The Enneagram Movie & Video Guide-
People who measure themselves by external achievement and the roles that they play. May be truthful, accomplished and exemplary or conniving, competitive and false.
FAMOUS REAL-LIFE THREES
The cultural aura of America, James Baker, Joseph Biden, David Bowie, Les Brown, Ron Brown, Jimmy Carter, Dick Clark, Lawyer Johnnie Cochran, Magician David Copperfield, Courtney Cox, Cindy Crawford, Tom Cruise, Rebecca DeMornay, Nora Ephron, Werner Erhard, (Mrs.) Debbi Fields, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Michael Flatley, Phil Gramm, NBC's Bryant Gumbel, Actor Mark Harmon, Jesse Jackson, the cultural aura of modern Japan, Michael Jordan, Henry Kissinger, Carl Lewis, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Vince Lombardi, Rob Lowe, Claire Boothe Luce, Joan Lunden, Ali MacGraw, Elle MacPherson, Reba McEntire, Demi Moore, Queen Noor, Oliver North,
Dean Ornish, Bob Packwood, Master spy Kim Philby, Elvis Presley, Sally Quinn, Burt Reynolds, Anthony Robbins, Political strategist Ed Rollins, Diana Ross, Diane Sawyer, Arnold Schwarzenegger, William Shatner, Cybill Shepherd, O.J. Simpson, Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson, Will Smith, Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, Kathleen Turner, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Kurt Waldheim, 'Father' of America George Washington, Raquel Welch, Vanessa Williams, Marianne Williamson, Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Wood, Tiger Woods.
Unlike Twos, people with the Three style identify less with ideals of helpfulness and instead with images of success and productivity. Threes often expect to be loved for what they do rather than who they are. Their image-confusion is between seeming accomplished and being true to their less-than-perfect inner self. Entranced Threes most tend to cut off deeper feeling in favor of outer appearance. They deny their imperfections and present a public image they hope the world finds laudable.
Healthy Threes are often highly accomplished and practice a credo of excellence and professionalism in whatever they do. They are extremely strong at setting and meeting goals and will usually have mastered a number of life skills. Threes learn fast, make good leaders, and do well in high-profile, socially established occupations where performance is measured by results. Most are organized, flexible and industrious. When healthy, they usually make excellent role models and teachers of the skills they have mastered.
Awakened Threes can be energetic and cheerful, with a positive eye to the future and a self-confident, open approach to challenges. Their actions are often governed by a sense of honor; family and friendship are valued in addition to work. These priorities are sometimes arrived at after a struggle with moral expediency and through a Three's conscious search for values.
When Threes are more entranced, the strategy of being successful and well-rounded yields to a desire to seem that way. Corners start getting cut in the quest to maintain an image. A Three can slip into impersonation and play a role of themselves, adopting chameleon-like poses to seem noteworthy in many different contexts. Personal feeling begins to be denied as a Three increasingly identifies with their mask. Most have an "Achilles Heel," a sense of inadequacy that they compensate for with achievement and role-playing.
Intimate relationships can suffer as the Three reroutes their feelings through their image of who they should be. They may present a persona to intimates; hiding a deep sense of flaw and instead offering a feelingful mask for others to love. Expediency and efficiency become more important and an entranced Three may begin to enjoy the feeling of nonfeeling. They may think of themselves as high-performance engines whose purpose is to race with speed from task to task, securing outcomes before dashing on to new finish lines. It's not uncommon for entranced Threes to talk in sports metaphors and make themselves believe that life is only a game, a game that's played to win.
To win, they may push themselves harder, enjoying the hyperactivity, now using their relationships mainly as springboards for professional gain. Their once healthy flexibility might degenerate into arrogant calculation and amoral strategizing. Entranced Threes comfortably operate in occupations where appearance and persuasion are all - public relations, sales, advertising, etc.
When deeply entranced, winning becomes everything and a Three's mask just eclipses their soul. They sell out completely to seeming and make themselves into a commodity to market. A core of malicious hostility replaces their true identity at this stage.
Unhealthy Threes can be amoral, Machiavellian, heartless, slick, and plagiarizing. They believe their own lies and con people without conscience. They work hard to best or deceive others. The aim is to maintain an illusion of superiority from which they derive a vindictive sense of triumph. Anyone who has ever been deliberately and maliciously lied to has felt the sting of this attitude.
The Three's defensive tendencies towards playing roles, masking their true motives and identifying with success are on display in many of the movies below.
THREES IN THE MOVIES
Real-life Three performers tend to practice what is called "personality acting." This means that they establish a screen persona that they essentially play from role to role. Once in a while they may break out of the persona to play a much different character but inevitably they return to their core style.
There are obvious economic reasons for this pattern, but there's another level that is related to the psychology of Threes. A real-life tendency to project a persona and play a role of one's self would be perfect practice for becoming a personality actor on film. Most successful personality performers have loads of screen presence but lack range. They are almost always considered movie stars rather than character actors.
If the objective in acting is to play characters distant from your own personality, then Three performers don't really act. They make up for it, though, with star power. Joan Crawford, Natalie Wood and Burt Reynolds are good examples of former Three movie stars. All had limited talent but projected a charisma that they made the most of. Currently, actress Demi Moore is someone with much movie star chemistry who might have to work extra hard at character acting.
