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The Ninth Configuration
The Ninth Configuration
Actors: Scott Wilson, Stacy Keach, George DiCenzo, Ed Flanders, Moses Gunn
Director: William Peter Blatty
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2002     1hr 58min

A stunning meditation on God?s existence in a form that might be best described as Catch 22 meets Spellbound, the film received 3 Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture, and won the award for Best Writing against...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Scott Wilson, Stacy Keach, George DiCenzo, Ed Flanders, Moses Gunn
Director: William Peter Blatty
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/17/2002
Original Release Date: 08/08/1980
Theatrical Release Date: 08/08/1980
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 58min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Nick H. from LEVITTOWN, PA
Reviewed on 12/24/2008...
This was a very good movie. It takes a while to kick in but when it does it has you really on the edge of your seat. It's really cool how they twist the end. This movie features great acting talents. It's really funny that it takes place in a mental ward and some of the things these men say are just too funny! Like Jason Miller (father Karas from the Exorcist) is putting on a Shakespear play starring all dogs! All heck breaks loose and the patients can do what they want. There is an underline message as with most of Blatty's movies. You have to come to your own conclusions. This is a great movie if you give it a chance.

Movie Reviews

One of the greatest movies you've never seen
Stewart McGregor Cook | Fountain Inn, SC | 04/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Roger Ebert once said that Casablanca was the sort of movie that improves upon multiple viewings, because the first time we see it we're too involved in the plot, too concerned about what is happening and why; seeing the movie again gives us the chance to appreciate the nuances. Those comments certainly apply to The Ninth Configuration.The plot is a good one, and people who enjoy thrillers and mysteries will find enough action and plot twists in the film to rival Hitchcock's best works. But what makes this movie so special are the terrific performances (by Stacy Keach, Scott, Wilson, and Ed Flanders), the witty dialogue, and the religious undercurrents. Too often movies treat religious belief with sentimentality or scorn, but the Ninth Configuration deals with faith and doubt in with a deftness and dignity that isn't patronizing to either side. It's the sort of movie that you immediately want to talk about with someone...which could be difficult since so few people have seen it. Case in point: I host a movie party every Thursday night. Every time a new member joins, I ask him or her to compile a short list of movies that he or she has seen but thinks others haven't but should. These lists serve as our guide for film selections, and the attendees love movies and have broad tastes. But not one of them had seen The Ninth Configuration. My father recommended it to us, and we watched it last October, and thus far it remains the club's hands-down favorite, beating out classics such as The Sting or The Lion in Winter. Many of them have passed the title along to friends, who have also enjoyed the newly discovered gem. And it has provoked hours of conversation among us.I can't think of a movie that would appeal so well to the casual viewer, the mystery lover, the film buff, the occasion bible study group for that matter.Many movies are worth seeing. This one is worth owning."
Who are you? You're too human to be human . . .
the wizard of uz | Studio City, CA United States | 04/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"That's what Captain Cutshaw says to his psychiatrist. He continues:" Maybe you're P.T Barnum. . . He put a panther and a lamb in a cage together and there was never any trouble. The public went lollypops! Look at that! A panther and a lamb, and they don't even argue!. . .but what the public never knew was that it was never the same lamb. That (expletive deleted) panther ate a lamb every single day at intermission and then they shot him for asking for mint sauce. . . Animals are innocent, why should they suffer?. . . Why should children suffer? "
-----------------------------------------------------------------There's an in joke in Hollywood: You don't ask a director if he's seen " The Ninth Configuration ", you ask how many times.It's a cult classic. A supernatural horror film without anything seemingly frightening or supernatural, set in an insane assylum, set in a gothic castle. It's a mystery, a Christian martyr movie (no,I'm not kidding), an ensemble production of superb actors speaking some off THE best dialogue written, it's --it's-- Wiliam Peter Blatty!Who, after writing "The Exorcist" (another easy 5 stars) put out a couple of lame "sequels" until he gathered enough clout to write and direct what he considered the TRUE sequel, which has nothing to do with little girls possesed by demons, but still everything to do with Good vs. Evil.It's Vietnam and a number of officers have gone psycho--or are they faking it? Due to the controversial nature of the war, it's being kept secret. At one of these bases--set in an abandoned castle in a remote forest, of course--top USMC psychiatrist, Colonel Kane (Stacey Keach) is sent to investigate.Astronaut and head loon Captain Cutshaw (Scott Wilson) wonders if fellow officer/inmate Jason Miller (Father Karras in 'The Exorcist') may be right when he says " I tell ya he's Gregory Peck in 'Spellbound', he's sent to take over the assylum but he's crazier than all of us! " For his part Kane is determined to help the men, especially their 'leader', Capt. Cutshaw.The film focuses on the clash between these two bizarre and enigmatic characters.Cutshaw: " You're on your way out! I'm acting on orders so to inform you. "Kane: " Who ordered you Cutshaw? "Cutshaw: " Unseen forces far too numerous to enumerate." Their psychotherapy slowly becomes a metaphor on the ancient debate of the impossibility of God, given the reality of evil. Brilliantly scripted by Blatty.

Kane: "Perhaps we're all fish out of water...I mean if fish could survive, actually survive out of water, they'd all go crazy. Perhaps we're all meant for a much better place. "Cutshaw: "You're so dumb you're adorable."Naturally, more than talk is needed. The action in the film is the turning point upon which the author/director hangs the plot twist as to who among them--and among us --is really crazy.The answer might surprise you. An amazing film."
Blatty astounds us
Czinczar | Southeast Michigan, USA | 08/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Coming to this film 26 years late is certainly better than never. Like most people back then, when I saw it was showing at the theater, I was turned off by it's original annoying title "Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane." I was the poorer for those 26 years. Now that I've seen it, I'm belatedly spreading the word about it to all my friends.

I don't know if I'm more amazed by Blatty's skill as a writer or a director. I'm bowled over by every aspect of this production. It's hard to single out any one thing, because there are too many things to praise. I guess I'm most impressed by Blatty's skill in weaving a very intricate story. The first half hour doesn't make any sense, but we can still tell we're on to something great. We can simply sit back and enjoy the incredible dialogue. The rest of the movie fulfills its early promise. The plot comes together in a delightfully complex way. Blatty skillfully throws in a couple twists I didn't see coming. And it's all held together by Keach's brooding performance.

Beneath the surface mysteries of the characters' true identities and inner motivations, the core of the film deals with the question of the existence of God. Blatty spins out an intricate and compelling argument for God's existence. As an atheist, I didn't buy his argument, but I was very impressed with it on an emotional level.

If you step beck, you're forced to admit that the whole scenario of the movie is ridiculously improbable. But Blatty's skill in telling the story more than makes up for this. Like most of you, I sensed many layers of meaning in this film. But I've only watched it once so far, so I still have many more viewings ahead of me in which I can plumb its depths for the riches I sense are in there. I feel extremely fortunate that I'll have this movie with me for the rest of my life."