In anticipation of tonight’s airing of the Lillian Roth biopic I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955) on Turner Classic Movies (9:00PM PST, 12:00AM EST), we present another screen shot from Timothy’s don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-him appearance about halfway through the film, as a sweaty derelict in a seedy flophouse. He is on his way to (it is strongly implied) molest Ms. Roth (Susan Hayward in her Oscar-nominated performance) as she lies in a delirious alcoholic stupor.
Another of Tim’s uncredited “bit parts” that makes you wish he was a bigger part of the story. Don’t miss this excellent film tonight!
Our video this week is John Cassavetes‘ comedy/romance/slice-of-life drama Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) in its entirety. Timothy’s cameo near the beginning of the film, verbally sparring with Moskowitz (Seymour Cassel) is justifiably famous. It’s only about 5 minutes long, but it’s one of Tim’s best and most unforgettable performances.
Kicking off the week a day late is Harmon Jones‘ Bloodhounds 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).
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 Cassavetes‘ A Child Is Waiting (1963).
Our week begins with another look at the Ellery Queen episode “The Adventure of Caesar’s Last Sleep,” first airing on March 14, 1976. Rent-a-hit-man Bonner is on the phone clearing up some details with his latest client.
Also seen in this episode (no scenes with Timothy, unfortunately) is familiar character player Michael V. Gazzo. Like Tim, he attended drama school after World War II on the G.I. Bill. He first gained success as a Broadway playwright with A Hatful of Rain, which later became a film directed by Fred Zinneman. He enjoyed a forty-year career as a memorable character actor on television and the big screen. He is perhaps best known for his Academy Award-nominated performance as gruff mafioso Frankie Pentangeli in The Godfather: Part II (1974).
Today we observe the 90th birthday anniversary of the legendary Marlon Brando. Timothy appeared with him twice, in The Wild One (1953) and One-Eyed Jacks (1961). Here is a rarely seen promo still from that latter film that I received from friend of the blog Toby Roan, author of the forthcoming A Million Feet of Film: The Making of One-Eyed Jacks. In a scene not appearing in the final cut of the film, the dead body of ne’er-do-well Howard Tetley is carried away by Rio, the man who shot him (Brando), Chico (Larry Duran) and Sheriff Dad Longworth (Karl Malden).
“You know, I was always a hound for publicity,” Tim said in the Psychotronic interview. “They were doing the Academy Awards and Brando was up for it. Well, I knew him from The Wild One, I knew he was going to get it (for On the Waterfront), so I was getting dressed up for it and I was going to go up there and get it before he got there, but some guy from Western Costume who was dressing me up talked me out of it.” I think most of us secretly – or perhaps not so secretly – wish he had gone ahead with his dastardly plan. Sending afterlife birthday greetings to you, Mr. Brando!
You know, I was always a hound for publicity. They were doing the Academy Awards and Brando was up for it. Well, I knew him from The Wild One, I knew he was going to get it (for On the Waterfront), so I was getting dressed up for it and I was going to go up there and get it before he got there, but some guy from Western Costume who was dressing me up talked me out of it.
We head up the week with a shot from Vincent Sherman‘s amiable Western comedy The Second Time Around (1961) for the fourth or fifth time around on the blog. This one is another publicity still. Masked bad guy Bonner manhandles Lucretia Rogers (Debbie Reynolds), as Aggie Gates (Thelma Ritter) tries to prevent further mayhem.
Ms. Ritter, like Tim a Brooklyn native, was simply one of the greatest character actors ever, bar none. Her wry, wise-cracking presence enlivened many a classic film, from Miracle on 34th Street (1947) to All About Eve (1950) to Pickup on South Street (1953) to Rear Window (1954) and beyond. She was nominated six times for the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, and never won. “Now I know what it feels like to be the bridesmaid and never the bride,” she said about this unfortunate turn of events. Shame on you, Oscar.
Our pic of the day takes another look at the Tenspeed and Brown Shoe episode “The Treasure of Sierra Madre Street”. It was first broadcast on June 20, 1980. Escaped axe murderer Obituary Bob terrorizes Lionel Whitney, aka “Brown Shoe” (Jeff Goldblum), and Judge Alice Rynkoff (Lynn Carlin) in his own inimitable fashion.
Ms. Carlin is another John Cassavetes alum, having made her film debut in his seminal work Faces (1968). At the time she was Robert Altman‘s secretary at Screen Gems. Cassavetes was working on the Faces script at the same studio, and Ms. Carlin often assisted him with line readings. He ended up casting her in the film, in the role of John Marley‘s neglected wife, for which she received a well-deserved Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination. Unfortunately, her subsequent career did not quite live up to this auspicious beginning, and she retired from acting in 1987.