Tom Cruise is a good example of a real-life Three who almost always plays them in the movies. In most of his films he's cast as a callow young man who cuts ethical corners and is either preoccupied with winning (Days Of Thunder, All The Right Moves), or is seduced by success and then acquires integrity (A Few Good Men, The Firm, Rain Man). These stories are peculiarly American and reflect the fact that American culture is essentially Threeish in its values and preoccupations.
A lot of action heroes are real-life Threes, including Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Although their Enneagram style is usually implicit, they often play very focused, goal-oriented figures. Most of Stallone's movies are about coming from behind and winning. His Rocky movies show a Niney guy who gathers focus and turns into a winner Three.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is on display as a real-life Three in the documentary Pumping Iron, but his fictional roles have an odd connection to Three psychology. In the movie Total Recall he plays a Niney character who has amnesia for his true identity. He eventually discovers that his former self was a sleazy Three and that he's married to a Three woman who is also not who she seems to be. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Schwarzenegger's role as "The Terminator" - a goal-focused, hyperefficient, emotionless robot - actually reflects a neurotic ideal that Threes sometimes aspire to.
Unless they are hard-bitten career women who sacrifice love for ambition (Faye Dunaway, Network; Joan Crawford, Mildred Pierce), most female movie Threes are alluring, haughty beauties who are just out of reach, playing a role of desirability.
Three movie roles otherwise run the range from truth-questing heroes to scoundrel/heroes to fabulists to sociopaths. Special mention needs to be made of the Evil Corporate Three. This type of villain is present in lots of films; they are usually businessmen, sometimes politicians, and they always put profit over morality. There are at least a dozen listed throughout the Video Guide.
Eightish Michael Douglas plays a troubled and deeply stupid homicide detective investigating an ice pick murder. Chief suspect is chilly, rich novelist Sharon Stone, a Three.
Stone is hard, manipulative and an actress in her own life. The character is similar to Kathleen Turner's below. Both are intimate subtypes, playing roles of desirable women (see "Finer Distinction Notes"). Though she's portrayed as aggressively seductive, sexuality is not what drives Stone's duplicity and game-playing. Rather, she has a heart that she's trying not to feel, and she spins illusions to control her emotions and environment. This emotional-management-through-scenario is reflected in the way she arranges life to imitate the story lines of her novels.
It helps to know that she's a Three because the story is both misogynistic and homophobic. Basic Instinct freely panders to the chuckleheaded notion that Stone's character might be driven to murder because she's a lesbian man-hater. This is the kind of movie where a woman who preaches sexual independence from men would just naturally turn out to be a serial killer.
Overall, the film is glossy, lurid and rather peculiar. It was a big hit, so go figure. The mystery is no great shakes either, but Stone is better than the movie and instructive as a Three. In an accidental way, Basic Instinct is about men's fears of women. Stone's deceitful, alluring character matches the archetype of the Siren. Female Threes who are intimate subtypes often have this specific function in movies - to lie to men and lure them to their doom.
Dangerous Liaisons, Valmont
These two films offer a fascinating contrast for our purposes. They tell different versions of the same story and were released within a year of one another. The story line - about deceit and vanity - is strongly driven by the main character's Threeness. The two actors - John Malkovich and Colin Firth - play Valmont quite differently but both nicely capture the style. Most of the other major characters are the same in both films, so this makes an interesting double bill. If you haven't seen either one, start with Valmont and then compare its characters with those in the more entertaining Dangerous Liaisons.
The story is about sexual gamesmanship among aristocrats in 18th century France. The main character Valmont (Malkovich, Firth) enters a competitive wager with an ex-lover (Glenn Close, Annette Bening). She challenges Valmont to deflower the virginal daughter of a friend because the daughter (Uma Thurman, Fairuza Balk, both Niney) is to marry Close/Bening's current lover. Her motive is revenge against the lover (who thinks he is marrying a virgin). She further challenges Valmont to seduce the virtuous wife of a minister (Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Tilly, both playing Nines), a pious woman who is by reputation incorruptible.
Three Valmont sneeringly takes the challenge, the reward being the sexual favors of Close/Bening, whom he secretly loves. The scheme is set in motion but over the course of the story, everyone involved is tragically undone. Cunning Valmont's surprise flaw is that he has a heart, a fact he discovers when he falls in love with the woman he has set out to ruin.
John Malkovich invests his role with charisma and panache, and plays Valmont as an intimate subtype. He has lust for the game and arrogantly revels in his skills as a sexual imposter.
Firth lacks Malkovich's venom and tang. He plays Valmont as a social subtype, someone who thinks his status will improve if he wins the game. He seems more juvenile and accepts the challenge as though it were some larkish prank. With Malkovich there is the feeling that his whole personality is riding on his ability to win the wager. His subsequent undoing is all the more poignant for this reason.
The other interesting contrast is between the Glenn Close and Annette Bening roles. Both have identical functions within the story, but they have different Enneagram styles and different motivations for initiating the wager. Close is an Eight and her drive is to be strong and prevail over a world of men. She tells Malkovich: "I've always known that I was born to dominate your sex and avenge my own. In the end, I distill everything to one simple precept - win or die." She wants to win, as a Three would, but in a way that makes her strong. Elsewhere she mentions her determination to "never again be ordered around."
Bening's Three wants to win, but more to recover from a wounding of her vanity. Her desire for revenge is not specifically in the service of having a strong self so much as to maintain a narcissistic self-image. She's attached to her persona and her motive for ruining her ex-lover almost seems like revenge for his cracking her mask ("No one has ever left me before"). She's relentlessly false and duplicitous in all of her relationships. She has a 2 wing and is chameleon-like with each person she manipulates.
