Pic of the Day: “Waterhole #3” promotional still

Today’s pic is my latest eBay find! It’s a publicity still for Waterhole #3 (1967), the rollicking Western comedy directed by William A. Graham. Paramount Pictures is more than happy to tell us that it features Roy Jenson, Harry Davis and Timothy, digging a tunnel in search of gold.

Waterhole #3

Davis was a familiar character actor who appeared mostly on television throughout the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, with the occasional film role coming his way. One of the most memorable of these was in Elia Kazan‘s America America (1963). His wife, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, was one of the best of a handful of women writing and publishing hard-boiled crime fiction in the 1940s and ’50s (and beyond).

Quote of the Week

The Brooklyn-born Carey was physically imposing—a strapping 6’4”—making him ideal for roles as brutish heavies, and he resembled a love child of Nicolas Cage and John Turturro. His penchant for improvisation—bizarre dancing, unscripted outbursts, mumbled nonsense—often got him into trouble with directors and other actors, but made lifelong fans of Jack Nicholson (who wrote Head and likely borrowed elements of Carey’s persona for his performance in The Shining [1980]); [John] Cassavetes (who claimed Carey had the “brilliance of Eisenstein”); and Quentin Tarantino, who considered Carey for the role of crime boss Joe Cabot in Reservoir Dogs (1992).

For mondo video devotees, Carey sealed his immortality with the self-written/produced/directed oddity The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962), which can be characterized as [Elia] Kazan’s A Face in the Crowd (1957) as directed by Ed Wood Jr. The film, which has some of the same proto–John Waters tackiness of The Honeymoon Killers (1970), tells the tale of a bored insurance salesman who becomes an early Elvis-style rockabilly sensation. Noting the frenzy he inspires in his audiences, he begins calling himself “God,” founds a religious cult, and runs for President. Carey and his singularly untalented “band” played their own detuned rock ‘n’ roll in the concert scenes, but the film was scored by a young, pre–Mothers of Invention Frank Zappa. Narrated by the devil and featuring the real God at the climax, Sinner was admired by Elvis himself (who asked Carey for a print) and remains one of Martin Scorsese’s favorite rock ‘n’ roll films.

Andrew Hultkrans, “Carey On”; Art Forum, October 12, 2010

The World's Greatest Sinner

Quote of the Week

In Elia Kazan’s classic John Steinbeck adaptation East of Eden (1955) Carey is a pimp/bodyguard for Jo Van Fleet’s character in a brothel she runs and is ordered to throw her son Cal (played by James Dean) out the door when he comes to see her. Right away you notice a spark of brutality and weirdness from Carey’s arrival onscreen. As preparation for his role as “Joe” the pimp, Carey tried mumbling all his lines because he thought it was “how pimps talked”. At a certain point Kazan got so angry at his annoying interpretation, he stabbed Carey with a pen in the shoulder. He and Dean actually became friends during the production. One day they went on a car ride through Salinas after which Carey stated he would never get in a car with him again due to his reckless driving habits. Dean would later die in what is now an infamous car crash.

Peter (just Peter), “Mad As Hell Heroes: TIMOTHY CAREY… What a Character!”; Furious Cinema, November 11, 2013

on the set with James Dean

Video of the Week: “East of Eden” (1981)

Our video for this week is another one culled from the archives. John Steinbeck‘s great American novel East of Eden has been filmed twice: first as a feature film in 1955, directed by Elia Kazan, and then as an ABC television miniseries in 1981 with Harvey Hart at the helm. (Apparently there is a new version in the works with Jennifer Lawrence.) Timothy has the distinction of appearing in both of them. Here he is in the 1981 miniseries as a fiery circuit-riding preacher, starting at about the 1:15:28 mark.

Unfortunately, this is the only time he appears in the program. I can’t be the only one who thinks this character deserved his own spin-off series. Enjoy!

Pic of the Day: “East of Eden” (1955) revisited

Eighty-four years ago yesterday, James Byron Dean was born in Marion, Indiana. The blue-eyed heart-breaker from the heartland scored his first starring role in Elia Kazan‘s East of Eden (1955), based on the epic novel by John Steinbeck. Timothy and Dean hit it off during shooting, and together they shook up the little seaside town of Mendocino, California.

East of Eden (1955)

Tim told the story of his friendship with Dean in an article for Movie Stars Parade magazine in 1957. This September we will observe the sixtieth anniversary of Dean’s death. We can only imagine the elder statesmen of cinema these two would be now, if we had not been deprived of their presence far too soon.

Pic of the Day: “Bloodhounds of Broadway” revisited

Kicking off the week a day late is Harmon JonesBloodhounds of Broadway (1952), the musical extravaganza starring Mitzi Gaynor and Scott Brady. It provided Timothy with one of his earliest (if uncredited) speaking roles as Crockett Pace, the hot-tempered mountain-folk (“hillbilly” is so gauche) suitor of future Broadway star Emily Ann Stackerlee (Gaynor). He is seen here getting his hat knocked off by equally hot-tempered Numbers Foster (Brady).

Bloodhounds of Broadway

Jones, a native of Canada, began his Hollywood career as a film editor at 20th Century-Fox in the mid-1940s. He received an Academy Award nomination for his work on Elia Kazan‘s Gentleman’s Agreement (1947). He turned to directing in the early 1950s, and kept himself well occupied with both film and television projects until the late 1960s. His son, Robert C. Jones, also became an editor, getting his impressive resume off to a fine start with John CassavetesA Child Is Waiting (1963).

Pic of the Day: “Rio Conchos” revisited

Let’s kick off the week with another look at Chico, the seedy cantina proprietor/pimp of Gordon DouglasRio Conchos (1964). Mexican bandit Juan Luis (Anthony Franciosa) is hoping that a shiny trinket will pay for some time with one of Chico’s girls. He is correct.

Rio Conchos

Franciosa was always a joy to watch, wherever he turned up – in films, on television (he worked with Timothy again in “Fear of High Places,” the premiere episode of The Name of the Game in 1968) or on the stage. Like Tim, he developed a “difficult to work with” reputation. He utters one of my favorite lines of all time in one of his first films, Elia Kazan‘s A Face in the Crowd (1957): “I’m gonna tell you something that will move you and shake you!” He was quite unforgettable in Dario Argento‘s Tenebre (1982). He died in 2006 at age 77, the result of a massive stroke.