The Ninth Configuration (1979)

99m (re-issue), 109m (theatrical – international version), 117m 37s (USA – theatrical, 1985 and UK – theatrical, 1999), 118m, 140m, 10,585 feet (USA – theatrical (1985); UK – theatrical (1999))
35mm film, 70mm film, (blow-up) Metrocolor, Panavision (anamorphic), 2.35:1
mono, English

An American psychological horror film directed by William Peter Blatty.

Plot Summary

psychologist Colonel Kane arrives at remote, forbidding castle to take over command of a psychiatric facility, Center 18, housed there treating deranged soldiers and a mad astronaut. But Kane finds his new position to be a challenging one – as an experiment in play therapy runs out of control, Kane is haunted by memories he claims belong to his murderous brother ‘Killer' Kane. Is he really who he says he is and can he provide the one act of self-sacrifice that one of the patients demands as absolute proof of the existence of God?


Directed by: William Peter Blatty
© MCMLXXIX [1979] The Ninth Configuration Company
Executive Producer: William Paul
Produced by: William Peter Blatty
Associate Producer: Tom Shaw
Written by: William Peter Blatty, based on his novel
Director of Photography: Gerry Fisher
Supervising Film Editor: Peter Taylor
Film Editors: T. Battle Davis, Roberto Silvi, Peter Lee-Thompson
Music Composed by: Barry DeVorzon
Production Sound: Colin Charles
Costumes by: Tom Bronson
Special Effects: Willard Flanagin
Production Designer: William Malley
Casting Consultant: Jack Baur

Stacy Keach (Colonel Kane)
Scott Wilson (Captain Cutshaw)
Jason Miller (Lieutenant Reno)
Ed Flanders (Colonel Fell)
Neville Brand (Major Groper)
George DiCenzo (Captain Fairbanks)
Moses Gunn (Major Nammack)
Robert Loggia (Lieutenant Bennish)
Joe Spinell (Spinell)
Alejandro Rey (Lieutenant Gomez)
Tom Atkins (Sergeant Krebs)
Steve Sandor (1st cyclist)
Richard Lynch (2nd cyclist)
Mark Gordon (Sergeant Gilman)
Bill Lucking (highway patrolman)
Stephen Powers (Sergeant Christian)
David Healy (1st general)
William Paul (2nd general)
Tom Shaw (priest)
Gordon K. Kee (1st inmate)

Alternative Titles

La nona configurazione – Italian title
Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane
Yhdeksäs aisti – Finnish title



  • Écran Fantastique no.14 (1980) p.47
  • Empire no.119 (May 1999) p.29 – review (New films by Adam Smith)
  • Empire no.51 (September 1993) p.46 – illustrated letter (Q&A)
  • Film Review May 1999 p.34 – illustrated review (The Ninth Configuration by Ian Calcutt)
  • Film-Echo/Filmwoche no.64 (15 November 1975) p.10
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.260 no.20 (7 February 1980) p.3, 8
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.48 n566 (March 1981) p.53-54
  • Screen International no.245 (14 June 1980) p.6 – note
  • Screen International no.282 (7 March 1981) p.26
  • Sight and Sound vol.11 n6 (June 2001) p.61 – DVD review (Homemovies: Reviews by Danny Leigh)
  • Sight and Sound vol.9 n10 (October 1999) p.64 – note (Additions and corrections by Mike Coate)
  • Sight and Sound vol.9 n7 (July 1999) p.50 – credits, synopsis, review (Reviews by Mark Kermode)
  • Starburst no.27 (1980) p.7 – note
  • Starburst no.32 (1981) p.16-17
  • Variety 6 February 1980 p.20, 22