In the first act of The Ninth Gate, Liana Telfer comes to visit protagonist Dean Corso in his apartment, to try to recover her husband's book.

During their few minutes of verbal jousting, Telfer proposes that they stage a theft of the book. Corso replies

This has happened before someplace.

and Liana says

I know. In the movies.

Corso then mentions a lady having a gun in her stockings, and Liana hikes up her skirt to unsettle (or seduce) him, revealing that although she's wearing stockings, she has no gun.

Is there a real-life movie that they're referring to? If so, what's the scene from it that they are comparing themselves to, and how closely does it match? Is this some kind of meta-homage by Polanski?

1 Answer 1


This appears to be an attempt by Polanksi to reference Lena Olin's earlier role in "Romeo is Bleeding". The film deals with similar themes of deception and features Olin as a literal femme fatale with a penchant for toting a gun in her stockings.

You can view the relevant scene below. Warning, NSFW - Mild Nudity.

  • Awesome connection; that makes a lot of sense.
    – jscs
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 6:34

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