Video of the Week: “The Outfit”

Our video for this week is a nifty montage of scenes from John Flynn‘s gritty homage to film noir, The Outfit (1973). It showcases the film’s superb score by Jerry Fielding.

In addition to Timothy, Robert Duvall, Joe Don Baker, Karen Black, Joanna Cassidy, and Robert Ryan are all here. This is a great film, not to be missed. You can catch it this Friday January 30 on the El Rey network. Enjoy!

Quote of the Week

Part 2 of director Alex Cox‘s tale of his encounter with Timothy during the filming of his student film Edge City (aka Sleep is for Sissies) (1980):

Clearly, Timothy was right for the part of the mysterious, mythological madman, the wisdom-dispensing grail-o-matic at the end of Roy’s desert quest. I offered him the part, making it clear that there wasn’t any money, this being a student film. He told me this was fine. What was important, he said, was somewhere he could be quiet and prepare, on set, before we filmed. This was a reasonable (if inconvenient) request; in my head I saw myself pitching a tent, in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Timothy also thought that some of his observations, particularly regarding farts, might fit the character of Beauregard. I couldn’t have agreed more. How much film would it use up? Not that much. I could always cut the fart stuff out – though, if Timothy said it with the passion he evidently felt, it would probably be better than the lines I’d scripted.

I spoke to him a couple of times at his home in El Monte. The LA County Fair was held in nearby Pomona, and Timothy urged me to attend it, in particular so I could marvel at its enormous pigs. I said I’d try, and returned to issues of the shoot: costume, location, date, etc.

My plan was to shoot our showdown on one of the trails above Will Rogers Park. This was then an unspoiled and wild part of LA, whose canyons and roadless areas had so far defeated the developers. If you got deep enough into it, and looked the right way, all you could see was desert hills and the ocean. I was giving Timothy the directions to Will Rogers when he hit me up for cash. And he didn’t mean gas money, he meant a fee.

I’d already explained I had no money, that the film was being made via a ‘UCLA waiver’ by which Screen Actors Guild members could work for no money without breaking the guild’s rules. I reminded Timothy of the waiver, but he was now unwavering. ‘You must be able to come up with something,’ he told me, ‘even if it’s as little as 10,000 bucks.’

$10,000 was more than the entire budget of the film. I told him I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t pay for anything, beyond gas, food, film, and his fucking tent.

I saw him only once thereafter, a couple of years down the line. I was going to a screening at the Hitchcock Theater on the Universal lot. And there was Timothy, sitting in the guard’s booth with the guard, singing and playing the guitar. He fixed me with an intense gaze, and serenaded me as I passed.

– Alex Cox, X Films: True Confessions of a Radical Filmmaker (I.B. Tauris, 2008)

Edge City (1980) in four parts on YouTube

 

 

Video of the Week: “Hellgate”

Our video this week features another of Timothy’s early film appearances, fleeting and dubbed over as it is. It’s Charles Marquis Warren‘s Hellgate (1952), starring a man Tim would encounter again on-screen, Sterling Hayden. Tim can be seen very early in the film as one of bad guy James Anderson‘s henchmen.

This entertaining combination of Western and prison drama boasts an impressive cast – in addition to Hayden and Anderson, Joan Leslie, Ward Bond, and James Arness are also on board. It’s possible that Tim appears again amongst the extras in the prison scenes, but I haven’t been able to catch a glimpse of him. Perhaps you might be more successful than I – if so, please let me know! Enjoy!

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

To celebrate the birthday anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his legacy to the African-American community, I’m re-posting this entry from October of 2013. I still can’t get over these pictures. They are such a treasure.

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I am so. excited. to be bringing you today’s pics. Thanks to my new Facebook pal Juan Ibáñez Mateos, from beautiful Barcelona, Spain, we are presenting some candid photographs of young Timothy that I can pretty much guarantee you have never seen before. They were taken at an unknown venue by an unknown photographer sometime in the mid-1950s. It looks like there is some kind of song-and-dance talent competition going on. The Johnny Otis Band is going to town in the background. And Mr. Timothy Carey is owning the room.

Tim and the Johnny Otis Band, mid-50s

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The fellow who gave these pics to Juan was apparently unaware that Tim was even in them. They have a marvelous LIFE magazine quality. In the James Dean article from Movie Stars Parade magazine, Tim tells Dean that he spent a lot of time at the 5-4 Ballroom in Los Angeles. I’m willing to bet that these pics were taken there. And, of course, we’ve all got to wonder – did Tim win the competition? Eternal thanks to the unknown photographer, the friend who passed these on to Juan, and Juan himself. I am just blown away by this unexpected glimpse into the life and times of young Tim. I’ve been walking around with a goofy grin on my face since yesterday. It’s showing no signs of going away anytime soon. I hope you love these pics as much as I do.

Quote of the Week

Alex Cox, director of Repo Man (1984) and Sid and Nancy (1986), talks about almost hiring Timothy for his debut student film Edge City (aka Sleep is for Sissies) (1980). Part 2 of his tale next week!

‘If you’re looking for a really out-there actor,’ Michael Miner said one day, ‘there’s always Timothy Carey.’ Timothy Carey was a powerful actor with an outstanding history: he’d worked for Kubrick in The Killing and Paths of Glory, Brando in One-Eyed Jacks, and Cassavetes in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie.

Michael had a number for him, and I called it. It was an agricultural feed store, out in the desert somewhere. They had another number, where a woman answered, and I had a long conversation with a madman, to whom I promptly mailed a copy of the script. Timothy Carey liked it, liked the character of Beauregard, and so we met. Unlike some actors, Carey was more imposing in person than on film. He looked about six foot six, and had a powerful voice, black-and-white hair, and staring eyes. He talked constantly, a little bit about the script, but mostly about farting, about the importance of not suppressing the breaking of wind, about how Western society was doomed, due to its suppression of the fart. On and on like this he went, in the same way as Harry Dean [Stanton] was apt to get into a longish diatribe about the Jews, not that Harry was anti-Semitic – he thought the Christian culture every bit as bad and stupid as the Jewish one – but he did tend, given a trapped interlocutor, to go on about the Jews. Timothy’s obsession, expressed in public, in a much louder voice, was the beauty and importance of the fart.

For all that Timothy Carey seemed nuts, he was a very fine actor, putting on a performance for me and everyone else in Dairy Queen. He was the most egomaniacal thespian I’d yet met, and thus, I suspect, one of the most insecure and damaged. He was also a director, having authored and starred in a feature of his own, The World’s Greatest Sinner.

– Alex Cox, X Films: True Confessions of a Radical Filmmaker (I.B. Tauris, 2008)

Edge City (1980) in four parts on YouTube