Saturday, March 03, 2012

More Astrology in Movie Dialogue

A couple of days ago I received a comment on a 2009 post from Jara of Random Astrology. The post: Movie Dialogue With Astrology.

Jara points to Harper, a 1966 movie starring Paul Newman and Shelley Winters. I haven't seen it, but intend to rectify that as soon as I can find a DVD or tape of the movie. I should never have missed one of Newman's - black mark to me!

Anyway, Jara's comment, in a bit of amazing sychronicity, arrived the very next morning after we'd watched a DVD of another movie with mention of astrology in the dialogue! The coincidence inspired me to re-post this updated version of Movie Dialogue With Astrology. Even more amazingly synchronistic, just last evening we watched a movie on HBO and astrology got several more mentions.....I was (as we used to say in the north of England) gobsmacked!

Jara's contribution of Harper comes first, followed by my newly discovered pair, and another from a 2010 post I'd previously overlooked, followed by the original list from 2009's post.

Wikipedia: Harper is a 1966 film written by William Goldman from a novel by Ross Macdonald. The movie starred Paul Newman as the eponymous Lew Harper (Lew Archer in the novel). Shelley Winters played the once-gorgeous former starlet Fay Estabrook, who is now an alcoholic. Newman's character sees Winters, a now fading, overweight star in a restaurant/bar and asks for her autograph:

Shelley Winters: Sure. Why not? (drinks the rest of her current drink in a big gulp and signals waiter for a refill) Boy. Wait a minute. When were you born?

Harper: June 2.

Shelley Winters: June 2. Gemini. Oh, Gemini are cold-hearted. (looks doubtful) Oh, are you cold-hearted, dumpling?

Harper: (shakes head no) Well, hell, big dogs is always licking my hand.

(they both guffaw and she reaches for another plate of food).
Jara's piece part 1
Jara's piece part 2

My two most recent "sightings":

First from the 1999 thriller Eye of the Beholder starring Ewan McGregor and Ashley Judd. It's a disjointed mish-mosh of a movie but in several places astrology gets a mention. Ashley Judd's character, a serial killer repeats several times that she is "a Pisces", wears a pendant to prove it, and at one point describes her character traits. McGregor, playing an intelligence agent going a wee bit ga-ga, later in the movie is seen wearing a Taurus pendant, which sparks another mention when Judd's character notices it.

Just last evening we watched The Cooler on HBO TV channel. It's a tale about a Las Vegas casino and the guy known as a cooler who has a weird ability to bring bad luck to players if they are on a winning streak (this seemed a questionable concept to me, especially as when the cooler is happy people start to win loads of money - but, the movie is fiction so....)William H. Macy plays the cooler, Alec Baldwin is a psychotic casino owner, and Maria Bello a casino waitress who appears to be fairly deeply into astrology. Bello in a couple of pieces of dialogue describes Macy's natal chart and a compatibility chart. I was so surprised that this should come up that I missed the exact content of her speeches. Later in the movie it seemed that her use of astrology could well have been part of a confidence trick. It's a decent, well-acted, movie but viewers have to suspend disbelief about the concept that a person can bring good or bad luck just by their mood and presence, and on a regular basis.

I was surprised this morning to find a transcript of the movie's script online at Script-o-rama, and it didn't take long to find the dialogue involving astrology. These are possibly the most detailed mentions of astrology I've found in a movie to date!
Bello's character: Your progressed Venus is in Gemini...
12.5 degrees... and it's in direct motion, which means...'re a slow starter when it comes to romance. Sorry. You know what? This is real unprofessional of me.
I shouldn't discuss your chart with you until l'm all done. I can tell by the look on your face you think this is all a lot of B.S.

Macy's character: No, I just... I know what the outcome's gonna be.

Bello: There's not like one particular outcome. A lot of things come into the picture, like... - the planets, the moon phases - The outcome won't change with me. - It'll be all bad. - Oh, my God. I have never met anyone who was so down on themselves.

Macy: People get next to me, their luck turns. It's always been that way.

Bello: Well, that sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me.
There's a whole chapter of that in my book...

Bello:I've been working on this compatibility chart, okay? And it looks good, really it does.

Macy: So, what's the problem? -

Bello: The problem is it's only good here. But that's just for now, for the immediate future. You know, when the planets realign... maybe next year...

Macy: A year!? Natalie, I can't wait another year.

