Pic of the Day: “Crime Wave” revisited

Today is the 87th birthday anniversary of the late, lovely Phyllis Kirk! In her honor, we present another shot of her and Timothy from Andre’ De Toth‘s Crime Wave (aka The City is Dark, 1954 but filmed in 1952). Ellen Lacey is unsure about being left under the supervision of giggling hop head Johnny Haslett. As well she should be.

Crime Wave

Wrote Tim in his Movie Stars Parade article, “I played a heavy again in a picture called Crime Wave, with Sterling Hayden and Phyllis Kirk, and in one scene I was holding Phyllis prisoner in a dingy waterfront room. There was low key lighting and the boom was down low. I affected a twitch like a narcotics addict, I turned on a low, sensual, half-crazy laugh, gritted my teeth and dug my hands into her shoulders – just like the creep I was portraying would have done in real life. But Phyllis wasn’t impressed with my realism. She found me too convincing. She broke and got hysterical. I had to go apologize to her, although I don’t know what I was apologizing for.”

Pic of the Day: “Crime Wave” key set photo #2

In celebration of the great Andre’ De Toth‘s 102nd birthday anniversary, today’s pic is the second of two key set photos from Crime Wave (aka The City is Dark) (1954) that I found on eBay a while back. Key set photos were shots taken on set and used for continuity purposes. Both photos feature Timothy menacing Phyllis Kirk, not surprisingly.

Crime Wave key set photo #2

De Toth was born Sasvári Farkasfalvi Tóthfalusi Tóth Endre Antal Mihály in Hungary (then Austria-Hungary) on this date in 1912. When, during an interview, he was asked about Tim’s acting methods in this film, De Toth replied, “Who was acting?” All of his films are a treat, and most definitely worth watching. Mr. De Toth, The Timothy Carey Experience salutes you!

Pic of the Day: “The City is Dark” publicity still

Today’s pic is another publicity still for Andre’ De Toth‘s Crime Wave (1954) under its original (and, I believe, more fitting) title, The City is Dark. Timothy and his gang – Jim Hayward, Ted de Corsia, and Charles Bronson – menace Phyllis Kirk and Gene Nelson.

aka Crime Wave

As the 16th annual Noir City Los Angeles Film Noir Festival prepares to launch tomorrow, I can’t think of a better film to get yourself psyched up for it. “How come the smart guys are inside and the dopes outside?”

Video of the Week: “Crime Wave”

If you have an extra $2 lying around that you don’t know what to do with, you can spend it right here on a viewing of Andre De Toth‘s Crime Wave (1954). It would certainly be $2 well spent.

Timothy, uncredited as twitching, giggling Johnny Haslett, doesn’t appear until the last half hour or so, but you’ll barely notice. This is one incredible film from start to finish. Tim is just the icing on the cake. Enjoy!

Pics of the Day: “Crime Wave”

Every now and then I peruse Tumblr for pics tagged with Timothy’s name, especially animated .gifs. That’s where I found these (!), and today I found a few more. If I knew how to make these things I would, but for now I’ll leave it to the professionals. These were posted by an individual known only as phb256, and they’re from Andre’ De Toth‘s Crime Wave (1954).

Crime Wave

Crime Wave

Crime Wave

Non-animated are Charles Bronson, Ted de Corsia, Gene Nelson and Jim Hayward. Many thanks to whoever was clever enough to make these. I salute you! You may also want to check out my own Tumblr, run by my burlesque persona Loxie Arcane (guess where that name came from?).

Quote of the Week

That’s particularly true for his film noir roles. Few debuts in the genre have been more striking or unnerving than Carey’s brief interludes in Andre’ de Toth‘s atmospheric Crime Wave (1954). In the uncredited role of pervert-punk Johnny Haslett, who lives in the seedy Chinatown hideout used by crooks Ted de Corsia and Charles Bronson, Carey’s first appearance (more than 50 minutes into the film) is like a bucket of ice water hitting your face at high speed.

De Toth aims the camera directly at Carey, who flips on his psychotic high beams and blows the scene away. He sustains a deranged grin while uttering dialogue through gritted teeth, then goes into a series of goofy facial contortions, all the while nervously fiddling with a deck of cards. It’s warped, it’s wild – but it’s also wonderful.

It gets better, too, when Carey moves into the background in the next scene at the hideout. With de Corsia, Bronson, and Gene Nelson in the foreground discussing their plans, Carey draws attention to himself sitting on the floor nearby. He’s mugging for all he’s worth, puffing furiously on a cigarette and blowing smoke rings through his teeth. Then, when Nelson frets that he must leave his girlfriend (Phyllis Kirk) with this cretin while they all go out on a caper, Carey slurs a deranged, menacing one-liner while still hunched on the floor, smoking away: “I’ll give her your love, Steve!” Priceless.

Carl Steward, “Timothy Carey: Noir’s Wildest Card,” Noir City Annual #2: The Best of the 2009 Noir City Sentinel (Film Noir Foundation, 2010)

Crime Wave

Pic of the Day: “Crime Wave” key set photo

Today’s pic is one of two key set photos from Andre De Toth‘s Crime Wave (1954) that I recently scored on eBay. Key set photos were often used by script supervisors to help with shot continuity; they were put into a binder for easy reference. Both of the photos feature Timothy menacing Phyllis Kirk. This is by far the creepiest one.

Crime Wave

I will probably be posting sporadically for the next week. We are leaving later this morning for another trip to California, where Romeo Carey and I will hopefully be conducting some interviews. Exciting stuff! Watch this space!