Video of the Week: “Kidnap”

Well look what I found on Dailymotion! The full length CHiPs episode “Kidnap,” first broadcast on January 26, 1980. Most definitely one of Timothy’s most eccentric performances.

Tim’s cohort in crime here is Warren Berlinger, another venerable character actor born in Brooklyn (with the same birthday as me!). He’s been all over the big and small screens since the late 1950s. He is also Milton Berle‘s nephew!

Quote of the Week

Reservoir Dogs was dedicated in part to Lionel White, the hardboiled pulp novelist who wrote the source material for The Killing, among other film noir. Another member of this film’s production also linked to Reservoir Dogs is the actor Timothy Carey who played the sniper in The Killing. At 6’4” Timothy Carey was made to lurk and menace in the background but he was too kinetic to stay there. He was passed over for several big film roles (including Reservoir Dogs) because he had a reputation for being unpredictable and physically intimidating. Tarantino gave the role to Timothy Carey’s friend Lawrence Tierney, another brutish character actor.

Actors, particularly grizzled veterans of B-movies, have a special sway over Tarantino. As a rabid movie buff, his imagination is excited by the gruff, violent men who almost seem subhuman. Cretinous demeanors suggesting amorality are the stuff of Tarantino’s charm over an audience.

The Killing promo still

 

 

Quote of the Week

Timothy Carey, the name has a certain aura to it. Some cinephiles know this feeling, those who go out on a limb and watch what little role he has. Carey, a character actor who zigzagged through the latter half of American cinema’s history, from A to Z pictures and everything in between, had a special talent. He could make a thin role into something memorable. He threw his 6’ 4’’ body around and spoke with a voice that sounded more like a cement mixer. He stole scenes, evaporating the memory of those that came before and after it.

Only Stanley Kubrick and John Cassavetes managed to integrate Carey into their films seamlessly. For both filmmakers, he appeared twice in their work. For Kubrick: The Killing (1956) and Paths of Glory (1957). For Cassavetes: Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976). They were able to rein in Carey, controlling his high-strung acting for maximum effect. In Paths of Glory, in fact, Carey gives a career-performance. An interlude from the psychotics he often played, as Private Ferol, Carey is a smooth man, someone who would fit in with Jack Kerouac and co., not WWI France. By film’s end, he becomes unraveled. Along with Ralph Meeker and Joe Turkel, he’s one of the soldiers court-martialed and executed. “I don’t want to die,” he repeats, sniveling, whimpering, and crying as he faces the firing squad.

For every friend, Carey had three or four enemies, people who couldn’t tolerate his brand of free-wheeling, combusting improvisation. Fact and legend often blur in Hollywood history. In Carey’s case, there seems to be more legend than fact. His bouts with actors and directors are tabloid-worthy and tailor-made to his outsider persona. Billy Wilder and James B. Harris fired him. Elia Kazan dubbed his guttural lines. Richard Widmark and Karl Malden beat him. Marlon Brando stabbed him with a pen. Always cheeky, Carey proclaimed that he was fired more than any other actor in Hollywood.

Paths of Glory

Video of the Week: The Eyes of Timothy Carey

This week’s video accompanies the wonderful article by filmmaker Andre Perkowski (and was also created by him) that provided our Quote of the Week last Sunday. It comprises scenes from Timothy’s last television appearance in the Airwolf episode “Tracks” (3.22.1986) overlaid with the audio from Morgan Morgan’s near-soliloquy from Minnie and Moskowitz (1971). The result is surrealism at its finest. 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.