Stephen Frears, who directed Dangerous Liaisons, went on to make The Grifters, which is about Three con-artists who come to tragic ends. Then Frears made the movie Hero, about an imposter who has qualms about the role he plays.
Malkovich plays a decidedly similar character in In The Line Of Fire, although the story couldn't be more different from Dangerous Liaisons. In Fire he's a sociopathic assassin trying to outwit Eight Secret Service man Clint Eastwood. He's crazier and not an intimate subtype, but otherwise displays the same world view. Malkovich is very good and Eastwood gives an endearing performance in a crisp, exciting thriller.
Early Robert Redford movie about a competitive cad, a Three who wants to qualify for the U.S. Olympic ski team in the worst way. Everything has been subsumed by his athletic goals and the film coolly shows the cost. He's hard, hollow and emotionally inarticulate.
Best moment comes when Redford goes home to Colorado and is asked by his farmer father why he even wants to qualify for the team. Redford looks uncomfortably bewildered and blurts, "If I win I'll be a champion!" Father thinks for a moment and says dryly, "World's full of 'em."
The father is stingy, disapproving, and Oneish. He won't give his son a chance. It's not unusual for a Three to have an emotionally distant parent for whom the child performs. The achievements are an attempt to leap over the distance and get the parent's recognition.'`ch4'`
In the end the skier wins but, of course, really loses. Camilla Sparv plays a glamorous, empty woman whom Redford takes up with, and she's pretty much a Seven.
Good documentary style film with exciting ski sequences.
There are many films about imposters and they often involve Threes. Most of the story lines have similar tensions to Dangerous Liaisons. The main character falsely sells him or herself and then is undone, either by falling in love or because the impersonation backfires in some way. Sometimes the Three gets in touch with some genuine feelings, sometimes they get punished, sometimes they happily get away with the scam. The following short reviews start with sympathetic and comic imposters and then progress to the more villainous variety.
Bed And Breakfast features Roger Moore (the former James Bond) as a man on the run from a powerful gangster Moore has scammed. He hides out at a small-town bed and breakfast owned by Talia Shire (One, 2 wing). Sparks fly initially between them because Shire is Oneishly fighting her attraction to Moore, and besides, she knows he's up to something and ethically disapproves.
Moore asks her: "Have you ever told a lie?"
"No! Why would I?" she asks.
"For convenience, for profit, for fun!"
"Lying isn't fun!"
"Then you've not been telling the right lies."
He eventually confesses to his career as a con-man ("I've never been an honest man"), but it's clear that his developing affections for everyone in the household are genuine. He's truthful within his façade, a charmer yet well-meaning.
This is a slender film but it's kind of enjoyable, almost wholesome. Moore's no Spencer Tracy, but he's not bad here in a modest role as a nice Three. Colleen Dewhurst is Shire's mother, something of a Seven with an 8 wing.
Sommersby stars Richard Gere as the maybe/maybe not husband of Jodie Foster who returns home just after the American Civil War. It's been such a long time that nobody remembers Sommersby too well and Gere seems to know everyone. Gradually cracks appear in his sheen and it's clear that he's playing some sort of role. He's watched over and disapproved of by another One, fundamentalist Christian Bill Pullman.
Gere eventually goes on trial for crimes committed by Sommersby but the denouement has several interesting twists. Role-playing turns out to be his attempt at redemption and living truthfully. Gere's motivations are ironic and yet just right for a Three. He's also good-hearted, if confused, and has a 2 wing.
Australian actor Bryan Brown plays the title role in Sweet Talker. We know from the start that he's a con-man. We watch him leave prison and settle into a small beach resort. There he hatches a scheme to convince the locals that a sunken galleon resides nearby. He works the scam from various angles, takes money from investors, and predictably gets involved with a Niney woman (Karen Allen) and her young son. He is eventually unmasked, Allen gets Oneish and Brown is torn between his scam and people he has come to care for.
Film is a little flat, but has its moments. Brown is transparently calculating rather than charismatic, a bit like Colin Firth in Valmont.
For a more criminal but still sympathetic Three, there's Jamie Lee Curtis in A Fish Called Wanda. This rollicking, expert comedy casts Curtis as a likable con-woman in cahoots with manic Seven Kevin Kline. They are partners in a London robbery that lands their English accomplice in jail. Since the jailed partner knows where the diamonds are, Curtis spends most of the story scheming and seducing her way to the loot's location. Her motives are simple; she wants the jewels and she's cheerfully shameless about what she'll do to get them.
Part of her strategy is to feign interest in the accomplice's lawyer, John Cleese, a melancholy, dutiful Nine (1 wing). Depressed about his dead-end career and marriage to a shrewish One, Cleese responds vulnerably to Curtis's overtures. He's so smitten with her that we worry that she will devastate him. Turns out Curtis grows truly fond of him and her authentic feeling almost steers her off her goal. It also becomes clear that Cleese as a Nine has his own connection to 3. He sees through Curtis but likes her anyway. A little bit of larceny actually suits him and becomes his ticket out of the misery of being good.
Kline is wildly funny as an inflating narcissist whose high opinions of himself are based on less than nothing. Michael Palin is another accomplice, a self-defeating, tormented Six.