Bello:Your chart that first night - I wasn't being straight with you. lt is the worst chart l've ever seen. There's nothing in the cards for you, I'm telling you.

Eliza's Horoscope - there's a full post about this one in the 2010 archives, starred a young Tommy Lee Jones. Here's an extract from my earlier post at Astrology Found Lurking in Arty-Farty Movie.

Eliza is a naive country lass, with Sun in Pisces, come to the big city, Montreal, to have her horoscope done and, she hopes, find the love of her life, and have a child. She visits an old Chinese astrologer (Rose Quong) in a run-down lodging house. The astrologer undertakes to calculate her horoscope/natal chart and have it ready in a couple of days. This, of course, was well before the advent of astrology software.

On returning to the astrologer, Eliza is told, with the aid of two hand-drawn charts, that she will meet, during the next 10 days, the love of her life, a handsome man "full of riches" who will be either Sagittarius or Aries - but there will be danger.

Now, as all good astrology buffs know, no astrologer could possibly divine that much detail with any degree of accuracy....but the movie uses artistic licence I guess. Anyway, the prediction sets Eliza on track to find her wealthy man, leading to several encounters which grow weirder and weirder.

The following are from the original 2009 post on this topic:

There's a scene in "Carmen Jones", about which I wrote back in October 2007 - the relevant paragraph:
"I was pleased, for once, to see an astrological chart as a wall display in a scene in the movie. Talk of "bad luck in the cards" was included in the same scene. A character later threw a half-eaten peach across the room, it hit the first house on the chart - a bad omen indeed, as events unfolded - although a hit on eighth house might have been more astrologically correct. "

In Streetcar Named Desire there's some dialogue between Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando, (playing Blanche and Stanley):

"Stanley! What sign were you born under? - What sign? Astrological sign. I bet you were born under Aries. Aries people are forceful and dynamic. They dote on noise! They love to bang things around!"

Stanley tells her that he was born just five minutes after Christmas.

"Oh, Capricorn the goat," she says with a look on her face that tells how aptly the astrological sign describes Stanley Kowalski.

Commenter Jennifer added this from "Harvey"

Mrs. Simmons,
what is your brother's name?

I'm sorry. Life is
not easy for any of us.

It's Dowd.
Elwood P. Dowd.

Elwood P. Dowd.
His age?

the th of last April.

He's Taurus,
Taurus the bull.

I'm Leo, and Myrtle's on the
cusp. You have him with you now?

Oh, yes. He's outside
waiting in a taxi cab.

An archived post of mine about Gone With the Wind and a zodiac connection. Not exactly what I'm looking for, but close-ish.

Commenter Penelope added this - thank you Penelope:

I don't have a copy to quote from but L.P Hartley's The Go-Between ('The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.') refers somewhere in the first chapters to the zodiac, potently enough for me to recall.

It seems that the "hero" of the tale was called Leo - a clue as to how any conversation about zodiac signs began?

Summer 1900: Queen Victoria's last and the summer Leo turns 13. He's the guest of Marcus, a wealthy classmate, at a grand home in rural Norfolk. Leo is befriended by Marian, Marcus's twenty-something sister, a beauty about to be engaged to Hugh, a viscount and good fellow....

Pen came back later to add more on this (thanks, Pen - sterling work!)
Curiosity piqued, I had to go and have the book fetched from the library stack. On

p. 3 Leo is describing his new diary for 1900:
"... round the year thus confidently heralded, the first year of the century, winged with hope, clustered th signs of the zodiac, each somehow contriving to suggest a plenitude of life and power, each glorious, though differing from the others in glory. ... I remembered ... their shapes and attitudes ... the magic with which they were then invested, and the tingling sense of coming fruition they conveyed ..."

Anonymous has contributed this - thanks Anon!

In the wonderful film, Bell, Book and Candle, Manhattan witches Kim Novak, Elsa Lancaster and Jack Lemmon spend a Christmas evening at the Zodiac Club. When Jimmy Stewart seeks to gain entrance to the club, he has to tell the doorman his birthdate.

ANY MORE - anyone?


Wisewebwoman said...

Not offhand, dear T, you've done a great job with these.

And slightly off topic I always think of Bette and this:

"Oh Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars."

From Now, Vogager.


Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~~ Thanks WWW! They're inconseqential in the great scheme of things, but I enjoy collecting them.

I like that quote from Now Voyager, its embedded wisdom is why it's still so often remembered by those who've seen the movie. :-)