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The Ninth Configuration (1980)

Scott Wilson , Stacy Keach , William Peter Blatty  |  R |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Scott Wilson, Stacy Keach, George DiCenzo, Ed Flanders, Moses Gunn
  • Directors: William Peter Blatty
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 17, 2002
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000696IA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,365 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Ninth Configuration" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Soon to be available as part of 4 Film Favorites-Cult Thrillers. Pre-order now on!
  • Additional Scenes - Featurette
  • 2 Alternate Endings

Editorial Reviews

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 a field of nominees that included Ordinary People, The Elephant Man and Raging Bull.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
93 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest movies you've never seen April 23, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
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.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who are you? You're too human to be human . . . April 16, 2003
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.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of a kind film May 27, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I've seen my share of films that have been good and bad. I've also seen movies that could similar to others. When it comes to The Ninth Configuration, I now know that there can be films that are original and don't borrow from other sources. This movie is not only one of a kind, it is also very moving and philosophical. If not dramatic with some twists and turns. Even the scene involving a bar room brawl between Stacy Keach and various actors playing vicious bikers (who literally get their tail-ends kicked brutally and fatally by Keach)was very original, if not unique.
The Ninth Configuration examines the after effects of the Vietnam War on various veterans who have suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome and other various traumas. It also examines the various themes of religion and why the world itself is going to hell in a handbasket. It also points out the old question that many have often asked. Is there a God? And if so, why does he let evil get away with various things?
A cult-classic like Blade Runner, with elements of witty black comedy that are almost like those from the movie M*A*S*H, The Ninth Configuration is a moving drama and excellent masterpiece. Not only does it have solid acting from the likes of Stacy Keach, Scott Wilson (who won a Golden Globe for his role in the film), Ed Flanders, Steve Sandor, Richard Lynch, the late Joe Spinell, Will Luckling, Robert Loggia, Jason Miller (as a soldier directing Shakespearean plays with Dogs, a very original and enjoyable plot element), Moses Gunn, and Tom Atkins, it also has some very interesting and powerful moments. Especially the surreal scene where a NASA astronaut discovers THE crucifix on the surface of the Moon.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie!
If it were possible to give this film more than 5 stars I would. My favorite movie of all time. The little quips between characters and intense portrayal of Colonel Kane by Stacy... Read more
Published 14 days ago by James J. Linehan
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu Ray/DVD combo out November '14
Great movie. Barely known if known at all. Looking forward to the blu ray release.
Published 22 days ago by Ron Hidalgo
1.0 out of 5 stars Thought this guy died of old age.
SACEY KEACH ?????????????????????????????????????? Just cannot imagine him in a bar fight.
Published 24 days ago by MW2
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
dvd was blank
Published 3 months ago by william900
5.0 out of 5 stars Unknown sleeper film but great.
Fantastic Movie, not what you think it will be.
Published 3 months ago by Christian P. Mercer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful and Overlooked film based on Blatty's "Twinkle Twinkle...
This film shows all of Blatty's complex, contemplative, Catholic and comedic gifts. He writes and directs this multi-faceted gem. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jeff Rack
2.0 out of 5 stars Where are the captions and subtitles?
My copy of this film lists English and Francais subtitles and close captions on the back of the box, but there are none. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Eunice
5.0 out of 5 stars The best film ever made, if you like it...
This is the kind of movie that will alter the way you decide to choose your movies, whether or not you are for it or against it. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Leslie Karen Rigsbey
5.0 out of 5 stars Eternal Hope Endures - Again
One of the most spell bounding movies ever made. The cast is comprised of some of the best actors around, both major and supporting. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Talmadge E Faulkner
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
This is one of those movies you don't hear about but is a great movie. When I first saw it on TV I recorded it and watched it about 6 times, each time you get more from it, glad... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jude
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