Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Crimson Pirate

The Crimson Pirate: Sagittarius Rising
Happy Birthday (and RIP, natürlich) Burt Lancaster, superstar Scorp. Was there ever a more robust yet complex specimen of manhood.

Born 2 November 1913: Scorpio Sun (water), Capricorn Moon (earth), Sagittarius Rising (fire).

Trapeze with Tony Curtis
Gemini whispers to Scorpio
in Sweet Smell of Success
He was multi-faceted and used that to good effect playing completely different roles from washed up alcoholic in Come Back Little Sheba to Italian Prince in The Leopard. 

He had Venus in domicile in Libra, which gave him both beauty and charm. In which movies did he explore the airy side of his nature? Trapeze and The Birdman of Alcatraz, I guess. Oh and he does a lot of flying around in The Crimson Pirate too.

No one would argue that Burt Lancaster was a one dimensional actor. He was also probably the most successful independent Hollywood producer in the 1950s and directed.

In my book, he's at his best when he's all Scorpio as the terrifying creep JJ Hunsecker to Curtis's brilliantly slimy Sidney Falco in Sweet Smell of Success – a movie he also produced.

But some prefer his earthier side on the beach in From Here to Eternity.

Or when he shows that Libra class combined with a bit of Capricorn hauteur as a Sicilian prince in Visconti's The Leopard. Not bad for a boy from the mean streets.

Which Burt to you like best?


  1. I saw him him in "Atlantic City" in the early 1980s (with Susan Sarandon) playing a ageing former gangster who, unexpectedly, falls for a younger woman. Don't remember too much about the plot now but I do recall how struck - and moved - I was at the time by the insight he brought to the role.

  2. christinarodenbeck3 November 2011 09:00

    Just testing the new comment format

  3. His head is so big.

  4. christinarodenbeck4 November 2011 20:11

    He was a big, tall man - and of course, next to the small but perfectly formed Tony, he looks massive.

    Interesting casting for a Sicilian Prince. I guess there is Visigoth down there or is it Viking?

  5. The Prince in Guiseppe di Lampedusa's book, "The Leopard" has a German mother.

    The director of the film Luchino Visconti was an aristoctrat also, and Burt had a very good model to base his acting on, according to "how the film was made" appendix from a recent Italian release CD.

    I think Burt was great :)

  6. christinarodenbeck5 November 2011 19:44

    Aha. I have read the book - which is wonderful - but a long, long time ago, so no recollection of the German mother. I think Burt's great too

  7. Burt has been my favorite actor to date. My Favorites: Trapeze, for his twists of fate/romance, the Rainmaker for his charm, and Elmer Gantry for having the talent to be convincing and so versatile! He was a studly guy!!!!