John Cleese, who wrote the screenplay, said he thought it was about the difference between the Americans and the English. As a European, his image of Americans is Threeish, and Three is the Enneagram style that we as a culture most often prize. In any case, Wanda is obnoxious fun; comedies of any kind are rarely this good.
There's also an offbeat suspense comedy with similar tensions to Wanda called Framed. Jeff Goldblum is a Niney American artist enlisted in a scam by English con-woman Three, Kristin Scott-Thomas. She's also after cash but likable anyway.
A clever, unusual comedy returns us to (pre) Civil War times. Skin Game is something of a sleeper; it first seems breezily trivial but turns out to have a sharp anti-racist edge. James Garner and Lou Gossett star as con-men partners who work a scam where Garner sells Gossett as a slave and then later breaks him free. They have a jaunty, profitable time at this until the day the scheme backfires and Gossett actually does wind up enslaved. Garner teams up with con-woman Susan Clark and together they track down his lost partner. Gossett's from a rich family, is well-educated and has no reference for the bitter conditions he endures. His loyalties get more and more complex as he learns that what he's been playing at is no game.
Twin souls Garner and Clark are both Threes. They make a pragmatic scheming couple who enjoy each other's role playing. Clark is very similar to Jamie Lee Curtis in Wanda.
Garner and Gossett bicker and clash, but fondly. Gossett's pretty much a Six and has more integrity than Garner. He's also better at predicting what will go wrong. Garner is unchanged in the end but still quite genial. Story is witty, well acted and deceptively perceptive.
White Men Can't Jump faintly resembles Skin Game. It tells a tale of two basketball hustlers joining forces to win inner city games. The scam depends on opponents underestimating dim-looking white guy (Woody Harrelson) as he teams up with black sharp-shooter Wesley Snipes. Snipes is the Three and while he's ultra-competitive and a bit shifty, underneath his goals and loyalties are clear. He wants to take his family up and out of their poor urban neighborhood. To do this he works several jobs and will even hustle his partner if he has to. Snipes has a certain personal decency and grows to be a protective if unsentimental friend to the troubled Harrelson.
Latter is a Nine with an 8 wing. The contradiction between Nine and Eight is evident in how Harrelson first wins and then loses at whatever he does. He's focused enough to win games (connection to 3), but angrily hooked on proving himself. His girlfriend, Rosie Perez, a goal-oriented probable Three, demands that he commit wholeheartedly to their relationship. Sustained focus is precisely what Harrelson can't manage and his attempts to understand his failures are dogged by a Niney inability to see the obvious.
I was prepared to dislike this film, but found it disarming, raucous and full of energy. The endless ball-court hype and palaver is funny and the performances are all very good.
Now for the baddies:
The One/Three clash mentioned earlier is quite visible in a movie called The Beguiled. Geraldine Page and Clint Eastwood star in - of all things - a gothic feminist revenge fantasy. Eastwood plays a wounded Civil War deserter posing as a pacifist Quaker who finds refuge in an orphanage for young girls. Once inside, he sets about seducing one woman after another, changing his stories and manufacturing sentiments as he goes. Elizabeth Hartman plays a naïve Six whom Eastwood preys upon.
Page is the headmistress, an orderly, moral One. She's an intimate subtype and prone to jealousy, which is bad news for Clint. The women eventually compare notes, get angry and exact a rather gruesome revenge. As they do, we see the opportunistic hardness that motivated Eastwood all along. This film is another sleeper; both unusual and atmospheric.
Steamy, well-made film noir Body Heat has Three Kathleen Turner married to Three tycoon Richard Crenna. She initiates an affair with bored, small-town lawyer William Hurt, a Nine.
A self-acknowledged weakling, Hurt allows himself to be drawn into a plot to kill Turner's husband ("You're not too smart. I like that in a man"). She is alternately seductive and pleading by turns, matching his images of her and creating new ones of herself. She lures him with the promise to be together once the rich husband is dead, but Hurt finds multiple levels of deceit as the story unfolds. Behind it all Turner's heart is diamond-hard and her true motives are revealed in the denouement. She has a 2 wing and is another intimate subtype Siren.
House Of Games - David Mamet wrote and directed this story of a repressed, successful Nine lady psychiatrist drawn into an elaborate scam by Three con-man Joe Mantegna. The whole film is about deception and the illicit fascination the psychiatrist (Lindsay Crouse) has for Mantegna's sleight of mind. The psychiatrist is a self-muffled good girl who is excited by the social audacity of the con-man's lies and many false faces. As a Nine, she's connected to 3, in this case to the deceptive low side.
She's also a little dim, slow to catch on to how many ways she herself is being scammed. In the end, the Mantegna character's true motivations emerge, and they're none too pleasant. We see the venal, unapologetic hostility that drove all the games. Throughout the film, he is both charismatic and hollow, charming and calculated. His confederates all display the same attitudes, and several seem like Threes as well.
The film is engrossing though it feels truncated, like a two act play. Lindsay Crouse as the psychiatrist is deliberately stilted, like a Nine walking in her sleep. Lilia Skala is on hand as Crouse's supervisor and she's something of a nice Two.
If House Of Games portrays a netherworld, Glengarry Glen Ross is like a visit to one of Dante's levels of Hell, the one where everybody lies. Based on another David Mamet play, this film is an exhilaratingly good portrait of a group of sleazy salesmen working for a shady real estate company.
Al Pacino and Jack Lemmon both play Threes, the former successful while the latter is kicking and flailing down a greased slide to oblivion. They're Outcome Monsters; they'll say or do anythingg is an attem to make a sale. Work requires a constant impersonation, but it's a way of life for these men.
