Back to top

The Ninth Configuration

Stacy Keach, Scott Wilson, Ed Flanders, Neville Brand, George DiCenzo, Moses Gunn, Robert Loggia, Joe Spinell, Alejandro Rey, Tom Atkins, Richard Lynch, Tom Shaw, William Peter Blatty
Sigmund Freud | Carl Jung | Vincent van Gogh | chlorpromazine | Thorazine | diazepam | Valium | marijuana | opium poppy
Spoiler alert
Spoiler alert!
Blog entry

Narrator: “Toward the end of the war in Vietnam an unusually high percentage of American service men suddenly manifested symptoms of psychosis. Most of them... had no prior history of mental disturbance. These facts, plus the epidemic scope of the problem and the controversial nature of the Vietnam War, led American authorities to wonder many, if not most, of the men were faking.” (0:06)

Maj. Groper tells an inmate, “Shut your mouth, you crazy bastard.”
”A psychiatrist!... The greatest... psychiatrist since Jung.” (0:06)

Inmate: “Here comes the psychiatrist, Groper.”
”Let’s hear it for the shrink.” (0:09)

Groper: “Play therapy.” (0:11)

Medical officer Fromme: “You’re the psychiatrist, aren’t you Kane.”
”What are you, Jungian? Following some crazy new school of psychiatry? These guys are nuttier than a wagon-load of pralines.”
He asks Sgts. Krebs and Christian, ”For Chrissakes, what is this, a hospital or a nuthouse?”
Medic Fell tells Kane, “You remind me of Vincent Van Gogh.” (0:11)

Capt. Fairbanks tells Kane, “Multiple personality.” (0:17)

Fells tells someone by telephone, “Sleeping pills keep you awake anyway.”
”In a very short time you build up a tolerance...” (0:20)

Fell tells astronaut Cutshaw, “Col. Kane’s a psychiatrist.”
Cutshaw tells Kane, referring to his medical records, “It’s my therapy.”
”Read it, or I’ll go crazy, dammit!”
”I’m a nervous wreck. Christ, how can I sleep now, waiting for a covetous kelptomaniacal colonel... to rip away my medal.”
”Powerful drugs could be insinuated into my soup.”
”Show me a Catholic, and I’ll show you a junky.”
”Okay, I’m ready for my ink-blot test now.”
”He’s a psychiatrist!”
Fell: “Casablanca.”
Kane shows Cutshaw Rorschach cards. Cutshaw tells Kane, “You’re a mental case.”
”Do you always play kiss-ass with the loonies?”
”I Remember Mama, by Oedipus Rex.” (0:22)

Fell look at a book: “Elementary Psychology.”
Patient Reno tells Kane, referring to Groper, “That man is a lunatic and dangerous... the crazy bastard...” (0:30)

Fairbanks tells Sgt. Krebs, “It is one of my multiple personalities.” (0:33)

Kane asks Fell, “Do you think they’re faking it, then?”
Fell, referring to Cutshaw: “Why should he fake it?... Reno... He’s pretending insanity to get out of combat?”
Kane: “I don’t think evil grows out of madness. I think madness grows out of evil.”
Fell, “Maybe you ought to give them all shock treatment...” (0:33)

Kane writes, “Shock Treatment Curative.” (0:37)

Kane tells Krebs, “Capt. Bennish may need a Thorazine injection. Who has a key to the drug locker?” (0:38)

Cutshaw: “Hud, there is nothing less attractive than a psychiatrist who pouts.”
”And do you know what that heartless butcher prescribed? He said, ‘Here, take this. It’s a suicide pill with a mild laxative side effect.”
”Because I am in mourning.” (0:39)

A patient tells Cutshaw, “I am telling you Kane is the one who’s crazy.”
”A lot of psychiatrists are deeply disturbed. They’ve got the highest suicide rate of any profession in the world.”
”I’m telling you, he is Gregory Peck in Spellbound. He comes to take over the mental asylum, and he’s nuts himself... and he fainted.” (0:43)

Patient Bennish tells Kane, “Would you kindly have the goodness to admit that you’re able to read my thoughts... have illegally invaded my mind, making me believe that I am still on earth, with some demonic hypnotic illusion?”
Kane tells Krebs, “Medication is indicated here.” (0:44)

