednesday at 7:33 AM

I enjoy this movie a lot. I do not understand why some people do not like it.

by Anonymousreply 17Last Wednesday at 7:51 AM

R15, r16, that’s good.

So nice to see that some are as twisted as me....

I also laughed at the scene in THE COLOR PURPLE when Harpo hits young Celie in the head with a rock.

“She ain’t MY mammy!”.

by Anonymousreply 18Last Wednesday at 8:15 AM

Polanski's post-Chinatown career has been underwhelming. I understand about being ostracized. But a talented person can get funding from somewhere.

by Anonymousreply 19Last Wednesday at 8:19 AM

r13, I would add the original, "Bedazzled" with the Devil's morals as well.

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by Anonymousreply 20Last Wednesday at 8:21 AM

Yeah...the whore of Babylon certainly didn't age too well...more of a GILF nowadays...

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by Anonymousreply 21Last Wednesday at 8:31 AM

Will have to revisit this one. Just rewatched “The Ghost Writer” (again), and thoroughly enjoyed it (again). Aside: I kept getting it mixed up with Kubrick for some reason, maybe I’m getting senile.

At the time I thought it wasn’t very good, or at least not up to his usual standard.

by Anonymousreply 22Last Wednesday at 8:44 AM

R22 The Ninth Gate is good. I think the second watch is better than the first.

R7 and R15 - But all of her invaluable books were destroyed. I cared more about them than her. LOL

by Anonymousreply 23Last Wednesday at 9:16 AM

Balkan was just a rich, power hungry asshole. He might have thought he was worthy, but obviously the devil just wasn’t that into him. It was Corso’s fate - Balkan was just meant to lead Corso down this path. Balkan did the dirty work - murdering the Baroness and Fargas and the whore protected Corso from danger.

Or at least that’s how I always saw it - I was a teen when it came out and my mom loves this movie and I have watched it with her multiple times. Maybe my view is simplistic though.

I love the score and the locations and it makes the devil worshippers seem glamorous and not very frightening at all. Johnny is perfect in this - a handsome, slightly amoral hero and by the time he releases the devil you’re like “yeah, he’s been through a lot. I totally understand”.

by Anonymousreply 24Last Wednesday at 9:31 AM

Hahahahaha r23. You have your priorities.

The only other time I’ve seen someone’s tongue hanging out like that in the movies was the first onscreen victim in Hitchcock’s FRENZY.

by Anonymousreply 25Last Wednesday at 9:32 AM

John Milton said it best: “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven” and I agree.

by Anonymousreply 26Last Wednesday at 9:49 AM

R24 I always felt the devil was playing him. I also believe that Balkan had the powers at the end and the devil tricked him to be a part of his cult in Hell. After all, he is the devil! I also felt bad for Fargas. I felt like he came from a super influential family like the Vanderbilt's, but he was the last survivor and had to sell things so he would not go into bankruptcy. I also felt like his book was passed down for generations, but he himself did not believe (at least Baroness said he didn't).

I do not know why this movie fascinates me so much, it is not the best and I grew up in the church. I know the evil and the occult are not things to be messed with.

by Anonymousreply 27Last Wednesday at 1:55 PM

I re-watched it about a year ago after a very long time and it is strangely captivating and compelling OP. I'm not exactly sure why.... it's no masterpiece, the camera work and acting are average for me, perhaps it's the fact that it tells a dark little story? It seems like a little adventure and mystery worth unraveling and I find these sorts of theological related stories fascinating even if I'm not that religious myself.

Not a scholar either, but is the Whore of Babylon supposed to have supernatural powers? I feel like they tried to give a little red herring with her and make her seem like an "angel" sent to protect Corso, but maybe I'm misremembering.

And agree with R7, the wheelchair scene with the baroness' tongue hanging out is probably one of the most memorable scenes from the whole movie. Not sure if they intended it to be as funny and ridiculous looking as it was.

by Anonymousreply 28Last Wednesday at 2:41 PM

The movie had a very slow plot and Johnny Depp was kind of slimy in it. It's one of those movies where you don't like anyone.

by Anonymousreply 29Last Wednesday at 2:52 PM

And Christ R21, she did not age well! That body and face is going to keep drooping by the likes of it. Were her tits always that large?

by Anonymousreply 30Last Wednesday at 2:55 PM

This film is one of my guilty pleasures. It has a weird sense of humor and some of the acting is poor, but the story is intriguing and has a certain lushness to it. I love media which portrays the occult with a certain lushness.

by Anonymousreply 31Last Wednesday at 5:33 PM

r28, there was a line that was something like, "The devil fell in love with you". And she did have supernatural powers.

by Anonymousreply 32Last Wednesday at 6:41 PM

Did they ever explain what caused the Baroness to lose her hand? Was she also missing a leg?

by Anonymousreply 33Last Wednesday at 6:52 PM

I really like when Johnny plays “normal guy surrounded by weirdos” more than when he plays the weirdo

by Anonymousreply 34Last Wednesday at 6:58 PM

I agree with the poster who said that Johnny Depp was hot in this movie.

by Anonymousreply 35Last Wednesday at 8:25 PM

What about Frank Langella?

by Anonymousreply 36Last Thursday at 1:51 PM

The Ninth Gate is good, but I’ve always had an interest in the occult.

I do like how Balkan ruined his life. Great twist of fate.

by Anonymousreply 37Last Friday at 8:21 AM
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