Pacino's style is smoother. As we watch him close a deal, he's like some silky prince of darkness enfolding his victim in his robes. He's elegantly groomed and laser-fast at switching masks and tactics. Lemmon's character is more desperate and obsequious, sort of a parody of himself. Yet when he makes a big sale he turns gloating and abusive, preaching bankrupt salesman philosophy and one-upping the company's quiet office manager (Kevin Spacey). Despite his mean streak, we feel Lemmon's growing desperation; he's a crumbling phony who's probably lost the dubious skill he once had. The main office has pressured the salesmen and their jobs are at risk if they don't make more sales. They react like sewer rats; they eat family. Some fail, some succeed, but Lemmon's decline is inevitable.
This film is terrific in a tense-stomached sort of way. There's great individual and ensemble acting as the cast handles Mamet's foul-mouthed, stabbing dialogue. The salesmen's snapping exchanges sound like some nasty staccato form of jazz.
Alec Baldwin weighs in as a sinister Eight. Alan Arkin and Jonathan Pryce both play placating, underdog Nines.
In The Company Of Men
In The Company Of Men sports two clear Enneagram styles, that of a sociopathic Three (Aaron Eckhart) and a Threeish Six (Matt Malloy, acting like an angry Woody Allen). Corporate co-workers sent on assignment to a distant city, Eckhart enlists Malloy in a callous plan to avenge their many bad experiences with women. Both will pretend to fall in love with the same woman and then ruthlessly reject her. Their prey is a Niney deaf secretary played by Stacy Edwards.
The film is nominally an indictment of the way some men treat women but if you know the Enneagram it has other levels. Actor Eckhart said he deliberately studied sociopaths - many of whom are unhealthy Threes - and he gets the pathology letter perfect. His character has absolutely no conscience. When he's caught in a lie, for instance, he has no embarassment, only curiosity - he wants to know how his victim feels. This is a kind of sadistic voyeurism mixed with a quality of malicious triumph.
Malloy, the Six, also behaves close to type. As the scheme progresses he grows guilty, ambivalent and hostile. Attempting to confess to Edwards he winds up attacking her. "What is the matter with you?" he rages, "Can't you see I'm the good guy, I'm the good person here?" When Edwards refuses to believe that she has been scammed, Malloy tries to prove it to her by arguing that two men probably wouldn't want a deaf woman: "You are handicapped! You think you can choose? Have men falling at your feet?"
Malloy eventually discovers that Eckhart has fooled him as well. Confused, he confronts Eckhart and asks him what motivated all his lying. Smugly Eckhart replies, "Because I could."
This film was wildly praised and awarded when it came out, but it's really not very good. Its writer, Paddy Chayefsky, was a One, and his film characters tended to moralize, speechify and eat scenery. Network is supposed to be a dark, outlandish satire of television, but it's mostly just overblown.
Faye Dunaway plays a Three network executive who gets involved with One anchorman William Holden. While he's the movie's voice of moral virtue and integrity, she's amoral and predatory. Her name is Diana (The Huntress - get it?) and she describes herself thus: "I was married for four years and pretended to be happy. I was in analysis for six years and pretended to be sane. I seem to be inept at everything except my work, so I limit myself to that. All I want out of life is good ratings."
Away for a weekend with Holden, all Dunaway can talk about is TV programming, even during sex. She too lives in scenarios but is not an intimate subtype. Dunaway's character is more social, concerned with results and prestige as a measurement of self. She's totally identified with her job.
Holden the One gets to make smug, virtuous speeches. As Chayefsky's mouthpiece he passes easy judgment on Dunaway. He breaks up with her because she's heartless and measures herself by externals, two facts he recognized the nanosecond he met her. Holden's character also speaks in odd, self-conscious stereotypes, saying things like, "Dammit, I'm supposed to be the Romantic and you're supposed to be the Embittered Cynic."
Peter Finch plays a probable phobic Six, an anchorman who has a psychotic break on the air ("I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!"). Robert Duvall is a nasty, ruthless Eight named Hackett ("Hack it" - get it?).
Tom Cruise is just fine as a shallow, opportunistic Three whose heart starts to thaw towards his autistic savant brother, played by Dustin Hoffman. Hoffman got all the attention for his performance but Cruise gives a subtle shading to Threeish narcissism. His character's emotional warming and ethical changes are gradual, believable, and consistent with how Threes grow. They do it for love.
Hoffman is a Six, often plays them and his autistic character here works out to be a Six, too.
Ride The High Country
Classic Western about two aging gunfighters hired to escort gold from a mining camp back to civilization. Some of the dialogue and all of the music is corny, but the film is otherwise kind of wonderful. Chief pleasure is watching old pros Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea playing a Three and a One respectively.
Scott has a slightly smaller role than McCrea's but he's plenty vivid. We first see him costumed, disguised as a Wild West Hero working a stand in a carnival. He signs on with McCrea to guard the gold but secretly intends to steal it. This necessitates role-playing with his old friend, but Scott's personal sentiments are real. He shows evidence of both wings and the two men spend a lot of time warmly reminiscing. Part of the tension of the story is guessing what Scott will ultimately do about the gold. He's charming but calculated, goodhearted but morally ambivalent. He behaves as though the end justifies the means, yet he does have loyalties. Sort of a scoundrel and yet very appealing.