Kane tells Fell, “Capt. Bennish could’ve used some sedation. Please, make up a duplicate key to the drug chest.”
Fell, “Well, as Caesar’s wife said to Sigmund Freud...”
Kane: “A patient of mine...”
Fell: “That’s carrying transference a little far, isn’t it?”
”The patient?”
”You’re psychically attuned.”
Kane hallucinates a voice: “Vincent.”
Fell: “Drugs.”
”So many doctors get hooked on drugs.” (0:47)

Kane reads to Groper from a letter: “In my dreams I am a madman.” (0:52)

Reno tells Kane, “Some Shakespearean scholars say that when Hamlet is pretending to be crazy he really is crazy.”
”Other Shakespearean scholars say that when Hamlet is pretending to be nuts, he really isn’t nuts.”
”Ah, terrific psychiatrist.”
”Is he really and truly crazy?”
”Now that by itself is a hell of a hangup...”
Kane: “But then we’re agreed Hamlet’s insane.”
Fell: “But, if Hamlet hadn’t pretended to be crazy, he really would’ve gone crazy. You see, Hamet isn’t psycho... Bananas. Whacked out. So his unconscious mind makes him do what keeps him sane, namely acting like he’s nuts. See, because acting crazy is a way to let off steam... Because nuts are not responsible. Meantime, the crazier Hamlet acts, the more he indulges himself, the healthier he gets.”
”You understand that now, you dumb stupid idiot?”
Spinell, referring to Kane: “Give the man a Valium.” (0:54)

Capt. Pendleton tells Kane by telephone, referring to the men, “They want to play Great Escape.” (0:59)

Reno tells Kane, referring to Maj. Nammack, “Explain to this moron here...”
”Jesus, Nammack, are you crazy?”
”Bananas.” (1:00)

Cutshaw: “There he is, our heavenly shrink.” (1:02)

Kane tells Groper, “It’s psychodrama, Major... standard tool for therapy.”
Groper: “I’m not a psychiatrist. It’s a goddam chicken-shit crazy idea!”
Cutshaw: ”The man has a flag fetish.”
”You’re committable.”
Kane: “A soldier throws himself on top of a live grenade to prevent the other men in his squad from being hit.”
”A shipwreck survivor in the middle of an ocean finds out that he has typhoid and deliberately goes over the side of the lifeboat to keep the others in the boat from contracting the disease.”
Cutshaw: “I call that suicide.”
Kane: “Suicide and giving up your life are not the same.”
”The essence of suicide is despair.”
Cutshaw: “The essence of suicide is you don’t collect the insurance.” (1:03)

Kane sees an altar boy as Vietnamese. (1:11)

Krebs tells Kane about a new patient: “Just combat fatigue from the look of him.”
Kane re experiences killing a Vietnamese boy. (1:14)

A desk sergeant tells Kane, “It got you down as in charge of the state asylum. Your MOS is ‘psychiatrist’.”
Kane faints. (1:16)

Fell tells Kane, “You fainted.”
”You don’t remember.” (1:18)

Fell, referring to Kane: “We heard stories about his cracking. He seemed to be on the edge of a very serious breakdown... His hatred of the Kane who killed became denial, and also projection... then after a time that denial became so strong that it totally obliterated Kane’s identity... He suppressed the Kane who was the killer... An inmate functioning as a psychiatrist... We hope he’d come up with an answer or at least some new insight.”
”I’m the psychiatrist. Vincent is my patient.” (1:19)

Bikers share a joint. Another biker tells biker Stanley, “You’re demented.”
Stanley: “That’s the astronaut... who lost his marbles.”
”Dude, they have all types of those Army whackos stashed up in that Biltmore dump.” (1:23)

Waitress asks the telephone operator: “Do you have a listing for some kind of an asylum?... some kind of asylum for marines or something?” (1:28)

Kane tells Cutshaw, “Shock, shock treatment.”
Kane’s bloody hand drops a knife to the floor. Cutshaw carries Kane’s lifeless body down the stairs: “He gave up his life.” (1:45)

Poppies wave in the wind. (1:49)

Cutshaw reads a letter from Kane, “Capt. Cutshaw, I am taking my life in the hope that my death may provide a shock that has curative value.” (1:53)

Compare to Shutter Island.