Gordon Sheppard

Writer, Photographer, Filmmaker

Eliza’s Horoscope (1976)

120 minute feature film starring Elizabeth Moorman, Tommy Lee Jones and Lila Kedrova.

Note: all VHS and DVD copies of Eliza’s Horoscope presently on the market have not been approved by O-zali Films Inc. which has exclusive distribution rights on the film. All these copies have many, very distracting, unauthorized jump cuts, which were probably unintentionally added as a result of a mechanical failure during the making of the pirate copies.


Eliza’s Horoscope Credits


An innerspace odyssey of myth, magic and mystery of a naive young girl in search of love…

A haunting fantasy about a young girl who looks for love with the help of her horoscope — and lives ten days of intrigue, comedy, perversion and tragedy that reveal to her the nature of love and womanhood.

Eliza, a Pisces, is 18. She dreams of having a child, a desire as natural to her as thirst and hunger. But she hasn’t yet found the man who will be the love of her life and the father of her child. Who is he? She believes the stars know the answer, and that her horoscope can reveal it to her.

Eliza has heard of a wise old Chinese astrologer named Rose Quong living in Montreal who is said to know the secrets of the stars. So Eliza leaves her poor farm family and comes to Montreal to ask Rose to help her find her love.

Rose, who lives in a bizarre slum boarding house near the harbour, invites Eliza to move into the house while Rose prepares and studies Eliza’s horoscope. Eliza does so and that day meets Lila and Tommy, fellow boarders who prove central to her destiny.

Lila, a Scorpio, is Eliza’s roommate. She was once a famous European music hall artist, but is now a barmaid-prostitute who takes refuge in cheap wine and Catholicism.

Tommy, an Aries, is a half-breed Indian who is violently angry with the white society which has savaged the land and stripped the Indian of his dignity. As a Red Power gesture, Tommy, along with fellow Indian high steel workers, plans to blow up the Seaway bridge that crosses the nearby Indian Reserve.

The following day, having studied Eliza’s horoscope charts Rose predicts that Eliza’s love is an Aries or a Sagittarius, that he is “handsome and full of riches”, and that she will meet him in the next ten days. Elated and anxious to meet this man as soon as possible, and assuming him to be rich and handsome in the conventional sense, Eliza dresses up and goes out into the city in search of him.

During the next few days of her search, Eliza, trying various guises and make-ups which she hopes will make her attractive, gets involved in a series of encounters, comic and serious, spiritual and sexual, but she doesn’t find her man.

After each of these encounters, Eliza returns to the boarding house to seek solace and advice from Lila and Tommy. Lila urges Eliza to give up on men and astrology and to turn to Catholicism and Lila herself for faith and friendship. Tommy ridicules Eliza’s search (“them rich guys are laugh in at you”), and tries to win Eliza’s love by introducing her to Indian legends and concerns.

But Eliza rejects both Tommy and Lila and continues her search with increasing desperation as she nears the ten day limit.

Then, on the ninth day, she meets Richard, a rich, handsome Aries who takes her to an astrology club, where astrology is treated as a kind of religion. At first Eliza is convinced Richard must be her “horoscope man”. But when he participates in the club’s rituals which combine sex, drugs and astrology, Eliza becomes dismayed and flees.

Returning home to the boarding house Eliza learns that Tommy has tried to blow up the Seaway bridge and has been shot by the police. Pushed close to breakdown by this news and by her failure to find her horoscope man, Eliza has an extraordinary dream in which events from her farm past and from the experiences she has lived during the past few days are mingled with images of Tommy running from the police.

Eliza awakes from the dream (it is now the tenth day) realizing that Tommy must be her horoscope man, for he is an Aries who is spiritually and imaginatively “handsome and full of riches”. Eliza had simply misinterpreted Rose’s prediction. But the realization comes too late: Tommy is dead.

At the end Eliza leaves the boarding house, alone, to make her way in the world. But she is no longer the naive girl she was when she arrived there. For her experiences of the last ten days have given her a new and profound understanding of love and of herself. Eliza is now a woman.