Entries in thomas mann (1)


Conglomeration of Gemini nonsense. (11)

Something a little silly perhaps, arbitrary and unchronological, entirely consequent on the vagaries of TurnerClassicMovies programming. This goes back to Gemini, the Hands, and the Taurus cusp. Remember wonderful Robert Montgomery? Born exactly on the cusp of Taurus and Gemini (Sun was at 29d30’ Taurus at noon on his time-unknown birthday), this is arguably his best film. On the poster his dense, puzzled face contemplates his murderous digits, detached, vaguely disturbed,  with a glimmer of dawning understanding and horror. What a perfect summary of the relationship of safe, premental Taurean fixity  to the adjacent restlessness and dangerous manipulations of Gemini. As Montgomery’s Mars is conjunct the Sun at 2 Gemini, the fingers particularly  signify violence, rather than, say, intelligence, or creativity. Interestingly, co-star Rosalind Russell is also a Gemini, and her hand is also expressively emphasized in the poster art. Russell ends the film with a line that is bizarre, but aptly Geminian: “You not only saved my life, you saved my reason!”

The great, and now rather unfashionable, novelist Thomas Mann, an exemplary Gemini, noted in his diary on April 14, 1937: ". . . Night Must Fall, an excellent film with Robert Montgomery, who represents a good psychological type and has distinctly Joseph-like moments. Quite interested." Since Joseph was Mann's deeply felt alter-ego, with whom he shared his own horoscopic placements in his massive novel, Joseph and His Brothers, this response to Montgomery's character, a silver-tongued, criminal charmer, is clearly a bit of astrological self-recognition.Thomas Mann and friends

Incidentally, the third co-star of this film, Dame May Whitty, was also a Gemini, and what a Geminian name. While I'm drivelling on, to make another mad point, the late great Beatrice Lillie (aka Lady Peel) was a Gemini (and in talking of Gemini, do enjoy finding double letters in the name) and the Gemini poet Theodore Roethke (b. May 25, 1908) was once compelled to pen these immortal lines:

Bees and lilies there were,

Bees and lilies there were, 

Either to other,--

Which would you rather?

Bees and lilies were there.