McCrea, by contrast, is straight as a gun barrel. He's prone to judgmental ranting that he punctures with amiable self-mocking humor. His 9 wing brings a steady, receptive quality. He searches for fair, balanced and legal solutions to problems. He polices Scott's unstable young protégé, a half-cocked, counterphobic Six. Faced with the religious zealotry of another One, McCrea calmly and wittily undercuts the man. Still, he turns merciless when he discovers Scott's plan to steal the gold. McCrea's character is probably a self-preservation subtype. He's a bit of a worrier and has survival on his mind.
James Drury, the miner who gets married, is
a Seven with an 8 wing. At least one of his brothers is an Eight
and the alcoholic justice of the peace is a Nine.
Six Degrees Of Separation
Pitch perfect serio-comedy about an empty status-conscious Three couple (Donald Sutherland, Stockard Channing) who are swindled by a young black imposter, another Three played by Will Smith. Based on a true story of a young man who talked a number of gullible New Yorkers out of money and affection by pretending to be actor Sidney Poitier's son, Six Degrees is told in flashback as the couple recounts the scam for their socialite friends.
The film makes fun of Channing and Sutherland for their failure to comprehend the depth of the swindle; even as they tell the story they don't quite understand what fools they were. They are also hypocrites: though politically liberal, the story reveals them to be homophobic, elitist and racist.
Channing, however, is haunted by the incident with Smith and has a slow-stealing realization that turning it into a dinner party story is part of their problem. She and Sutherland falsify their experience, converting life into a series of anecdotes to be traded upon, to improve their standing in the eyes of friends. While the film's ending is too dramatic for the rest of the film, it is about a Three becoming emotionally truthful and is relevant to how Threes change and grow.
Channing and Sutherland are social subtypes while Will Smith is playing an intimate Three, matching the expectations of others by taking on a culturally acceptable persona.
To Die For
Also based on a true story and a good double bill with Six Degrees Of Separation, To Die For is a stylish satire of Threeness made by Nines - director Gus Van Sant and screenwriter Buck Henry.
Nicole Kidman plays an image-addled sociopath who has her husband killed when he gets in the way of her one obsessive goal: a career in television. Part of the film's humor is derived from the fact that Kidman's character has no talent whatsoever. Though pretty, she is awful on television and, in most other ways, she is gauche and fraudulent. She buys precooked food and serves it as her own. She fakes her way into jobs, sleeps with whom she has to and manipulates someone else - a stuporous Niney high school student ( Joaquin Phoenix) - into killing her husband.
As with Six Degrees Of Separation, To Die For is, in particular, a satire of Social Threeishess, the status-seeking tendency of the subtype. Here, for instance, is how Kidman sums up her "philosophy" of life:
"You're not anybody in America unless you're on TV. On TV is where we learn about who we really are. Because what's the point of doing anything if nobody's watching? It makes you a better person."
Matt Dillon plays Kidman's doomed Nine husband. Illeana Douglas, Dillons's sister, is also Nineish (with an 8 wing). Nine screenwriter Buck Henry has a cameo as a Oneish schoolteacher.
Director Oliver Stone's enjoyably trashy indictment of rampant greed. Charlie Sheen plays a young Three stockbroker climbing up the ladder of success into thin air. Early in the film he is competitive, ambitious, and outcome-oriented. He has a flimsy hold on consequence and soon strikes a Faustian bargain with ruthless tycoon Michael Douglas, an Eight. Sheen is another social subtype - he wants money, objects, trappings and totems of success.
Sheen's father (Martin Sheen) is a One against whom Charlie has modeled. In fact, the son is helping Douglas buy the airline his father works for in order to sell it off in pieces, corporate raider style.
The turning point comes when the father has a heart attack, brought on by the stress of his company being raided. This personalizes the suffering Sheen is helping Douglas to cause and Sheen's own heart begins to open. He is arrested for his wheeling and dealing, and has a painful awakening of conscience.
Several things are noteworthy. The Three/One dynamic is active here. Sheen's father is an angry, intense One with a 2 wing. The clash between son's ambition and father's ethics is very explicit ("There's no nobility in poverty anymore, Dad"). This argument is echoed at the Wall Street firm where Charlie works. Hal Holbrook plays an older One broker who moralistically cautions Sheen about the consequences of actions. The young man dismisses him as the voice of antiquated principle ("I'm shooting for the stars").
On the other side of the moral moat is Douglas's Eight. The amoral corporate raider is concerned with strength rather than rules. Winning is important as a way to prevail and dominate events. At one point he makes a speech about how "Greed is good." It's an Eight speaking with narcissistic justification. Principles are for sissies, integrity is a luxury, etc.
This attitude appeals to Sheen as long as his heart is closed. For a confused Three, winning can be a way to be somebody. For an Eight, winning would be a way to feel strong. Both styles are narcissistic but are motivated differently. Of course, a One would disapprove of either motive.
Douglas, by the way, is quite good and has a scene that is very telling about Eights. He's seen walking on the beach at sunrise ruthlessly scheming with Sheen over a portable phone. Suddenly he breaks off the war-talk and stands awestruck at the beauty of the sunrise. This may seem incongruent, but it shows an unguarded innocence of perception that Eights often have (see "Eights").
