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.
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.