Most often classified as a horror movie or a mystery thriller, The Ninth Gate — which follows the search for what is, essentially, the devil’s version of the Bible — is actually more film noir than nail-biting. Director Roman Polanski, who made his mark in the ’60s and ’70s with Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown, integrated attributes of the dark genre. There’s the morally corrupted detective-esque protagonist (Johnny Depp), the amoral femme fatale, the oft-present ambiance of paranoia and the absence of a happy ending.
The Synopsis: A film adaptation of the book, The Dumas Club written by Arturo Perez-Reverte, follows the search for another book. The Nine Doors to the Kingdom of Shadows — Nine Gates, for short — is a 17th century occult text that purportedly gives its owner unimaginable power and contains the key to conjuring Satan. Three copies are said to exist, and sleazy book dealer Dean Corso (Depp) must track down the other two demonic works for an obsessive patron, Boris Balkan (played by Frank Langella), who wants to authenticate his recent acquisition.
Ten Things You Didn’t Know About The Ninth Gate
1. The opening credits feature the camera floating through nine sets of doors before the film begins.
2. The film has a different title from its source novel, The Dumas Club, because the book’s referred to a major subplot involving a secret society obsessed with serialized novels, such as those written by Alexandre Dumas.
3. The voice of one of the Ceniza twins is dubbed by Polanski himself.
4. The pen that Lucas Corso uses is a limited edition Montblanc Agatha Christie ballpoint.
5. The two booksellers Corso encounters in Toledo are actually the same actor, Jose Lopez Rodero. Polanski used a motion capture rig to use one person twice. He appears again later, playing two workmen cleaning out the bookstore. Rodero, the assistant director and production manager, was hesitant to accept the multiple parts.
6. The cigarettes Liana Telfer smokes are called Black Devils.
7. The keypad combination to Balkan’s penthouse office and to his private library is 666.
8. The little girl who stares at Corso at the Paris airport is played by Polanski’s daughter Morgan.
9. The book Corso is searching for was written by Aristide Torchia in Venice and contains nine woodcut engravings copied from the apocryphal Delomelanicon, which is rumored to be written by Lucifer himself.
10. The author, Torchia, wrote the book in 1666. He was burned, along with all his works, in 1667.Read More