OTHER MOVIE THREES
Annette Bening, The Grifters; Marlon Brando,
The Missouri Breaks; Dabney Coleman, Tootsie; Tom Cruise, The
Color Of Money, Days Of Thunder, A Few Good Men, The Firm; John
Cusack, The Grifters, True Colors; Charles Dance, Pascali's Island;
Mac Davis, North Dallas Forty; Rebecca DeMornay, Guilty As Sin,
Risky Business; James Garner, Barbarians At The Gate; Richard
Gere, American Gigolo; Robin Givens, Boomerang, A Rage In Harlem;
Tony Goldwyn, Ghost; Charles Grodin, Ishtar; Jean Harlow, Dinner At Eight; Mark Harmon, The Deliberate Stranger; Laurence Harvey, Darling, Room At The Top; John Heard, Deceived; Jeremy Irons, Betrayal; Mick Jagger, Freejack; Michael Keaton, Pacific Heights; Nicole Kidman, Malice; Jack Lemmon, Save The Tiger; Rob Lowe, Bad Influence, Wayne's World; Ali MacGraw, Just Tell Me What You Want;
Steve Martin, Leap Of Faith; Mary Tyler Moore, Ordinary People; Rick Moranis, Parenthood; Robert Morse (as Truman Capote), Tru; John Neville, The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen; Christopher Reeve, Monsignor; Paul Reiser, Aliens; Tim Robbins, Bob Roberts; Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pumping Iron; Sting, Bring On The Night; Sharon Stone, Total Recall.
FINE DISTINCTION NOTES
Three With a 2 Wing
Threes with this wing are often highly gregarious. They have a tendency towards persona - playing a role of themselves in real life. Social perception, prestige and recognition important. Healthy side brings personal warmth, leadership qualities. Sincere desire to do well by others; may be genuinely nice people. If they have achieved some measure of success they are generous in their mentorship of others.
When more entranced, they are preoccupied with seeming ideal to others. This can extend to friendships, family, as well as at work. Want to seem a perfect spouse, friend, parent, employee, good son or daughter. Strong social focus because they need so much validation from others.
Preening and boastful behavior possible. Bursts of egotism. Wanting to be on top, better than others. Slip into impersonation easily, may falsify feeling and not know it themselves.al nutrition. Deep emotional recognition is Malicious intentional deceit possible. Behavior of con-artists and sociopaths.
Real-Life Threes With a 2 Wing: Ron Brown, Dick Clark, Cindy Crawford, Courtney Cox, Tom Cruise, (Mrs.) Debbi Fields, Vince Lombardi, Joan Lunden, Ali MacGraw, Reba McEntire, Demi Moore, Queen Noor, Oliver North, Elvis Presley, Burt Reynolds, Anthony Robbins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cybill Shepherd, O.J. Simpson, Will Smith, Sharon Stone, Kathleen Turner, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Marianne Williamson, Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Wood.
Movie Threes With a 2 Wing: Annette Bening, The Grifters; Stockard Channing, Six Degrees Of Separation; Tom Cruise, Rain Man; Jamie Lee Curtis, A Fish Called Wanda; Richard Gere, American Gigolo, Primal Fear, Sommersby; Tony Goldwyn, Ghost; Aaron Eckhart, In The Company Of Men; Mark Harmon, The Deliberate Stranger; Nicole Kidman, To Die For; Jack Lemmon, Glengarry Glen Ross; Rob Lowe, Bad Influence; Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pumping Iron; Cybill Shepherd, The Last Picture Show, Texasville; Will Smith, Six Degrees Of Separation; Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct; Kathleen Turner, Body Heat.
Three With a 4 Wing
May be slightly less image-conscious or project an image that is more implicit and subtle. 4 wing brings a degree of introversion. May measure themselves more by their creations, artistic or social. Tend to compete with themselves first more than with other people.
High side brings the motivation and ability to work on oneself. May accomplish everything they set out to do materially, then embark on a path of self-analysis. Artistic explorations or teaching possible. Will still like a challenge, but thoughtful, intuitive or humanistic concerns of prime interest.
The low side of this wing can bring a haunted, self-tormented quality or a haughty, competitive pretentiousness. Might be snobs or accuse critics of being too plebian to appreciate them. Cool, hard shell. In private, can lapse into Fourish self-questioning and melodrama. Instability and moodiness can be factors. Unrealistic grandiosity.
Real-Life Threes With a 4 Wing: James Baker, Joseph Biden, David Bowie, Johnnie Cochran, David Copperfield, Rebecca DeMornay, Nora Ephron, Werner Erhard, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Michael Flatley, Phil Gramm, Bryant Gumbel, Michael Jordan, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Claire Booth Luce, Dean Ornish, Ed Rollins, Diane Sawyer, William Shatner, Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone, George Washington.
Movie Threes With a 4 Wing: Marlon Brando, The Missouri Breaks; John Cusack, The Grifters; Charles Dance, Pascali's Island; Jeremy Irons, Betrayal; John Malkovich, Dangerous Liaisons, In The Line Of Fire; Joe Mantegna, House Of Games; Ian McKellen, Richard III; Robert Morse, Tru; John Neville, The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen; Laurence Olivier, Sleuth; Al Pacino, Glengarry Glen Ross; Christopher Reeve, Monsignor; Randolph Scott, Ride The High Country; William Shatner, Star Trek V - The Final Frontier; Sting, Bring On The Night; Christopher Walken, The Comfort Of Strangers.
CONNECTING POINTS (Stress and Security)
Three's Connection to 9
Three's connection to 9 brings a capacity for self-reflection and a partial slow-down of tempo. A Three may become more receptive to the people in their lives and appreciate "idle" time, especially when it's spent with family and friends.
