The Thursday List - My Shelf Edition (again)

"The Ninth Gate" (1999)
Johnny Depp plays a rare book hustler/dealer who is hired by a ruthless billionaire bibliophile, played by Frank Langella, to authenticate a copy of a legendary occult book reputed to have been dictated by the Devil himself back in the seventeenth century. Hilarity, of course, ensues. Directed, produced, and co-written by Roman Polanksi, the film is well-written, stylish, suspenseful, and well made, and the cast is excellent. Many frown on the movie since it's not another "Rosemary's Baby", which itself is a film I believe highly, highly overrated. I believe "The Ninth Gate" is, I believe, quite underrated, and it is one of my personal occult favorites.

"Chinatown" (1974)
This is widely considered to be one of the best all around films ever made, for good reason. It's a Robert Towne script directed by Roman Polanski and starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston. To put it simply, the film is a master class in just about every aspect of filmmaking, a feat not accomplished by many. The story is engaging. Towne's script it tight and well-paced, as is Polanski's direction, and the cast is, as you might guess, superb. "Chinatown" is a must-see.

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