…so instead of the usual Sunday quote, I’m posting whatever the heck I want to! And I’m loving this video tribute to Timothy that uses pics from this very blog. Such an honor! I’ve posted it before, but it certainly bears repeating. Enjoy what’s left of your Labor Day weekend, folks!
We close the week with another look at Nikki Arcane, the cool-daddyo sharpshooter of Stanley Kubrick‘s The Killing (1956). Here he is finalizing his crooked deal with Johnny Clay (Sterling Hayden). If you’ve been paying close attention, you’ll know that the two-finger point was a standard Carey gesture throughout his career.
Timothy and Hayden appeared in three films together – Hellgate (1952), Crime Wave (1954), and The Killing. It might have been four, if Tim had ended up playing Luca Brasi in The Godfather (1972) as Francis Ford Coppola had initially desired. Tim’s manic style and Hayden’s stoicism played off one another nicely, I think. It’s too bad they didn’t get more screen time together.
In honor of today being the 84th birthday anniversary of the late great Ben Gazzara, today’s pic is another from Convicts 4 (1962), directed by Millard Kaufman. John Resko ponders his predicament after unexpectedly meeting up with his childhood friend Nick in the prison yard at Dannemora.
Tim and Gazzara would meet again in John Cassavetes‘ The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976). Unfortunately Tim only garners a passing mention in Gazzara’s autobiography, In the Moment: My Life as an Actor (2004). I was hoping for some great stories! Gazzara’s presence on the silver screen is highly treasured and greatly missed.
Our video for this week is another one from the archives. It’s one of Timothy’s priceless appearances on Art Fein’s Poker Party from September 29, 1989. It’s rare that we get a chance to see him just being himself. And what a self that was.
He’s talking about the scene he was set to do in The Godfather Part II (1974) that never came to be. We can only dream about its awesomeness.
Let’s kick off the week with another look at Sid, the irascible hit man of Peter Hyams‘ Peeper (1976). Here’s our first glimpse of him, playing innocent. He’s anything but.
I honestly can’t think of anything different or witty to say about this one that I haven’t already. It’s a neat little homage to 1940s private eye flicks, readily available on video, so check it out if you haven’t done yourself that favor as of the moment you are reading this. Trust me.
But, as I mentioned, there is some dark stuff here. Hilliard’s initial street-corner evangelizing appears to have a positive message: Stop relying on some distant, impersonal God in the sky to give your life meaning; recognize the divinity within yourself. “Let’s be different,” he pleads. “Let’s not hate anyone.” These are admirable sentiments. But if every man is a god, then it follows that there is no God, so Hilliard appropriates the title for himself. As his followers begin to worship him, the madness grows. He indulges his every lust: for women, for power, for money, for fame. He abuses and rejects his loving family. He sees himself as exalted far above the “masses.” He forces a disillusioned follower to commit suicide. He becomes, simply, a horrible person.
Another actor might have had difficulty finding even the tiniest shred of something salvageable in “God” Hilliard. But Carey draws on his innate ability to bring humanity to the lowest of the low. The physical and emotional intensity he invests in the character is often painful to watch. When Hilliard wails inconsolably over the coffin of his recently deceased mother, the scene is made even more heartbreaking by the knowledge that Carey’s mother, Ida, passed away during filming.
Hilliard’s emotional state is so fragile that the death of his mother causes him to question everything. He challenges God to the ultimate showdown in one of the most audacious sequences ever filmed. The outcome of this conflict is still hotly debated by fans of the film. Does “God” win, or does God win? Or, perhaps, does Satan win? I know what I think. See the film and make the call yourself. And prepare to be dazzled by Timothy Carey, the holy fool with the heart of a poet and the vision of a prophet.
Here’s another one from the archives (read: we’ve run out of new videos to post again!). It’s the trailer for Walter Doniger‘s Unwed Mother (1958), the cautionary drive-in tale of a naive gal (Norma Moore) done wrong. Timothy appears as the grouchy back-alley abortionist about halfway through.
Also appearing is Robert Vaughn as the impregnating cad. Girls, let this be a warning – to you.