The modest, unpretentious quality of 9 is inherent, if latent, in Threes. Connection helps them come out of roles and relax into being. Winning can become less all-important. Success is sometimes seen through as an illusion. Take time out from the world's races. New projects might be entered into because they look interesting, or will benefit others, or for intuitive reasons that can't be explained.
More entranced, a Three might go through periods of 9-like confusion. Could start racing around, going in circles at high speed. Lose sight of their goals. The 9 tendency towards emotional numbness reinforces emotional absence. Three's unhealthy habit of altering themselves for an environment can also get worse.
May flip from hyperactivity to paralysis. Sink into a nihilistic "What's the use?" attitude and a numb, 9-like apathy. Lacking motivation and direction they can go passively depressed and use drugs or alcohol to further deaden their feelings.
Movie Threes who demonstrate this connection: Marlon Brando, The Missouri Breaks; Tom Cruise, Interview With The Vampire, Jerry McGuire, Rain Man; Jamie Lee Curtis, A Fish Called Wanda; John Cusack, The Grifters; Clint Eastwood, The Beguiled; Mark Harmon, The Deliberate Stranger; Jack Lemmon, Glengarry Glen Ross, Save The Tiger; Roger Moore, Bed And Breakfast; Robert Morse, Tru; Cybill Shepherd, Texasville; Will Smith, Six Degrees Of Separation.
Three's Connection to 6
Healthy connection to 6 helps Threes drop masks, admit flaws, be seen for who they are. Their true emotions generally have a fearful cast; fear is a door to authentic feeling. Honest vulnerability. Make and keep commitments to ideals beyond winning and succeeding. Develop personal loyalties to family and friends as well as to spirituality. Ethical concerns become far more important, moral courage emerges. They stay faithful and keep their agreements, even at the risk of losing.
Unhealthy connection brings runaway anxiety that fuels the Three's desire to cut off or mask feeling. Fear motivates hyperactivity as the Three runs away from the "awful truth" about themselves. May go nervously ambivalent about relationships, unable to decide or commit.
Threes also overidentify with hierarchies and traditions like a 6 can do. May give their power away to authority figures. Play "good child" roles that get them approval within the dependency. Could become overly cautious. Stay within the confines of tradition or excel within its terms as a way to stay safe.
Movie Threes who demonstrate this connection: Stockard Channing, Six Degrees Of Separation; Tom Cruise, Rain Man; Richard Gere, Sommersby; Tony Goldwyn, Ghost; Laurence Harvey, Room At The Top; Jack Lemmon, Glengarry Glen Ross; John Malkovich, Dangerous Liaisons; Christopher Reeve, Monsignor; Randolph Scott, Ride The High Country; Charlie Sheen, Wall Street; Wesley Snipes, White Men Can't Jump.
Have a preoccupation with acquiring material security as a way to calm core anxieties about survival. Some grow up poor and focus on amassing wealth. Concentrate on doing well, having enough, especially of the right things. Irony is that the strategy doesn't really work - a Three could amass millions and still, say, harbor a morbid fear of dying broke. Insecurity fuels a sense that enough money is never enough.
Movie examples include: Tom Cruise, Interview With The Vampire, Jerry McGuire, Rain Man; John Cusack, The Grifters; Charles Dance, Pascali's Island; Rebecca DeMornay, Risky Business; Tony Goldwyn, Ghost; Jack Lemmon, Glengarry Glen Ross; Al Pacino, Glengarry Glen Ross; Randolph Scott, Ride The High Country; Charlie Sheen, Wall Street; Wesley Snipes, White Men Can't Jump.
Intimate Threes mask themselves with an image of what a sexually appealing man or woman is. They play roles in romantic relationships hoping to get love or admiration. Image is based on community or cultural standards of desirability or a given partner's expectations. If not committed to a specific partner then they will project an image generally and seek sexual conquests.
Intimate Threes in the movies can be sexual imposters or suave, attractive ideals of masculinity or femininity. Female characters tend to be beautiful out-of-reach Sirens.
Examples include: Annette Bening, The Grifters; Jamie Lee Curtis, A Fish Called Wanda; Clint Eastwood, The Beguiled; Aaron Eckhart, In The Company Of Men; Colin Firth, Dangerous Liaisons; John Malkovich, Dangerous Liaisons; Cybill Shepherd, Texasville; Richard Gere, American Gigolo, Sommersby; Mark Harmon, The Deliberate Stranger; Joe Mantegna, House Of Games; Will Smith, Six Degrees Of Separation; Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct; Kathleen Turner, Body Heat.
Social Threes are often extremely status-conscious. Most confuse their inner self with the world's badges, honors and totems. Measure themselves by money, position, awards or results. Strive to match group standards and have the right credentials. How they rank in the eyes of others is most important. May be materialistic but with an eye towards the best brand names so as to be identified with the product's status.
The excesses of this subtype make for fine
morality plays about the hollowness of fame and status. Movie
examples include: Stockard Channing, Six Degrees Of Separation;
Faye Dunaway, Network; Laurence Harvey, Room At The Top; Nicole
Kidman, To Die For; Ian McKellen, Richard III; Mary Tyler Moore,
Ordinary People; Robert Morse, How To Succeed In Business Without
Really Trying; Robert Redford, Downhill Racer; Arnold Schwarzenegger,
Pumping Iron; Charlie Sheen, Wall Street.
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